Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hyderabad - Kohinoor of India

Kohinoor - the mountain of light and one wouldn’t be foolishly romantic in calling this city so! Now that it has been officially christened as the ‘light of India’, why don’t we try to follow this illuminated path and surrender ourselves to the inviting charm of this archaic, rich and fascinating city? There has to be some blinding effect, which has catapulted this kind of expeditious development of the city; and we are going to find it for sure!

To begin with, lets try to venture into this 400 years old, richly cultured city and find out what is it that appeals so much to us and leaves us wanting little more the more we get to know about it.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to start right from the beginning and see what was the force that made Hyderabad what it is today!!

The city was ruled by two great dynasties of Asaf Jahis and Qutab Shahis. Since that period itself it has attracted traders and had been great center for commerce. Not to forget that it was the largest princely state in India. The boundaries of this royal city were sketched on the map long back on 01 Nov’56 when Andhra Pradesh was redrawn on linguistic lines. Back then the fourth king of Qutab Shahi Dynasty built Hyderabad.

Legend has it that he built it for his love Bhagmati, who was later called Hyder mahal and thus this city was named. Now isn’t that quite interesting. He described it as Paradise of Earth. Quite truly the weather here is not extreme so one seldom experiences the incessant rains or high temperature. Evenings here are generally fragrant with brisk air and winters are cozy.

Another very important feature that makes it a favorite destination for people with royal gustatory appeal is its - cuisine. Its culinary specialties range from the Hyderabadi biryani; haleem, biscuits, Nan and many more like Nahari, Pathar ka gosht and Bagara Baingan. I think the mention itself is enough to tingle the taste buds!! A true paradise for foodies indeed!!

This city also boasts of its pearl bangles and other fascinating accessories like famous heavily brocaded Dharmavaram silk sari. Other favorites are the Ikkat from Pochampalli, the Venkatgiri and Narayanpet Cottons, and the unique Gadhwal, which has a cotton body with rich silk border. Few others, which have indelible imprints on the heart of shoppers, include the Kalamkari printing using a kalam (pen) and vegetable dyes and Batik a process involving wax and dyes.

These do cost a fortune but hardly deter the willing hearts.

Hyderabad does full justice to adventurous beings too. Amusement parks like Treasure Island give you opportunities like horse riding (something very close to my heart!), Go -Karting and swimming. Then you also have sailing club in Hussain Sagar Lake and a flying club in the center of the city- the Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy. Wow! Didn’t it strike a note somewhere in your heart!

The other avenues to enjoy life include thriving discotheques, pubs, theme villages, snow parks etc.

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