Hyderabad Cultural Tour, Hyderabad (Self Guided)

Hyderabad is the city of contrasts. There are many cultural sites and places of interest to explore here, including NTR Memorial, State Archeology Museum, Public Gardens and many religious sites, such as Birla Mandir (Hindu temple), St Joseph's (Roman Catholic) Cathedral and more.
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Hyderabad Cultural Tour Map

Guide Name: Hyderabad Cultural Tour
Guide Location: India » Hyderabad (See other walking tours in Hyderabad)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Author: Xena
1
NTR Memorial

1) NTR Memorial (must see)

NTR Gardens is a small public, urban park adjacent to Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad, India. Constructed in several phases since 1999, the area that is predominantly a park is geographically located in the centre of the city, and is close to other tourist attractions such as Birla Mandir, Necklace Road and Lumbini Park. It maintained by the Buddha Purnima Project Authority that functions under the directives of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

In 1999 this land was utilized for erecting a memorial for N. T. Rama Rao, the former Chief Minister of Andhra PradeshIt, inaugarated by Chandrababu Naidu. It was planned to further expand this area, which has since been referred to as NTR Gardens, by constructing a museum about N. T. Rama Rao. This memorial was a part of the Buddha Purnima Project that was being handled by Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for the beautification and development of the Hussain Sagar lake and its surroundings as a major tourist attraction.

In 2000, the Government of Andhra Pradesh expressed its plans to develop this area with several projects such the NTR Gardens itself, a rock garden and an IMAX theatre. Few days later, a government official firstly said that the rock garden will be taken up by Dubai-based NRIs at a cost of Rs. 27 crores. Secondly the IMAX theatre project, which was said to cost Rs. 52 crore was allotted to a private firm. Both these projects were to be executed in the same 55-acre (220,000 square meters) plot which housed the memorial.

Besides a variety of plants, the gardens also house a souvenir complex, a visitors train, restaurants and a waterfall.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Birla Mandir

2) Birla Mandir (must see)

Birla Mandir is a Hindu temple, built on a 280 feet (85 m) high hillock called Naubath Pahad on a 13 acres (53,000 square meters) plot. The construction took 10 years and was consecrated in 1976 by Swami Ranganathananda of Ramakrishna Mission. The temple was constructed by Birla Foundation, which has also constructed several similar temples across India, all of which are known as Birla Mandir.

The temple manifests a blend of Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala architectures. It is constructed of 2000 tons of pure white marble. The granite idol of presiding deity Lord Venkateswara is about 11 ft (3.4 m) tall and a carved lotus forms an umbrella on the top. There is a brass flagstaff in the temple premises which rises to a height of 42 ft (13 m). The temple does not have traditional bells, as Swami Ranganathananda wished that the temple atmosphere should be conducive for meditation.

Apart from the main shrine, the consorts of Lord Venkateswara, Padmavati and Andal are housed in separate shrines. The temple also has separate shrines for various Hindu gods and goddess including Shiva, Shakti, Ganesh, Hanuman, Brahma, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Saibaba. Selected teachings of holy men and Gurbani are engraved on temple walls. Birla temples are open to all, as identified by Mahatma Gandhi and other Hindu leaders.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Birla Science Museum

3) Birla Science Museum (must see)

B. M. Birla Science Museum is an Indian science museum located in Hyderabad. Constructed by civil engineer Mr. P. A. Singaravelu, it comprises a planetarium, museum, science center, art gallery as well as a dinosaurium. The museum itself was the second phase of the science center when it opened in 1990.

The Birla Planetarium is a wing of the Science Center. The planetarium was inaugurated by Mr. N.T. Rama Rao, on 8 September 1985 and is one of three Birla Planetariums in the India. The others are the M.P. Birla Planetarium in Kolkata and B.M. Birla Planetarium in Chennai.

The Dinosaurium is the newest addition to the planetarium and science center and opened in 2000. Its exhibits include a 160-million-year-old mounted Kotasaurus Yamanpalliensis, excavated at Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh and presented to the Science Museum by the Geological Survey of India. The Dinosaurium also has a collection of smaller fossils of dinosaur eggs, marine shells and fossilised tree trunks.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
AP State Archaeology Museum

4) AP State Archaeology Museum

AP State Archeology Museum or Hyderabad Museum is a museum located in Hyderabad. It is the oldest museum in Hyderabad state. Archeologist Henry Cousens first explored the site in the beginning of the 19th century, and around 1940 the mound was excavated under the supervision of Nizam of Hyderabad. The excavated items were place in a museum built on the ancient site. In 1952, the museum's contents were moved to the current build, under the administrative control of Archaeological Survey of India.

In 1930, the State Museum was installed inside a palace constructed in 1864, within the Public Gardens, Nampally. The Nizam had built the palace for one of his daughters, and it was called the "Doll's House". However, due to a superstition, the daughter did not occupy the palace. In 1930, Nizam VII Mir Osman Ail Khan, wanted to preserve the Hyderabad's state's heritage, had named the museum as Hyderabad Museum.

It was named as Andhra Pradesh State Archeology Museum in 1960. It is the only museum in the country with reproductions of the Ajanta paintings. Its manuscript section includes a copy of the Quran bearing the seal of Emperor Shah Jahan.

