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Hyderabad, the capital of Andra Pradesh, combines Hindu and Islamic culture with Secunderabad, its twin city to the north. A city of contradictions, India's contrasting first and third worlds sit incongruously side by side in this buzzing metropolis. Modern shopping centers and soaring glass towers overlook centuries-old Islamic monuments. Hyderabad has embraced India's technological leap forward with fervor creating a hi-tech city to power the dot.com industry, but most of its population remains poverty stricken. South of the river, the Charminar, built in the 16th century, is the city's main landmark. Its four columns are 184 feet high ...

Hyderabad, the capital of Andra Pradesh, combines Hindu and Islamic culture with Secunderabad, its twin city to the north. A city of contradictions, India's contrasting first and third worlds sit incongruously side by side in this buzzing metropolis. Modern shopping centers and soaring glass towers overlook centuries-old Islamic monuments. Hyderabad has embraced India's technological leap forward with fervor creating a hi-tech city to power the dot.com industry, but most of its population remains poverty stricken. South of the river, the Charminar, built in the 16th century, is the city's main landmark. Its four columns are 184 feet high with minarets perched on top of each one. Laad Bazaar is the heartbeat of the city - a place where the colored powders of dye merchants sit alongside lime-green betel leaves and book stalls selling exam papers. An intriguing time to be in Hyderabad is June/July when the Mrigasira, marking the beginning of the monsoon, is celebrated. Asthma sufferers flock here from all over India to receive medical treatment involving the swallowing of live fish.

Alan Murphy
About the Expert

Alan Murphy is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Britain, Scotland, India and North India. He has been writing and updating travel guidebooks for the past 12 years.

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Alan Murphy for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Hyderabad is the capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in northwestern India.
  • Language: Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayala
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Cool season, October to February