Place directions here

Government Nizamia General Hospital

Hyderabad

It is often ignored as tourists mill about in the shadow of the Charminar, but this structure — built by the last Nizam of Hyderabad State, Osman Ali Khan in 1938 — is a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, a style developed by British architects who brought together Muslim designs and Indian materials. You can see it in the mixing and matching of Hindu, Muslim and even Gothic, all coming together in the form of domes and arches, minarets and spires. Interestingly, Government Unani Hospital (as it is popularly known) is famous for its research in the Unani system of medicine that has been used to treat everything from neurological disorders and diabetic ulcers to obesity, skin diseases and asthma. It treats approximately 1,500 outpatients a day. Now you know.

 

Charminar

Hyderabad

This, one of India's most recognized structures, has been compelling people to look up in awe since 1591. It makes sense, therefore, for us to start here. Chances are you've seen it a million times before, but indulge us nonetheless. Look at it from another perspective. Consider how it was meant to be the pivot around which the city of Hyderabad was to revolve. Imagine what it must have first looked like, standing at the intersection of two historical trade routes. Think of what it must have looked like from the inside, back in the day, when Hyderabad's aristocrats alone walked the streets outside. And consider the possibility of a hidden tunnel from here to the Golkonda Fort, supposedly built for the Qutb Shahi rulers as an escape route in the event of a siege. It really is a magical place, isn't it?

 

Sardar Mahal

Hyderabad

It must have been something in its prime. That's the thought that usually creeps into most minds as they walk past what was once the home of the sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan’s wife. Her name was Sardari Begum (hence the building's name) and it was built by her husband in 1900. For reasons known only to herself though, the lady didn't like what she saw and decided not to stay here after all. If you're wondering about who resides here today, it currently hosts employees of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, which took over the place in 1965 in lieu of outstanding property taxes. Sardar Mahal has since been declared a heritage building and may soon be converted into a museum if all goes well. We think this is a good thing.

 

Mir Alam Mandi

Hyderabad

A 'kaman' is a gateway. This is why we walk under what locals call the Mir Alam Mandi Kaman before reaching the oldest market in Hyderabad. It's not a great gateway, considering little appears to have been done to preserve it, but still retains a sense of how majestic it must have looked when its tall wooden doors were first thrown open in 1804. As for the market, it continues to facilitate the buying and selling of everything from groceries to textiles, much as it has for centuries. It fits into a larger, old-fashioned corner of Hyderabad called Yakutpura — a Persian word for blue sapphire, or 'yakut', and an indicator of how gorgeous the place must have been when the Nizams named it thus. Today, all that remains is a sense of wistfulness in the eyes of old residents as they ignore the chaotic present and think of a forgotten, glorious past.

 

Purani Haveli

Hyderabad

Another home for kings. The Nizams certainly knew how to live in style, didn't they? This gorgeous mansion was once home to the sixth Nizam, Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah III (1803–1829). It was made to resemble an 18th Century European palace, which makes life interesting for students at the training institute currently housed here. There are two particularly fabulous things about this mansion. The first is the wardrobe — the world's longest — built across two floors and accessible via a hand-cranked wooden elevator. The second is the Nizam's museum, which houses all kinds of treasures that were presented to the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. They were given to him in 1927, when he celebrated 25 years of ruling the state. If you want a sense of how powerful, rich and diverse Hyderabad once was, a peek at this collection should help. Enjoy your visit.

 

Salar Jung Museum

Hyderabad

Copies of the Quran written in gold and silver, religious texts from around the world, a sword that once belonged to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, jade-encrusted daggers that once belonged to the emperors Jehangir and Shah Jehan, paintings made by the legendary Raja Ravi Varma, Tipu Sultan’s wardrobe, furniture from around the world, pieces of art dating back to the 1st Century, over 40,000 artefacts and 50,000 rare books — that's just a fraction of what you can expect to see inside. The collection was put together by Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III, former Prime Minister to the seventh Nizam, over a period of 35 years. Apparently, there was more of it when the collection was stored at his residence, but some of the treasures were lost or stolen before it was moved to this museum. You can tell it was a passion that consumed the minister completely, and we are selfishly glad it did.