Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
In my way by train from Kerala to Kolkata, where I was heading to arrange my visa to Bhutan, I resolved to make one day stop in Hyderabad to explore the city.
I arrived at the railway station very early in the morning. I had a shower in the station premises for a few rupees and then went out to the street, when I noticed a group of about forty persons waiting to get up to a bus where it was written “Hyderabad Excursion”.
I asked for the price and I was told that it was cheaper than trying to visit the city by myself.
I finished up buying theticket and boarded the bus.
All the customers were Indians; I was the only foreigner. But being the Indians from different parts of the country and not everybody could understand Hindi, the guide would give us the explanations in English, which was perfect for me.
During four hours the driver took us to see palaces, mosques (like the impressive Makkah Masjid), Hindu temples, beautiful gardens… but the most impressive of all the tourist attractions was Charminar, a lovely and beautifully designed monument.
The name Charminar, means Four Towers, and is the most distinctive symbol of Hyderabad, a city with seven million inhabitants, which represents the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh.
In fact, the towers were minarets. In the night, when illuminated, Charminar was more impressive than during the day.
Of course, as all the guides do, ours also brought us to shops offering souvenirs where he would get commission on the purchases. But I did not buy anything; I was not interested in typical Indian dolls, perfumes, postcards, or reproductions of the Charminar.
After the excursion I had some food and entered a typical restaurant where I ordered Hyderabad Biryani (Basmati rice plus goat meat), some chapattis, a glass of lassi and one chai.
I spent that night sleeping for free in the waiting rooms of the railway station.
The next day I resumed my journey by train to Kolkata.
Date posted: July 2013
Have you been to The Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Charminar? Share your experiences!