April 29, 2010

Weekend outing- Hyderabad

This post is coming a couple of weeks late due to paucity of time. And yes, you can go ahead and call me crazy to visit such a hot place in this summer. I badly needed to get away somewhere during the weekend. Considering the blistering heat everywhere, visiting some place for its natural beauty was completely ruled out. So, out of all places on the map, we circled Hyderabad and prepared to go there.
As with all trips, this one also involved extensive planning- where to go, where to eat and shop. Print outs of maps and directions were taken, places to visit were made note of, lists were drawn out for shopping- bangles, clothes, sweets for everyone back here.
Three of us set out from Bangalore by the Yeswanthpur-Kacheguda express on a friday and reached Hyderabad the next day early morning. The first thing that hit me when i stepped out was the hot wind. Despite being early morning, i could feel the heat! People would laugh and say that its because i have gotten very accustomed to the AC, but you should go to Hyderabad and you will know why i am complaining.
Since i had two close friends from PU college staying in Hyderabad, accommodation was not a problem. By about 9.30, all five of us were ready to hit the road for sight seeing.
Breakfast was at this place called Shanbag's in Panjagutta. We stuck to south indian food. I did want to try the famous pesarettu but checked myself cause i was not sure if i could stomach it.
First on our itinerary was the Salar jung museum. Took about two hours to have a quick look at the place. All of us made it in time for the famed clock to chime. But the kind of excitement it generated when i was a kid was not there this time around. It was just about any other clock ringing for me! But i could appreciate the textile designs, artifacts and paintings a lot better. Once we were done marveling at the items on display, we promptly set out for lunch. Lunch was at Kamat. A very simple yet fulfilling thali affair. The ambiance was pleasant, minimalistic and clean, nothing OTT.

Since we rented an air conditioned cab for our tour on both days, we did not feel the heat too much while travelling. At 800 bucks for 8 hours, it is the best option in a hot city like Hyderabad. But we have gulped down endless bottles of water and minute maid lemon during our journey. You can feel the body getting dehydrated when you roam, just like that glucon D ad.
Next up was the Chowmahalla palace. As the name suggests, it comprises 4 palaces. It is privately maintained and has relics and mementos from the times of the Nizam. There is the display of their clothes, furniture, crockery and wine collection. Basically, it gives you a glimpse of their royal lifestyle. The memories from there lives and times are captured in paintings and photographs. One particular queen had a striking resemblance to Madhubala and bore the brunt of the collective envy of all of us girls. Photography was prohibited inside. The entrance, the exteriors and their vintage car collection were the only places that could be photographed.

Charminar is about a kilometer from Chowmahalla. We made it to the top of Charminar just before the closing time. A stroll through the first floor and view from different points of the famous monument was all we could get. Golconda was hazily visible in a distance. The actual hustle-bustle of the old city of Hyderabad can be experienced at this place. You'll be blown away by the number of people flocking the bazaars and the autos that are present in the place. I thrive in crowded areas when on a trip. So i had a blast. The sheer energy that people display when they shop is amazing!

It is really sad that people have spoiled the monument by making those omnipresent X loves Y (inside a heart). There are also the marks from spitting pan. When asked whether the govt will undertake any restoration effort, the guide told us that they would want to preserve the place as a heritage site and would not take it up as of now. I seriously hope they do something about it!
A visit to Charminar is always incomplete without shopping at the chudi bazaar. Bangles of all sizes, colors and materials are available here. Whether you want simple, decent bangles or the really JHAANG, col-color ones, you can find them all here. You need at least half a day to go through all the stalls here and pick up stuff of your choice. Shortage of time ensured that we wrapped it up in 2 hours. But we made sure to get back with a load of bangles for us and friends.

Dinner was at khao galli or eat street on the banks of hussain sagar lake, along necklace road. Food is just about average and overpriced at the various stalls. But you can pay that price for the view and the atmosphere. It is crowded, there is music blasting from the speakers and on the spot contests being conducted.

As if we had not had enough to eat, we paid a visit to Karachi Bakery and bought biscuits for 900 bucks! Just as you approach the bakery, the smell of freshly baked stuff wafts around. Eat the biscuits from there and you know why there are people thronging the place everyday and why nobody buys just one box of those biscuits.

We put a end to a long eventful day with a late night ice cream at Cream Stone Ice cream parlor at Jubilee Hills. It was around 12 in the night when we got back and the moment i hit the bed, i was fast asleep!

Next day morning was busy with calculations of the money spent and who owed how much money to whom. Once we were ready, we had breakfast at Methi's. A buffet spread there had Idlis, vadas, oothappam, sandwich, fruit salad and really cool watermelon juice. At 79 a plate, it was a steal!

The rest of the day was spent on shopping- pearls, clothes, clothes and more clothes. Lunch was at Malgudi in Banjara Hills. By the time i got back in the evening, i was set back by almost 4K!! As if that was not enough, one more pit stop at the famous Pulla Reddy sweets was also on the list. Got the agra petha, soan halwa and the famed paper sweet from there. Then it was a daunting challenge to fit all the newly acquired stuff into the bags that we had. We were already late for the 7.20 train and had to literally run to make it to the station with time to spare.

Overall, it was a fun trip. Weeks of planning went into making sure that we covered all the places that we wanted to in those two days. One grouse is that most of the shopping places did not open until 12 on sunday. Left us with very little time to shop. But still, shop we did ;). As i sat there in the station, surrounded by friends, i was sure i would have had this kind of fun anywhere else also. It is the company that matters the most!
It was back to work on Monday. Again the same drill. So until the next trip, I'll slog it out at work ;).


  1. Hehehe..I must say, I really enjoy reading your posts.Frame by frame account of your trip gives me a fair idea on the "magnitude" of enjoyment you guys had. Nice..:)

    So, when am I getting the sweets & 900 something biscuits?:P

  2. Thanks! And the biscuits are already over :P Like i said, i posted this really late. The last box got over last week. :)

  3. Really nice post.. :) Gives the glimpse of whole Hyderabad..

  4. It was reminiscence for me...
    u shld hv elaborated on how pathetically the shops in hyd dont open even at 3pm on Sundays...

  5. its as good as a revisit to hyd for ppl who have been der b4.... i liked it ...

    @ bharat : I agree wid u ...
    @ aparna : d best part of many of ur articles is u capture very minute details of wat v do daily but ignore it or never tend to realize it ...

  6. @Mahipathi

    There is so much more to Hyderabad than what i have mentioned- Golconda, Ramoji film city, Birla Mandir, extremely wide and well maintained roads in the new city, horrible driving, open drains and so on. Must visit place!

    We should have gone for shopping on saturday itself!

    Thanks! I do try to fit in as many details as possible without boring everyone :P

  7. Beautifully captured pics women!!!! firstly..
    Hmmm it just shows how properly planned trips can be fun and less tasking,.. In short u gave glimpse of the entire Nizam city.. Good one...

  8. but i dint get any sweets or biscuits ;(

  9. @Prathap

    Well, you were sitting somewhere in Europe. And the sweets/ biscuits are not non-perishable like chocolates! ;)

  10. hi..when you say 4000 dollars do you mean rupees? anyway i loved reading this, im hoping to visit hyd in a few months! =)

  11. Hi

    Of course i meant rupees. And it was only for shopping, travel and food. Stay might cost you extra. Hope you get to visit and have a nice trip.

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