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2011 Dec by Michael Novins
December 2011 -- I visited Hyderabad, including Charminar (the city's principal landmark), Laad Bazaar and Golcanda Fort (15 minutes from Charminar by rickshaw), and had mutton biryani for lunch at Paradise restaurant in Secunderabad, founded in 1953 (http://paradisefoodcourt.com/). |
2001 Dec by Jorge Sanchez
In my way by train from Kerala to Kolkata, where I was heading to arrange my visa to Bhutan, I resolved to make one day stop in Hyderabad to explore the city.
I arrived at the railway station very early in the morning. I had a shower in the station premises for a few rupees and then went out to the street, when I noticed a group of about forty persons waiting to get up to a bus where it was written “Bangalore Excursion”.
I asked for the price and I was told that it was cheaper than trying to visit the city by myself.
I finished up buying the ticket and boarded the bus.
All the customers were Indians; I was the only foreigner. But being the Indians from different parts of the country and not everybody could understand Hindi, the guide would give us the explanations in English, which was perfect for me.
During four hours the driver took us to see palaces, mosques (like the impressive Makkah Masjid), Hindu temples, beautiful gardens… but the most impressive of all the tourist attractions was Charminar, a lovely and beautifully designed monument.
The name Charminar, means Four Towers, and is the most distinctive symbol of Hyderabad, a city with seven million inhabitants, which represents the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh.
In fact, the towers were minarets. In the night, when illuminated, Charminar was more impressive than during the day.
Of course, as all the guides do, ours also brought us to shops offering souvenirs where he would get commission on the purchases. But I did not buy anything; I was not interested in typical Indian dolls, perfumes, postcards, or reproductions of the Charminar.
After the excursion I had some food and entered a typical restaurant where I ordered Hyderabad Biryani (Basmati rice plus goat meat), some chapattis, a glass of lassi and one chai.
I spent that night sleeping for free in the waiting rooms of the railway station.
The next day I resumed my journey by train to Kolkata.
In november 2014 I traveled again to Telangana. Here is what I wrote about that second visit: I arrived in the evening to Secunderabad, by train, playing chess with my companions. In fact my destination was Hyderabad, city united to Secunderabad, only separated by the lake Hussain Sagar, but the train only stoped in Secunderabad, a city of about 200.000 inhabitants of which I did not know anything.Modern Secunderabad was founded by the British as a cantonment, and therefore has much less history and interest from a tourist point of view than Hyderabad. I resolved to spend that night in Secunderabad; I did not want to venture taking a night bus to Hyderabad to look there for a hotel.In the street, in front of Secunderabad railway station, there were several hundreds of Indians sleeping, on the floor, over blankets or simply over a cardboard. Then I went to the first floor of the train station, to the Retiring Rooms. Once there and thanks to my train ticket, I only paid 75 Rupees, or less than 1 Euro, and I got a modest room, with shower and toilets in the corridor, but it was OK to spend a few hours there, avoiding the mosquitoes, until dawn. There were about 20 rooms, separated by blankets, no much intimacy, but it was very cheap. There was a reception and your room was locked, until dawn, in order to avoid robberies.
In the morning I planned to travel by bus to the neighbour city of Hyderabad to admire, for the second time (I had already been in Hyderabad the year 2000) the famous Charminar.In the morning, before catching a bus to Hyderabad, I had breakfast in Secunderabad and visited for about one hour the quarter close to the train station, that is the Catholic Church and several Hindu temples and muslim mosques.
The bus to Hyderabad was very cheap, but I had to sit down on the right of the bus. The left side was for ladies only.It is about half an hour by bus to reach Hyderabad. The journey is interesting and I could admire the Lake Hussain Sagar. |