If you have a weekend to spare, then we suggest you make a quick trip to Hyderabad. More than just the best place to grab some biryani, Hyderabad has an inimitable charm that never fails to enamour the visitor. Delicious food, ancient history, local art, a hilarious dialect and some really cool bargains await you at the City Of Pearls.

Shop at Charminar

For centuries, people have flocked to the famous Laad Bazaar, a kilometre-long strip branching off the Charminar. Renowned for its lacquer bangles studded with artificial diamonds, the market is a rich repository of traditional ware including saris, perfumes, cheap jewellery and of course, wedding related items. Take a stroll through the strip and you’ll be beckoned by a bevy of shopkeepers, each vying for your attention. And when you walk into a shop, you’ll be invited to make yourself at home on the comfy mattresses while the sales person presents all the items on the floor. Every shopkeeper expects you to bargain. Expect a rebuttal with their humorous but goodnatured Hyderabadi wit. It’s a load of fun, especially during the month of Ramzaan, when the whole area is decked with dazzling lights and fragrant with perfume. Plus there’s the delicious food.

Where: Charminar, Hyderabad

Visit the Golconda Fort

Older than the city itself, the Golconda Fort is a masterpiece of architecture. Built on a granite hill by the Kakatiya Dynasty, it’s been around for over six centuries, witnessing the rise and fall of kingdoms and even housing the Koh-i-noor diamond once. Aside from its aesthetic design, the acoustics of the fort have an uncommonly special quality, where a clap at the entrance travels to the very top, serving as a warning. It’s a long climb up, and Hyderabad’s known for its scorching weather, so avoid the trip here until summer ends.

Where: Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad

Contact: 040 23512401

Price: INR 5 {for Indians}, INR 100 {for foreign nationals}, INR 130 {for Sound & Light show} and INR 25 {for camera}

Timings: 9am – 5.30pm

Eat at Dine Hill

Here’s the usual scenario at Dine Hill. You’re sitting around a table with a bunch of friends awaiting your food. The waiter struts by and deposits one humongous plate with a mound of biryani in front of you, smiles at your bewilderment, and saunters off. Woah! What you’re experiencing is the coming together of Hyderabadi cuisine and middle eastern etiquette, where the sharing of one plate between many, fosters camaraderie and love. The initial shock wears off quickly, because you’ll soon be working your way through the food with gusto. Order some grilled chicken on the side and you’re on your way to food nirvana.

Where: 6-7, Garden Towers, Ahmed Nagar, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad

Contact: 040 65579221

Price: INR 500 for two

Timings: 11am – 12am

Check out their website here.

Cool off at Gafoor Ice Cream

Think you know ice cream? Think again. At Gafoor Ice Cream, housed in the historic Mozam Jahi Market, you’re not served scoops, you’re served by the litre. The seasonal flavours are to die for here, an already perfect recipe infused with fresh fruit {water melon, litchi and mango are tops}. And if you’re wondering whether a litre’s more than you can handle, you’re in for a surprise. Remarkably light, you’ll be through half a litre {or brick as they call it}, in no time. Affordable, fresh, rich and real, you’re going to go in for second helpings. Guaranteed.

Where: Moazam Jahi Market, JN Road, Hyderabad

Contact: +91 9059949885

Price: INR 200 for two

Timings: 10am-10pm

Watch A Play at Lamakaan

lamakaan at hyderabad

Source: Lamakaan

A house-turned-culture-space in the heart of the city, Lamakaan is hallowed grounds for the creative. With regular film screenings, dance recitals, workshops, theatre and acoustic music shows, it draws artistes and intellectuals from all parts of the city and treats them like family. The food here is delicious, hygienic and priced ridiculously low. So go ahead and take a gander at the place, in the short span of a few hours,  you’ll likely make more friends than you’ll know what to do with.

Where: Off Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Opposite GVK One, Hyderabad

Contact: +91 9642731329

Find them on Facebook here.

Check out their website here.

Featured image by: Sumeet Rajendra Bhavsar


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