Sunday, 14 May 2017

Hyderabad – The old Mughlai Empire City

If not for the change of plans and the recommendations by Ktan and his family I would have never go there and would have probably took a long distance train to get to Mumbai. The stop was surprising

Build by the old Mughlai Empire the city of Hyderabad can be easily mistaken as a city in the Middle East. Not that I have ever been there before other than Istanbul, but one can see a striking difference whereby mosque and Islamic architecture covers the city more than any other religion. Seeing the city thou is not as easy like taking a walk and just discovering it. The city is big and the sights are located far apart. 

Charminar - Hyderabad, India

First day after checking into the first hotel the auto rickshaw brought me to for Rs800 a night, I was surprised I accepted so easily for normally I reject the first place regardless of offer and condition just to check out the second one …. In a way I guess it was the first honest auto rickshaw I encountered in India … he only charged me Rs 120 for a long ride from Secundebad to Hyderabad …

I later found out that was a very fair price for most auto rickshaw was trying to rip me off to about Rs 300 for the same distance ride in Hyderabad. I trusted the first auto rickshaw guy for some reason I could not comprehend and the hotel he recommended was a good place, quiet clean with wifi …. Non-ac for 800 and ac for 1000 …. I caught a running nose from the AC 3 train so I decided to forgo the AC and take the cheaper 800 a night

Check in and out I went exploring, or more like exploring while looking for food. The first place I wanted to visit was the Falaknuma Palace …. Somehow I also started writing down the places I wanted to go on a piece of paper and just used them to show to the taxi drivers and yet I had no clue where it was in Hyderabad …. 

350 ….. f*ck it …. Walk away …. Offer the new devious auto rickshaw driver said …. And I said meter …. 

Meter plus 20 ….. ok fair enough … 

The ride was nearly 20 km away …. And the meter jumped like it was rigged and bounce up to 270 …. I gave up 300 at the entrance of Falaknuma Palace only to find out that it is not accessible to public as it has been privatized to be a luxury hotel ….…. 300 for nothing. 

Roasted Chicken Factory
I decided to walk back … a long walk to find food along the way and to have a look wandering around lost in Hyderabad looking and seeing whatever that comes by. Most of it was dusty shops and boring daily lives that would not register in my head but I finally found a restaurant after 1 hour of walking and they sold the famous Hyderabad Dum biryani …. I have to say the Biryani is Hyderabad is something special. So special that it ruin all the other Briyani I had in India … 

The best Briyani in India - Hyderabad Dum Briyani

I could say that Dum Briyani is the best Briyani I have ever eaten 

More walking to burn off the over eating of Biryani, I found the first monument …. Mecca Mosque … a large pilgrim site where a few bricks from Mecca was brought to build the mosque … no short pants allowed inside and I walk by to see the next door monument Charminar ….

Mecca Mosque - Hyderabad, India
This was the old city of Hyderabad I later understood … most people do not venture beyond these streets which was packed with shopping goodies of all shinny kind. Jewellery, sari, of the sorts and pearls …. Hyderabad was apparently famous for making pearls.

Hyderabad - India
End of the day after walking another long two hours back to the hotel and I rested binge on the free TV they had which showed a lot of rubbish channels in English …. 

Day 2 was spent exploring only one place … Golconda Fort … built by the sultan of Mughlai it was a huge fort beautifully preserved and took me 2 hours just to explore part of it. The view from the top gave Hyderabad a different perspective.

The second item of the day Qutb Shahi Tombs could be seen from the top of the fort and it was a beautiful sight in the city of Hyderabad …. I decided seeing it from afar was enough and skipped going there … only one item that day and it was enough for the soul. 

Golconda Fort - Hyderabad

Golconda Fort - Hyderabad

Hyderabad View from top of Golconda Fort

Hyderabad View from top of Golconda Fort - India

Last day was spend wasting away as I had to burn time till I catch the train at 8pm. Morning temple visit to the Birla Mandir temple which was build with pure white marble was lovely. View of the lake was good but alas no cameras nor phones were allowed while going into and around the temple. The local said this was a new thing …. Not an old temple but given time it would be a prominent landmark for a tourist attraction. 

I also manage to find the all elusive Shiva Puran book at the temple souvenir store … so it was worth going to the temple even if the book was overly price at RS 200.

Then a slow walk to the public gardens I visited the State Archaeology museum. Have to say I was amazed how much time I manage to burn in that museum. 

Last stop was Salar Jung Museum … but when I arrived and saw the price tag to enter which was Rs 500 I decided it was not worth going in and headed for KFC for a drink and then after McD for another drink ….. it was time to head to the train station for Mumbai …. AC 2 this time … getting higher and higher up in class …. So excited but it was not much different from AC 3 only with a drawn curtain to give some added privacy.

AC2 Train in India

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