Hyderabad is the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana and de jure capital of Andhra Pradesh. Occupying 650 square kilometres (250 sq mi) along the banks of the Musi River, it has a population of about 6.7 million and ametropolitan population of about7.75 million, making it the fourth most populous city and sixth most populous urban agglomeration in India. At an average altitude of 542 metres (1,778 ft), much of Hyderabad is situated on hilly terrain around artificial lakes, including Hussain Sagar—predating the city's founding—north of the city centre.
Established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Hyderabad remained under the rule of the Qutb Shahi dynasty for nearly a century before theMughals captured the region. In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I declared his sovereignty and created his own dynasty, known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The Nizam's dominionsbecame a princely state during the British Raj, and remained so for150 years, with the city serving as its capital. The city continued as the capital of Hyderabad State after it was brought into the Indian Union in 1948, and became the capital of Andhra Pradesh after the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Since 1956,Rashtrapati Nilayam in the city has been the winter office of the President of India. In 2014, the newly formed state of Telangana split from Andhra Pradesh and the city became joint capital of the two states, a transitional arrangement scheduled to end by 2025.
Relics of Qutb Shahi and Nizam rule remain visible today, with the Charminar—commissioned by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah—coming to symbolise Hyderabad. Golconda fort is another major landmark. The influence of Mughlai culture is also evident in the city's distinctive cuisine, which includes Hyderabadi biryani and Hyderabadi haleem. The Qutb Shahis and Nizams established Hyderabad as a cultural hub, attracting men of letters from different parts of the world. Hyderabad emerged as the foremost centre of culture in India with the decline of the Mughal Empire in the mid-19th century, with artists migrating to the city from the rest of the Indian subcontinent. While Hyderabad is losing its cultural pre-eminence, it is today, due to the Telugu film industry, the country's second-largest producer of motion pictures.
Hyderabad was historically known as a pearl and diamond trading centre, and it continues to be known as the City of Pearls. Many of the city's traditional bazaars, including Laad Bazaar,Begum Bazaar and Sultan Bazaar, have remained open for centuries. However, industrialisation throughout the 20th century attracted major Indian manufacturing, research and financial institutions, including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the National Geophysical Research Institute and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Special economic zones dedicated to information technology have encouraged companies from across India and around the world to set up operations and the emergence of pharmaceuticaland biotechnology industries in the 1990s led to the area's naming as India's "Genome Valley". With an output of US$74 billion, Hyderabad is the fifth-largest contributor to India's overall gross domestic product.
|POPULATION :||• Metropolis 6,809,970|
• Metro 7,749,334
|FOUNDED :||1591 AD|
|TIME ZONE :||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|RELIGION :||Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1%|
|AREA :||• Metropolis 650 km2 (250 sq mi)|
• Metro 7,100 km2 (2,700 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||505 m (1,657 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||17.37°N 78.48°E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.70|
• Female: 48.30
|AREA CODE :||8685, 8413, 8414, 8415, 8417, 8418, 8453, 8455|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+91–40|
Hyderabad, the pearl city of India, is the capital of Telangana in Southern India, located on the banks of the Musi River and on the Deccan Plateau. Hyderabad and Secunderabad are "twin cities" near Hussain Sagar Lake (also known as Tank Bund in local parlance) but both cities have grown so much that now they have become one big metropolis. The city and district of Hyderabad are coterminous. Hyderabad district is entirely contained within the Ranga Reddy district of Telangana. Many of the suburbs of Hyderabad were recently merged into the city, now called Greater Hyderabad.
A city rich with history and tradition, Hyderabad now competes with Bangalore, Chennai for the crown of India's IT capital; Microsoft and Google have their India headquarters here.
If you are visiting Hyderabad on business—as is increasingly the case now—it is easy to miss the 400 year-old Hyderabad. The city that immediately hits the eye is a sprawling metropolis of shopping malls and office buildings with glass facades. The whole of the city seems to be under construction or renovation and the roads are jammed because the metro is under construction.
The magnificent "old city" that was once the seat of the Nizam, the ruler of the largest and the most opulent "princely state", and the twin city of Secunderabad where the British maintained a cantonment to keep the army within striking distance of the Nizam can be seen only if you take the time out to see them.
Hyderabad's many epithets include the City of Pearls, the City of Nawabs, the Biryani City and, because of its high-tech industries, Cyberabad.
In the 10th century, the kings of the Kakatiya dynasty built the fortress of Golkonda about 8 km to the west of what is now Hyderabad’s old city. Over the next few centuries, the fort became a major centre of diamond trade fed by the mines of Kollur, so much so that the word "Golkonda" became synonymous with great wealth. The fort changed hands many times before it came under the control of Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk in 1463. He had quelled rebellion in the Telangana region and was appointed the subedar, or administrator of the region by the Bahmani sultan as a result. By 1518, he had become independent from the sultan, declared himself the Sultan under the name of Quli Qutb Shah and established theQutb Shahi dynasty. In 1589, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, a grandson of Quli Qutb Shah, moved his capital from the Golconda fort to the present day location of Hyderabad due to water shortages at the old location. In 1591, he ordered the construction of the Charminar, reportedly in gratitude to Allah for stopping a plague epidemic before it could do too much damage.
