So I am here again to continue my Hyderabad trip. Since we had planned long weekend (Saturday – Monday ) for our Hyderabad which means we had 2.5 days to cover Hyderabad out of which Saturday (One full day ) we had dedicated at Ramoji film city. You can check my post on Ramoji film city http://www.ghumakkar.com/2012/09/21/welcome-to-dream-world-rangeen-sapnon-ki-duniya-ramoji-film-city/ . So on Friday we reached Hyderabad at 0800 hrs by Charminar Express (Train no. 12759) from Chennai and reached to our cousin’s place which was at Madhapur (near Hitech City and Banjara Hills) at around 0900 hrs.
Although it was not my first visit to Hyderabad, but still I was very excited. Prior to this I visited Hyderabad in the year 2002 for official training purpose, stayed at Kakatiya Sheraton for one day, visited just Charminar, Hussain sagar lake and Banjara Hill area. From Hyderabad we went to Bhadrachalam for our training. Many of us might not be aware that Bhadrachalam* is a place approximately 320 kms from Hyderabad and around 130 kms from district headquarter Khammam. This place is an important pilgrimage for Hindus and the presiding deity is Lord Ram.
As per Wikipedia “Presently it is the biggest kshetra of Sri Rama after Ayodhya. It is the 17th century Shri Ram temple perches on a small hillock, encircled by the holy river Godavari flowing towards southern direction”. It is a beautiful temple and if any one visiting this area must try to see this temple. Personally I liked this temple very much. That’s past but s memories are still fresh.
Before coming to Hyderabad I had done my homework on Hyderabad all thanks to Google. If you go through APTDC website it shows you around 63 sight seeing points at Hyderabad. So I was very much confused but sure on two points first was Golconda and second was Ramoji film city. We had taken help of our cousin to choose spots for us to visit in these 2 days. . Thus Friday’s point were Nehru Zoological park, Sudha Car Museum , Birla Temple, Hussain Sagar Lake and Golconda Fort. We started our visit at 1200 hrs and hired a cab as it was convenient as well as will help us in covering our planned points.
a.Nehru Zoological Park*
We had first reached Nehru Zoological Park at around 1245 Hrs.It is approximately 20 km from Madhapur and is located at Bahadurpura west next to Mir Alam tank in the South West corner of the city. The Nehru Zoological park ,also known as Hyderabad Zoo is one of the largest Zoo’s of India. It is spread over 380 acres of land and was established in the year 1963.The Zoo is home to more than 250 species of animals,birds and reptiles. The Zoo is closed on Mondays and remains open from Tuesday to Sunday all year round. The entry ticket for the Zoo is Rs 25/- for adults and Rs 15/- for children. However a detailed rate list for the entry is available on the website www.hyderabadzoo.in.
It is mentioned in the website that zoo facilities include train, boat and elephant rides, a cafeteria, a guest house and more. Unfortunately due to lack of time we didn’t get chance to see all these facilities. We had just used Zoo’s Battery powered vehicle. This vehicle takes you to the main attractions and lasts for 45 minutes. They had charged us Rs 200/- for this tour and we had happily accepted this. (Because we had a bad experience of walking and covering the vast Vandalur Zoo of Chennai and do not want to waste time in walking).
Overall the Zoo tour was very good. Kids and elders too had enjoyed the Zoo .What I remember the most is dancing bear and Giraffe. In a nutshell, do not miss this even if you have very little interest in Zoo. This finishes our Zoo trip at 1400 hrs and we then headed towards our next point i.e Sudha Car Museum.
b.Sudha Cars Museum* :
It is the first and only handmade Car’s Museum in the world. It is the brainchild of Mr K.Sudhakar, a Guiness World record holder for making the largest Tricycle in the World. It is located again at Bahadurpura, 2 min distance from the Zoo. The timing for this museum is 0930 hrs to 1830 hrs and is open all day. I am giving below the details of their achievement as mentioned in their website.
“Mr. Sudhakar had designed about 150 different types of cars, like ‘Go Karts’, Dune Buggies’, ‘Wacky Cars, like Brinjal Car, Camera Car, Cricket Ball Car, Shivling Car, Cup & Saucer Car, Helmet Car, Computer Car, Double Bed Car, Football Car, and the list goes on.
He had also designed early 20th century models of Cars & Buses, both single & Double Deckers. Presently the buses are being used for sight seeing in the city.
He has designed over 30 different designs of bicycles from single seater to multi seaters, the likes of which are ‘Penny Farthings’, ‘Tandems’, ‘Made For Each Other’, ‘Velo Cars’, ‘Recumbents’,’ Micro Cars’, ‘Lightfoots’, ‘Cycle Trains’, ‘Sociable’, etc. including the smallest bicycle in India, which is about 6 inches high.
Adding to his collection are 12 different types of motorcycles, the smallest being 13 inches high, which can travel at a speed of about 30kmph. The different designs of Mobikes include, ‘Three Wheeler Motorcycles’, ‘Easy Riders’, ‘Scramblers’ & ‘Go Pads’.
For a Social Cause Mr. Sudhakar made a Condom Bike in the shape of a condom to bring in awareness towards the deadly AIDS. The Condom bike has a built in player, which gives a brief history on condoms and AIDS awareness. Continuing to fight against the deadly AIDS, he is planning to start a Mini Condom Bike Race.
Cricket Ball Car was specially made to cheer the team India for 2003 World Cup with a tape briefing us on the cricket World Cup History and the Football Car was made to commemorate the 2006 FIFA Football World Cup held at Germany.
All these creations are made out of scrap and are workable. Sudhakar has given live demonstrations of these vehicles on the occasion of police traffic safety week celebrations at Tank Bund and Necklace Road at Hyderabad for five consecutive years.
