10 to 12 October 2009
So, after a week in Mumbai and a very last-minute change to our holiday arrangements on Saturday we flew to Hyderabad. The city was always on our itinerary, but the part preceding it had to be scrapped due to flash floods so instead of spending 5 days getting here by road and train we were here in a relative jiffy. I came to Hyderabad last September but as it was for a trade show I didn’t really get to see much of the city so was happy to come back and for Mark, it’s his first time. Situated slap-bang in the middle of the country, the city now competing strongly with Bangalore for the accolade of India’s IT capital – until a few years ago Hyderabad and Secunderabad were two adjacent cities merged into one but there is a third – Cyberabad!

Hyderabad doesn’t get many tourists but I don’t know why as it’s a really interesting place with contrasting old and new parts. As you would expect, the old parts are more interesting and on our first afternoon we visited the landmark Charminar – a turreted gateways in the centre of the old city – and after a view of the area from the top we headed into the narrow alleyways of the Laad Bazaar. As you find in many parts of Asia, there are different streets selling different things. I have never really got this as although it’s great for the consumer you would have thought you stood more chance of selling your shoes, silverware, flowers, water pumps (yes, there is a ‘water pump street’), if you avoided setting up shops next to a whole load of other ones? The first street we went down was definitely the prettiest one: ‘Bangle Street’ where shop after shops sells brightly coloured sparkling bangles varying in price from around 30 pence for an entire armful of the cheapest ones to hundreds of pounds for one genuine gem-encrusted one. This part of the city is predominantly Muslim and the street was packed with women clad in black full burkha’s excitedly making their purchases. Seems a bit strange when they aren’t allowed to display it in public but walking past them, many jangled with hidden jewellery.

One of other “must see’s” is the Golconda Fort and we set off early in the morning to beat the crowds and the heat. It’s an impressive fort spread over a large area and from there we headed to the tombs of Qutb Shahi kings – amazing structures almost like loads of little Taj Mahal’s all in the same grounds. OK, not as fancy but a pretty impressive place to be buried. The photo’s will give an idea, better than I have the time to describe in words at the moment. I’ve also re-posted the Mumbai pics as they didn’t appear to download correctly last time.

And as for the biriyani … well, Mark did give in to a couple of Imodium in the end and despite saying he wasn’t going to touch the delicious mixture of moist rice, tender meat and spicy sauce that Hyderabad is famous for … we stuffed our faces on a huge lunch which saw us through to breakfast the next day.

Golconda Fort, HyderabadGolconda Fort, Hyderabad

Laad Bazaar, HyderabadLaad Bazaar, Hyderabad

Laad Bazaar, HyderabadLaad Bazaar, Hyderabad

Laad Bazaar, HyderabadLaad Bazaar, Hyderabad

Tombs of Qutb Shahi Kings, HyderabadTombs of Qutb Shahi Kings, Hyderabad

Tombs of Qutb Shahi Kings, HyderabadTombs of Qutb Shahi Kings, Hyderabad

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