Grand dynasties have stamped the land with many great marvels of historical architecture as marks of their rule on this land. A vibrant culture woven in with the rich historical heritage and picture perfect landscapes places for nature lovers, the land has something for everyone.
The youngest of the Indian states, “Telangana” derives its name from the word Trilinga Desa (Land of three lingas), owing to the three ancient Shiva Temples at Kaleshwaram, Srisailam, and Draksharamam that form an integral part of the state’s cultural and religious heritage.
Telangana, in its 114,840 square kilometres of geographical area, hoards a multitude of places which are astonishingly beautiful in every sense of the word. From naturally serene to culturally rich and from architecturally abundant to adventure worthy, Telangana has everything on its platter.
The city of the Nizams and having had the distinction of being one of the richest princely state, Hyderabad has retained much of its earlier charm. The city entices with its old rustic culture, a rather endearing dialect, rich pearls and an equally lavish culinary tradition. The city is synonymous with Hyderabadi Biryani, which, today, features on menus across the world. It also houses the flourishing to ‘Telugu Film Industry ‘or ‘Tollywood’ and is less than 50 km from the famous Ramoji Film City, in the Rangareddy district. Charminar, Golconda Fort, Salarjung Museum, and Qutub Shahi Tombs are the pillars of the city’s historical legacy. Other tourist attractions here are Jagannath Temple, Mecca Masjid, Lumbini Park, and Nehru Zoological Park. However not be missed are the city’s renowned food joints and bustling bazars.
Hyderabad’s most iconic structure, Charminar has become synonymous with the city’s identity. The charming monument and mosque were built in 1591 CE, by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shahi, the fifth sultan of the Qutub Shahi dynasty to commemorate the end of a deadly plague menace. A global icon, the Charminar is listed among the most recognised structures of India.
Strategically located on a granite hill, not only is it one of the most famous and the biggest fortress in the Deccan plateau, Golkonda Fort is among the most magnificent fort complexes on the Indian Subcontinent. The fort was first ruled by the Kakatiya’s in the 13th century and later by Qutub Shahi kings, in the 16th and 17th centuries.
QUTUB SHAHI TOMBS
The Qutub Shahi Tombs are impressive architectural wonders that reflect the glorious traditions that prospered under the Golconda kings who are buried there. Considered to be among the oldest historical monuments of Hyderabad, these magnificent structures have defied time to conserve a wonderful legacy of the region’s history.
Housing the largest one-man collection of antiques in the world, the Salar Jung Museum is one of the three National Museums in India. Showcasing a selection of artefacts dating as far back as the first century, the museum has been compared to the best in the world. The dynamic collection includes India’s most important treasures and an impressive range from around the world.
Once called Oruguallu due to the existence of a huge hillock seemed to have been carved out entirely off one stone, Warangal is one of the most important and beautiful spots in Telangana. The architectural beauty as well as the historical and religious significance of the Warangal Fort, Thousand Pillar Temple (dedicated to lord Shiva), and Ramappa Temple attract numerous tourists. Not to be missed is the natural beauty of the Pakhal Lake, Eturunagaram Sanctuary, and Ramappa Lake, which has a distinct appeal.
THE CHARMING BAZARS
Shopping in the bazar-rich Hyderabad is a singular experience. The various bazars have their distinct personalities and specialities. There is the Moazzam Jahi Market for food products, the famous Laad Bazar for colourful bangles, the hub of ittars in the Old city, and Sultan Bazar for clothes and accessories. Clustered around the atmospheric lanes around Charminar, rich in heritage buildings, culture, food choices and old-world charm the bazars of Hyderabad are a must experience.
The most populous district of the state, Rangareddy is full of exciting experiences. It is home to the Ramoji Film City which holds the Guinness Book Record for being the biggest film studio complex in the world, extends a “one of its kind” experience. The natural greens and untamed environs of the Annamalai hills are calming and restorative. The Osman Sagar Lake is surreal in its sense of serene tranquillity and has a rather charming appeal. Trekking, rappelling, and rock climbing experiences at Vikarabad call out to the lovers of adventure, while the serene and abundant Mrugavani National Park is a delight for nature lovers.
As numerous mighty waterfalls fall on the land with all their force, Adilabad’s unique charm calls out to tourists far and wide. The steeped-in-history temples, monuments and breath-taking waterfalls as well as wildlife sanctuaries, make a visit to the quaint town of Adilabad a rather enjoyable experience. Not to be missed is the varied range of handicrafts, the Nirmal Arts. Basar Saraswathi Temple, situated on the banks of Godavari River, is dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi. The Nirmal Fort is the reminder of the French as they built this magnificent fort. Other tourist attractions here are Kawal and Pranahita wildlife sanctuaries and Kuntala and Pochera waterfalls.
A CUISINE UNPARALLELED
Be it the flavourful spiciness of the food or the sweet magic of deserts, Telangana is worth visiting if only for the cuisine. The locales of Telangana offer for a varied cuisine experience replete with the local flavours. Sarva Pindi, Mamsam Pulusu, Gajirelu, Sakinalu, Jeedilu, and Salla Charu are the must tries.
Polelus, also known as bhakshalu, are stuffed rotis; the stuffing is sweet. These rotis are thin and are cooked without any oil
The dum cooked Biryani has earned Hyderabad a place on the culinary map of the world. Cooked on slow heat, in its own flavours, the dish is an integral part of the city, which holds many a secret recipe.
Mirchi ka Salan
It is a special traditional Hyderabadi dish for special occasions and weddings. The chillies are cooked in spices and peanut adds a grainy texture to this dish; the dish is served with rice or roti.
Double ka meetha
This is a special delicious desert of Hyderabad. It is a bread pudding made of fried bread slices soaked in hot milk with spices, including saffron and cardamom. It is particularly prepared during the festive month of Ramadan and Eid.
Tourists don’t just bring back memories when they travel, they also get souvenirs to remember the place by and Telangana has a vast opportunity to indulge in a shopping spree.
Banjara Needle Crafts
They are some of the traditional handmade fabrics made by Banjaras (Gypsies) in Telangana. They use vibrant colours and embellish them with cowries, tiny mirrors, beads and shells.
Pearls are a speciality of Hyderabad and nobody goes shopping in Hyderabad and return without them. Buying these perfectly white pearls can make for great souvenirs.
Dokra Metal Crafts
Popular in the tribal regions of Telangana, the Dokra metal crafts make great decorative pieces. They are made in brass and are unique in a way that the pieces do not have any joints.
It is a unique art of silver engraved on metal, they were brought by the Iran migrants in the country.