This museum's main attraction is its Egyptian mummy, which was brought to Hyderabad by the son-in-law of VI Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan, and donated it to the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan. He reportedly brought it for a paltry sum of 1000 pounds. There is a huge gallery on Buddha dating back to last century. The museum has wide variety of archaeological artifacts from the Nizam, Kakatiya dynasty.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Public Gardens

5) Public Gardens

Public Gardens also known as Bagh-e-Aam is a historic park located in the heart of the city of Hyderabad, India. It was built in 1846 by Osman Ali Khan, the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad and is the oldest park in Hyderabad In Urdu "Bagh" means Garden and Aam or Aam Jana means the public. Earlier during the Nizam regime, it was called as "Bagham". Later it called as Public Garden. Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, well known open air theater "Lalitha Kala Toranam", "Jawahar Bal Bhavan", the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Legislative council buildings are located here. Even today people use this as a recreation park.

Public Gardens is home to some major landmarks in Hyderabad like the AP Legislative Assembly, Jubilee Hall, AP State Archaeology Museum, Indira Priyadarshini Auditorium, Asif Tennis Club, Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, Lalita Kala Thoranam, Jawahar Bal Bhavan, an old mosque are located inside this park.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
St Joseph's Cathedral

6) St Joseph's Cathedral (must see)

St Joseph's Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Hyderabad. It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad and one of the most beautiful churches of Hyderabad and Secunderabad cities of Andhra Pradesh, India. Established in 1820, the construction of the present structure began in 1869 when Fr. Antonio Tagliabue PIME, bought an extensive plot of land near Chaderghat, in what is presently called Gunfoundry to build a school, a church and a convent. Pietro Caprotti (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions), laid its foundation on 18 March 1870, the eve of the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Fr. Luigi Malberti (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions), took charge in 1872 and completed the main building.

The façade and the bell towers were completed in 1891. The huge bells, imported from Italy, were installed in 1892 AD. The bells are tuned in such a fashion that many hymns can be played on different themes. The centre hall is very big and hence it can accommodate about 500 people at a time for prayers. In the main alcove inside the church, there is an imitation of the famous Pietà by Michelangelo.

Extensive renovation work was performed on the roof and interior of the structure between 2004 and 2008, making it necessary at one point for Mass to be held in the newly constructed multipurpose hall on the cathedral grounds. A beautiful 6-foot-high (1.8 m) granite wainscot has been added to the cathedral sanctuary walls and column bases, and new granite flooring has been added throughout, as well as a new roof, new lighting and electrical fixtures. Much of the artwork, including the beautifully carved marble side altars and marble statues of Mary and St Anthony, an antique European oil painting of the Blessed Mother and Christ Child which was gifted to the cathedral by one of the Nizams, an antique set of the Stations of the Cross in high bas-relief made by European craftsmen, and various other statues, were cleaned and restored at this time.

In December 2007, the cathedral was re-opened for the celebration of Holy Mass during the Christmas celebrations. Extensive construction on the grounds, including the grand entrance stairway from the street to the cathedral, and a large terrace with a multipurpose hall below, was begun in 2001 under the administration of then parish priest, Rev. Fr. T. Lourdu.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
St. George's Church

7) St. George's Church

St. George's Church is the oldest church in the city of Hyderabad. It was built in 1844. The church was originally an Anglican church but is now under the auspices of the Church of South India.

The power struggle in the Nizam's State involved both the British and the French and both sides continued to struggle until in 1758, the French forces were recalled to Pondicherry to take part in the attack on Madras. In 1779 a British Resident was installed at the court of the Nizam. Eleven years later under the terms of a fresh treaty, two battalions of Sepoys under British officers were supplied to the Nizam who was responsible for their salaries. A separate clause stipulated that these men were not to be used against the allies of the Company. So gradually the British became a force to be reckoned with not only in military terms but also financially.

Through this period numerous families made their mark in Hyderabad Civil and Military Service under the Nizam's Government and their influence not only helped shape the city but also the church, which in this case was firstly Christ Church and then St. George's. It is pertinent that some recognition is given to these families by briefly mentioning them and their achievements in Hyderabad. The increase of families settling and growing in Hyderabad necessitated the need for a Church. It was then through the good grace of Nizam that this was made possible.

About 1836 under a Firman-e-Mubarak the Community through the good offices of the Resident obtained a piece of land from the Nizam with permission to build a Church. Thus a small Church the present Boys' School, was erected in 1844 and built by the congregation. It was known as Christ Church. Rev Frank Penny in his book on the Churches that were constructed in South India says the Chaderghat folk are very proud of their Church.

The foundation stone was laid in February 1844 and the building complete and opened for Divine Service on 19 September 1844.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Hyderabad, India

Create Your Own Walk in Hyderabad

Create Your Own Walk in Hyderabad

Creating your own self-guided walk in Hyderabad is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Hyderabad Old Town Tour

Hyderabad Old Town Tour

The capital and the largest city of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad is particularly renowned for its Old Town part, rich in attractions, such as Chowmahalla Palace, Nizam Museum and several ancient mosques, some of which date back to the 16th century. Take this self-guided tour to explore these and other prominent landmarks of Hyderabad's Old Town.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Hyderabad for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Hyderabad has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Hyderabad, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.