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.


R Niranjan Das said...

Nice post.


melinda said...

Hyderabad's amazing Hindi is magical. I can never get over it:)

ashish said...

Hyderabad is also now known as Cyberabad - IT, biotechnology, Pharma and many modern industries are thriving in Hyd.

Nisha said...

The first photo is breathtaking. Been there twice and seen almost everything but more visits are required to get soaked yet again. :)

Anon said...

Excellent piece of writing Meenakshi! Really good! Wish your write-up on Hyderabad was longer (and that was meant to be a compliment!)

Ajoy Vakil

Aijaz Ahmed Pitafi said...

Good to see and read about the places I visited some years ago. I still adore them. You missed "Pulla Reddy Sweets". A visit to Hyd can't be completed without having eaten ample Mithaee from this shop.

Pharma Pharmer said...

Nice 'representation' of the city!

first thing that hits somebody who goes to Hyderabad is the flyover after you exit the airport and straight into the city...this is, I am told, the biggest flyover in Asia

And may be, when you go again there , do try 'chettinad idlees'...they are also mindblowing



Shweta said...

Hey just back from Hyd, the hosts fed me so much< I wish I cld stay put:) LOL!

sheila said...

It is a Nawabi shehar no doubt.

Everything happens in time, no one is in a terrible terrifying hurry, you can keep fuming, it doesn't matter...such is life in Hyd:(

Mike said...

That massive Buddha statuette inside Sagar Hussain lake is awe inspiring. What a magnificent sight it is. I know only too well what you mean by it being a land mark to recognize address:)

Neeraj said...

I feel the same way about Kolkata... wish I had more time to explore it.

Anonymous said...

ITs lovely!!

Mee said...

@R Niranjan Das - ty:)

@Mel - Unique:)

@Ashish +++

Yes @Nisha:)

@Ajoy Vakil- always a conflict within me, too short or too long? long can become tiresome...so try to remain crisp:)

@Aijaz Ahmed Pitafi -LOL indeed, my mistake!! Those sweets from Pulla are an institution!:)

@Anil- Chettinand idlis? Sure- will do. Always thot that was Tamil cusine

@Shweta- nawabi are'nt they:)?

@Sheila- o yea!! everything is laid back, alsmot susegat-ish:)

@Mike- :)

@Neeraj- Between the 2 cities, I'd say thr is lots to explore in Kol:) Perhaps like u, I have a strange soft corner for this city!:)

@Nithya- many thx:)

love sms said...

hyderabad is a very nice place..it's a good post.and nice blog.and i am also from hyderabad..keep writing sir....

love sms

kiran said...
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