Emerging from the great arches of the Charminar, Laad Bazaar, or the Street of Love, is known for its famous bangles market, which flanks the monuments westwards. The whole bazaar is full of cheerful colours, glitter, and sheen.
The city of Secunderabad came into existence in 1798, when the then Nizam of Hyderabad, Sikander Jah, signed a subsidiary alliance with the East India Company. The area North of what is now Husain Sagar Lake was established as a cantonment and called Secunderabad after him.
The walled city of Hyderabad sports at its heart the 56-metre high Charminar. Literally meaning four towers, the triumphal arch was constructed by Quli Qutub Shah, the 5th Sultan of Golconda, to commemorate the end of a plague in Hyderabad. Popular belief, however, would have it that the structure was erected as a memorial to his Quli Qutub Shah's wife, Bhagmati.
One of the most magnificent fort complexes in India, the Golconda Fort is built on a granite hill 120 metres high and is surrounded by crenellated ramparts constructed of large masonry rocks. The fort is famous for its remarkable acoustics - sound of hands clapping in the Grand Portico can be heard in the Durbar hall at the top of the hill.
Just 5 km from the Charminar atop a 200-ft hillock lies the Faluknama Palace, built by Nawab Vikar-Ul-Ulmara, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad, as a guesthouse for visitors. The architecture of the palace is heavily influenced by a variety of styles - Louis XIV-style d?cor co-exists with a lavish Mughal ambience, Italian marble staircases and ornate fountains. The palace library had one of the finest collections of the holy Quran in India.
Just a stone's throw from Golconda's Balasihar Gate, these graceful domed tombs are surrounded by landscaped gardens and many of them have beautifully carved stonework.
Just north of the Hyderabad railway station lies the Archeological Museum, which boasts of copies of paintings from the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra. The gardens in which the museum is located also have an aquarium in the Jawahar Bal Bhavan.
An Indian version of the Albert Museum in London, Salar Jung Museum is the third largest museum in India. The artefacts, painstakingly collected by Mir Yusaf Ali Khan, (Salar Jung III), the Prime Minister of the Nizam of Hyderabad, are kept in 36 huge halls. It contains over 35,000 exhibits as varied as Persian carpets, wood carvings, miniatures, armoury, and clothing. The Jade Room has swords, daggers, and clothing of Mughal emperors and Tipu Sultan.
These are to be found at Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills, Hyderabad and the Mahendra Hills, Secunderabad. Interesting rock formations are also located beyong Kukatpally, near Lingampally, off the railway track to Mumbai. All of these spots can be accessed by road.