Hyderabad is a city with
strong Muslim influences that can still be experienced in its culture and architecture,
famously in its skyline of minarets. Renowned too for the jewellery of its old
Nizam rulers, Hyderabad's pearl bazaar is a popular stop for visitors to this
part of India. Pearls from all over the world find their way here because the
artisans are skilled in piercing and stringing them without damaging them.
Hyderabadi cuisine is much enjoyed because of its elaborate and exotic nature.
The wide range of hand-woven textiles of the state is another rich tradition.
The city's gypsy tribes, called 'Lambadas' and 'Banjaras' are easily recognised
in the country because of their unique and colourful costumes.
At an altitude of 536 metres
with the mean summer temperature going up to a maximum of 42 degrees Celsius
and the minimum average temperature being around 22 degrees Hyderabad can be
uncomfortably hot in some months.
But with the maximum winter temperature at
about 22 and the minimum going down to around12 degrees C, it can be pleasant,
even cool enough to warrant a light sweater.
Both Hyderabad and its twin
city, Secunderabad grew together and have now merged. An imaginary line drawn
across the Tank Bund is still used to distinguish the two cities.
of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Quli Qutb
Shah seized the reins of power from the Bahamani kingdom in 1512 and established
the fortress city of Golconda. Inadequacy of water, and frequent epidemics of
plague and cholera persuaded Mohammad, the fifth Quli Qutb Shahi ruler to venture
outward to establish the new city with the Charminar at its centre, and with
four great roads fanning out in the four cardinal directions.