An Ultimate Guide to Exploring the City of Nizams – Hyderabad

The Hyderabad in the Telangana state of India is teeming with history and architectural wonders. And the Hyderabadi cuisine especially the biryani has patrons all over the world. In this post, we share a detailed information on what to see and do on a visit to the city of Nizams – Hyderabad.

Our flight landed in Hyderabad around 7 in the morning. We boarded one of the buses running from airport to the area we booked our hotel. The buses are well connected with every part of Hyderabad and work out half the cost of what the cabs offer.

The Annapoorna Residency hotel we booked was 24 hours check-in which works out best for we can directly check-in as soon as we are in the city. Once checked-in, we freshened up and joined in for the complimentary breakfast for the day. The breakfast was south Indian style with alternative options of fruits, bread, Parathas, and juices. The chef prepared hot dosas topped with veggies and cheese on spot for us as and when requested.

Chilkur Balaji Temple

The Chilkur Balaji Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Balaji. Many devotees visit the temple to seek blessings especially visa related which actually piqued our interest to make a visit. We booked a direct cab from the hotel which took us around an hour to reach. The driver offered to wait for us to return which is the best option as it is not easy to find cabs around the temple. Temple could be skipped if you are in short of time.

Initially, our plan after lunch was Golconda fort but we dropped it as it was very hot and as most of the fort is open to sky it would have been very exhausting.

Pehelwan Pan Shop

Instead, we headed to Mozamjahi market. We got down some half a km before the market at Pehelwan Pan Shop. It is a long Indian tradition to end the meals with Pan (beetle nut leaves) as it aids digestion. The 60-year-old Pehelwan pan shop is said to have served pans to Indira Gandhi and even Bill Clinton during his India visit. The pan ranges from 5 to 200rs with the higher side being the zarda (tobacco) pan. The pans from this shop have patrons in Dubai and Saudi as well.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Karachi Bakery

We walked half a km to the Karachi Bakery opposite Mojamjahi market which is one of the most popular bakeries in Hyderabad serving since 1952. They have a large assortment of baked goods and confectionaries while their Osmania biscuits are a big hit.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Hameedi Confectionary

This shop has been serving for around 160 years. The nutmeg halwa and Badam Halwa from this shop tastes heaven. We even bought parcels to bring back home. The packet easily stays for a week without a fridge.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Famous Ice Cream

Opposite to the Hameedi Confectioneries in the Mojamjahi market is the ‘Famous Ice cream’ famous for the natural flavored ice creams though we did not find it exceptional give it a try.

Qutub Shahi Tombs

The ‘Qutb Shahi Tombs’ or the ‘Seven Tombs’ are magnificent tombs located in the Ibrahim Bagh on the way to Golconda Fort. The exceptional architecture of these structures dedicated to the Qutub Shahi kings is a testimony to the glory of the bygone era of historic Hyderabad.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Golconda Fort

The majestic fort of Golconda was the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and is spread across an area of 11 km. It is interesting to know that the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was a produce from the mines of Golkonda. The fort exhibits some of the remarkable architectural work through the several pavilions, gateways, bastions, etc. One can experience an acoustic marvel at the Fateh Darwaza which is the lowest point of the fort. A clap at a point near the Fateh Darwaza reverberates and could be heard at the highest point of the ‘Balahisar’ pavilion a km away. This advantage was used to warn the royals in times of emergency.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

The light and sound show takes place at the fort in English, Hindi and Telugu languages. More details here. Though the show was good but as impressive as one we attended in Ajmer Jaipur. At the entrance, the guards insist you on using mosquito repellant and do so with pleasure for once lights go off you wouldn’t be able to sit even for a minute if not for the repellant.

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Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Day 2

Purani haveli

We are not very big fans of Museum but the grandeur of the Nizams had intrigued us. So we visited this museum Purani haveli which exhibits some of the items from the times of Nizams like caskets, walking sticks with ivory handle studded precious stones, silver models of prominent buildings like Osmania university, Charminar and Mojamjahi market, and pictures of Nizam VII. Though the collection was interesting it was not well maintained there were spider webs and the video on the history of Nizams wasn’t even working. This was not acceptable as for the high cost of tickets. Luckily we decided against paying for the cameras.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Paigah tombs

We hired an auto to the 200-year-old tombs are the tombs dedicated to the family of Paigah nobles. We were entranced by the mosaic tiles and intricate marble carvings on the tombs which are an exemplary masterpiece of excellent craftsmanship. An old man is in charge of the tomb complex who proudly walked us through the tomb complex and regaled us through its architectural splendor.