Mr.Sudhakar has created a Guinness World Record for the Largest Tricycle in the World. The Tricycle is 41 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 3 tons with the wheel diameter of 17 feet. It is 37 feet 4 inches long. The Tricycle is powered by the Pedal, Chain Sprockets and Gears. It took him over 3 years to built this Giant.
The smallest double decker, which is at display at the museum, has recorded in the Limca Book of Records & with the GUINESS.”
The main and important thing of this museum is that all cars are in working condition and most of the parts used are from scraps. So if you are also amongst those car and art connoisseurs who love to see such wacky cars, then Sudha Car Museum is a must visit. The entry ticket in this museum is Rs 30/- for adult and Rs 15/- for children. And the good news is Camera is allowed inside the museum. We had finished seeing this museum in half an hour and came outside to proceed further.
At around 1445 hrs we reached Birla temple. The Birla temple is around 3 km from Hyderabad railway station and the nearest MMTS Station is Lakdi ka pul and Lakdi ka pul is also the bus stop.The timings for Birla temple is 0700 hrs to 1200 hrs and 1400 hrs to 2100 hrs. This Birla temple manifests a blend of South Indian , Rajasthani and Utkala temple architectures. In its entirety, it is made of 2000 tons of pure Rajasthan white marble.The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Venkateswara (Balaji ) and this 11 ft idol is very beautiful and is made up of granite. For temple entry, first we have to keep all our bag, cell phone etc in a locker room. Photography is not allowed in this temple. It was very hot weather and we faced difficulty in climbing this temple as the steps were very hot. In between while you are climbing there are many other small temples of Ganpati, Sai baba etc. But once you reach on the top and do darshan you will forget all the tiredness or hot weather as the idol is so beautiful and you would love to stand and stare at the Lord Venkateswara. By the way we didn’t find too much crowd and it was easy darshan for us.This finishes our darshan and at around 1530 hrs we reached at Eat street on Necklace road, Hussainsagar lake.
d.Hussain Sagar Lake and Eat Street*
It is a food court half open, half covered overlooking Hussain Sagar lake. Good place to sit especially in the evening if not too crowded. It has many food stalls of variety of foods like Pizza, Chhole bhature, ice cream, Frankie etc etc. Good place to sit and hang out. We reached Eat Street at around 1545 hrs and were almost drained. No energy left in us and were hungry also. We somehow decided to stop at this point and not to move further as we were very tired. We just picked up some pizza,garlic bread and Frankies. Sat and relaxed there for almost half an hour. We were also looking at the Buddha Statue which was right there in the middle of Hussain Sagar lake.Then decided not to leave Golconda, we must see it. As you never know when we can visit Hyderabad again.So we moved further to our next point Golconda Fort.
We reached Golconda at 1645 hrs and came to know that tickets for Golconda can be purchased upto 1700 hrs only. Oh God…Thanks…We reached 15 minutes before. Great timing. All of us were very tired and were feeling so thirsty due to hot weather. There we saw Sugarcane juice person and each of us have actually drunk 2.5 glass of sugarcane juice. It was so fresh and tasty! So we entered inside the Golconda fort and our timing was just perfect. The weather was getting pleasant by this time. The timings for Golconda Fort are 0930 hrs to 1730 hrs (tickets can be purchased upto 1700 hrs) and it remains closed on Monday.For Light and Sound show the timings are 1900 hrs to 2000hrs in summer and 1800 hrs to 1900 hrs in winter. The entry fee is Rs 5/- for Indian and Rs 100/- for International visitors and for Light and sound show Rs 50/- extra. You have to pay extra for video. The Golconda Fort as I read in one of the website is “ The Golconda Fort is impressive all the way: it stands, magnificent and majestic, atop a 120 mt high granite hill.The crowning glory (quite literally) of the Fort is, however, the Durbar Hall,which stands atop a hill overlooking the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It’s approached by a thousand-step stairway, and if you can summon up the energy to accomplish the climb, you will be rewarded with a great view of the cities below.”
It is actually true; if you have energy to climb 1000 steps then you will be rewarded with great view. So as per my view if you are visiting Golconda you must see following:
– Balahisar Gate, famous for its acoustics. It says (we didn’t check) if we clap at this gate, supposedly even this can be heard at the Durbar Hall which stands at the summit of the hill.
– Hill top Durbar Hall (if you have energy to reach there), you will get spectacular view of city.
– Light and Sound Show
The positives of Golconda Fort are Good Architecture, Good Acoustics and a spectacular view from Hilltop.
The negatives are :
– No food or water arrangements as you climb up, so carry your stuff.
– No toilet facility inside the fort after 0530 hrs as they lock the toilets, unless untill if you are waiting to see light and sound show, then there is toilet inside that show area.
– No dustbins
So my advice to all the visitors:
– If you are going to see this fort in summer , its better you start climbing the fort by 1600 hrs so that by the time you reach on top, the temperature drops down a bit. Also you do not have to wait a lot for Light and sound show.
– – The 55 minutes long show is presented in three languages namely Hindi (Tuesday, Friday & Saturday), English (Wednesday & Sunday) and Telugu (Thursday), Monday being a holiday. So plan as per your language preferences.
– If you are really interested to see the old architecture and fort, then only climb. Else just check the fort base and light & sound show.
We were very tired after we reached down and wanted to see light and sound show but our tired bodies was not allowing us to wait as fatigue had set in , so we missed that show and returned back.
This finishes our Combo tour at Hyderabad and we landed at “Paradise” , a leading restaurant at Hyderabad famous for its Biryani….(We are Veg though so our cousins had a feast while we had to satiate ourself with some good veg stuff.)
I will come back again to share my last day experience at Hyderabad….Nawabi Nagari
PS: * Most of the details mentioned in the description above are taken from the websites for the ease of the prospective visitors