Nawabi city or the Pearl City – Hyderabad
Hyderabad is a city of confluences. Modern flyovers/bridges cris-cross elegantly to settle amicably with ancient places of interest. One spot/scene stands out in this city for me - the Hussain Sagar lake with the gigantic Buddha in the center of water. Looks equally gorgeous by sunrise as it does by sunset when night falls. I have always unconsciously deciphered my hotel address from this iconic Buddha lake
Ninety percent of my visits to Hyderabad have been related to work and hence the prominent impressions I carry are that of glass chrome buildings, hi tech malls, whooshing past as I drive with my nose buried in my BB not noticing the noise and buzz, signaling a robust business growth
The bustling markets of Hyderabad overwhelm me. Like everywhere else in India, the bazaars are teeming with people and sellers - buyers looking to negotiate a good deal while the sellers use their best skills i.e. the art of persuasion! You feel guilty if you don’t buy and move on
When going shopping or window gazing, make sure you have enough time on your hands to enjoy the bargains of the market place be it silk, bangles, pearls or shoes. I have always been in a rush and hence have never done any justice to shopping in Hyderabad
Charminar has the famed Mecca masjid, one of the oldest and largest monument in the world, many centuries old
The Golconda Fort, used to be a strong large fortress, built at the site of the famous diamond mines of Golconda. Today it shows off an amazing acoustics system that allows the sound of a hand-clap to be heard right at its citadel 200 feet high
The Salar Jung Museum displays more than 35,000 exhibits, considered one of the biggest and richest collections in the world
I had always heard Dad speak about Hyderabad’s Nawabi culture. I quite never did put it together, till the multiple visits when I interacted with the locals and business communities, understood the nuances of the way of life in Hyderabad. The city prides itself in high culture, where the legendary etiquette (adab and tehzeeb) are indeed, even today, a way of life. The welcoming nature and the inherent simplicity of its people charm you straight away
Life in Hyderabad is graceful and slow-paced. It is the land where Urdu language dominated (besides Lucknow), rhythms were created on the 'tabla' and melody was born from the 'sitar'. The shayrana (poetry) and khushmizaji ( jovial nature) emanated from the rich tradition of wholesomeness sought from food
In the olden days Nawabi also meant the lifestyle of the rich and famous with an ear for music and the good things of life. Which encompassed the Kothas (large houses), the mehfils (group of men) and the tawaifs (dancing girls)
Nawabi food: As a vegetarian I hope I do justice in describing the delectable ‘Nawabi’ cuisine that adds such a unique character to the city. There are two kinds of experiences to be had in this city of Nawabs. The charm of the best street food you will ever find and the sophistication of a well served, royal 5 course meal in a top dog hotel that you savour and remember for always
The senses titillate while the taste buds dance to local ‘panipuri' in the Chowk area. The gheee idlis served by the babai, melt in your mouth accompanied with the delicious chutney that makes you unabashedly ask for more in Srinagar Colony
The flavours are borne from the usual 'zeera'(cumin seeds) 'hing' (asafoetida), 'pudina' (mint), lemon but the taste buds don’t stop demanding more. The floating kebab aromas to the much talked and discussed Hyderabadi ghost Biryani, ask a non vegetarian how (s)he feels about it- you will see him/her roll their eyes heavenwards as words don’t do justice to the food variety and tastes available in the city of pearls.
If it had not been my work, I don't think I would have ever discovered this city or appreciated the smaller nuances that make Hyderabad warm and special.
Posted by Mee at 00:21