The iconic landmark of Hyderabad was built by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591. The structure is flanked by ornate minarets on four corners and huge arches on four sides with exquisite architectural designs. A mosque is located on the top floor of Charminar.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Shopping at Laad Bazaar

Laad Bazaar is an old market originally popular for bangles and other wedding items. Along the km stretch of bustling street lined with shops, one can shop for glass and lacquer bangles, Hyderabad pearls, bidriware, wedding suits and sarees and embroidered fabrics. We shopped from pearl sets and lac bangles. Read more on shopping in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Hussain Sagar Lake

Hussain Sagar is a man-made lake built in 1563 spread across an area of 5.7 square kilometers. The Lake offers plenty of water sports activities like speed boating and sailing. Lumbini Park close to the lake hosts musical fountain and the laser show every evening which is something not to be missed.

Day 3

Jagannath temple

The beautiful Jagannath temple of Hyderabad is a replica of the original Puri Jagannath Temple of Orissa though size differs. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and the temple complex houses several other smaller temples. The temple built of sandstone brought from Orissa has intricate carvings and gorgeous sculptures.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Birla Temple

The Birla Mandir in Hyderabad is built on a 280 feet hillock and took 10 years to complete. The temple built from pure marble features Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala architectures and houses an 11 ft tall granite idol of Lord Venkateswara.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Nimrah Cafe

Nimrah Cafe is yet another bakery in Hyderabad famous for Irani tea and Osmania biscuits. The bakery also offers various other assortments of biscuits like fruit biscuit, jam biscuit, and other patisseries. The Nimrah cafe bakes a new set of biscuits every 30 minutes and we had an opportunity to watch a live baking session of the Osmania biscuits.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

Chowmahalla Palace

The palace was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad and houses some of the exquisite personal possessions of the Nizams. The ornately embellished hall ‘Khilwat Mubarak’ is the most remarkable part of the palace. Chowmahalla Palace is a must visit to experience the grandiose lifestyle of the Nizams.

Hyderabad Things to do and Attractions

As the airport buses did not run on the routes from Chowmahalla palace we rented a cab.

Another prominent landmark in Hyderabad is the Film City which needs a dedicated full day which is deferred until next visit. When in Hyderabad devour on as many Hyderabadi biryanis possible, for the time we were in Hyderabad we tried several local recommended hotels. Check our post on best restaurants for Hyderabad biryani.

What is your favorite part in Hyderabad? Do share with us in comments.

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16 Comment

  1. The food looks incredible and the amount of history here is amazing. I would love to come here in the near future. Amazing that your hotel has 24 hour check-in – not many do. Thats totally what we need as a family as it can be hard with a little one

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Completely agree with you 24 hrs check-in is absolutely required when traveling with family and with the baggage load.

  2. Wow all those dishes look delicious. The nutmeg halwa looks interesting but I’m all for trying new food! I haven’t yet visited India, but I’m currently planning on visiting for around 6 weeks, so will definitely save this for when I visit Hyderabad!
    The architecture in the Chowmahalla Palace is absolutely breathtaking too!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Wow glad to hear that you will be visiting India soon, do make a visit to Hyderabad and definitely try biryanis 😉

  3. Nizams looks incredible! I would love to try the pan and those pastries– if they are good enough for Bill Clinton, they’re good enough for me :). The temples look beautiful and so elaborate. And that palace — wow!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      lol yes pan was yummy you would definitely love it 😉

  4. This is a city I would love to visit in India. I just adore the beautiful architecture of the buildings, particularly the temples and the palace. The fort looked so interesting as well. These fabulous attractions together with the lovely food would just make for a wonderful experience which I hope to enjoy one day.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We agree the history and architecture of Hyderabad is one of its kind and any history buff would love it here

  5. Gemma says: Reply

    The food looks delicious! I love that you included Indian desserts, although they are so sweet, they are some of my favourites. Hyderabad seems like a great place to explore.

  6. Julianne says: Reply

    I love trying new foods, so I’d love to try the Osmania biscuits, nutmeg halwa and Badam Halwa! The light and sound show at the fort looks up my alley — it looks like it was beautiful. I haven’t been to India yet, but when I go, I’ll be sure to stop in Hyderabad!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      The food delicacies of Hyderabad are delicious. You should definitely make a visit to Hyderabad and relish its specialties.

  7. What a wonderful mix of architectural delights! The details on the temples and in the palace are fantastic. Would love to see them in person!

  8. There is so much to do in Hyderabad, now you’ve introduced me to the city of Nizams. I love to visit an Indian Fort as well as a temple and the Charminar looks fantastic to photograph. The Charminar is deservedly the symbol of the city. There must be a good view from the mosque up there too. The Jagannath temple looks stunning too, then the palace, so much to see here!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yeah Hyderabad is teeming with history and architectural beauty you should definitely consider visiting it some day soon 😉

  9. Yum! all this food looks so good!! The Chowmahalla Palace looks so beautiful and the temples are incredible! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Hyderabad is one of m favourie cities. I have been here 2 times. I have even explored the gorgeous Char Minar in both day and night time.

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