The name "Hyderabad" reportedly had its origins in an affair between Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah and a local Telugu courtesan named Bhagmati. He named the cityBhagyanagar after her, and after she converted to Islam and took on the name of "Hyder Mahal", he named the city Hyderabad. Hyderabad was built on a grid plan with help from Iranian architects. French traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier favourably compared Hyderabad to Orleans.
The Qutb Shahi dynasty lasted till 1687, when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb defeated the sultanate and took over Hyderabad. He appointed a governor to rule the region and granted him the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk. However, Mughal rule was short-lived and in 1724, the Nizam Asaf Jah I gained independence from a declining Mughal empire. Legend has it that while on a hunting expedition, he met a holy man who offered him some kulchas and asked him to eat as much as he could. Asaf Jah ate only seven, and the holy man prophesied that his dynasty would last for seven generations. Sure enough, the seventh ruler in the dynasty was the last. In honour of the legend, the flag of the Nizams featured a kulcha.
Around 1763, Asif Jah II, defeated by the Marathas and threatened by Tipu Sultan of Mysore, entered into a subsidiary alliance with a British. Hyderabad state became a "princely state", protected by, and under the overlordship of the British. The British maintained their army in nearby Secunderabad to protect the Nizam and to ensure that he did not do any mischief. Hyderabad state was the richest in the country and in the 1930s Time magazine rated the Nizam the richest man in the world. In 1947, with India's independence, the seventh Nizam was reluctant to cede his principality to the newly independent India, preferring Pakistan instead. India sent in its troops and the 200 year old prophesy was fulfilled. On 17 September 1948, it was merged in to India. Hyderabad become the capital of Hyderabad state. In 1956, Telugu-speaking areas were consolidated into the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad became the capital of this new state. The new capital's administrative buildings were located around Hussain Sagar Lake between Secunderabad and the "old city", as the Nizam's city came to be called.
In 1995, Chandrababu Naidu became chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. Among his key policies was a major initiative to turn the city into an IT hub. He cleaned up the streets, laid out IT parks and did much to attract technology companies into the city. Today, as Bangalore’s infrastructure is choked by the city’s rapid growth, Hyderabad's well-laid out streets are proving to be a major attraction for software and IT-enabled companies. The technology enclave of Madhapur has actually been officially named Hi tec city, and "Cyberabad" is commonly used as an alternative name to Hyderabad.
In 2007, the suburbs of Hyderabad were merged with the city to form Greater Hyderabad. In 2009, the longstanding demand to have Telangana created as a separate state came to a boil, with agitations and disturbances shaking up Hyderabad. This dispute was resolved in June 2014, with the state of Telangana created. Hyderabad will be capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for 10 years, after which Hyderabad will remain capital of Telangana.
Like many Indian cities Hyderabad has a tropical climate. The best time to visit the city is from mid-November to mid-February. Temperatures are mild with abundant sunshine during this time and average temperatures range from a low of 15°C (59°F) to a high of 29°C (85°F).
March to June is hot and dry with occasional thunderstorms. Highs can reach 45°C (113°F) or more and lack of air-conditioning can make it feel very uncomfortable. July, August, September and October can be quite warm and humid and low pressure systems from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon season can cause heavy rain for days.
Climate data for Hyderabad
|Record high °C (°F)||35.9|
|Average high °C (°F)||28.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||22.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||15.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||6.1|
|Source #1: India Meteorological Department|
|Source #2: NOAA of the U.S.|
Situated in the southern part of Telangana in southeastern India, Hyderabad is 1,566 kilometres (973 mi) south of Delhi, 699 kilometres (434 mi) southeast of Mumbai, and 570 kilometres (350 mi) north of Bangalore by road. It lies on the banks of the Musi River, in the northern part of the Deccan Plateau. Greater Hyderabad covers 650 km2 (250 sq mi), making it one of the largest metropolitan areas in India. With an average altitude of 542 metres (1,778 ft), Hyderabad lies on predominantly sloping terrain of grey and pink granite, dotted with small hills, the highest being Banjara Hills at 672 metres (2,205 ft). The city has numerous lakes referred to as sagar, meaning "sea". Examples include artificial lakes created by dams on the Musi, such as Hussain Sagar (built in 1562 near the city centre), Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar. As of 1996, the city had 140 lakes and 834 water tanks (ponds).
Hyderabad is the largest contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP), tax and other revenues, of Telangana, and the sixth largest deposit centre and fourth largest credit centre nationwide, as ranked by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in June 2012. Its US$74 billion GDP made it the fifth-largest contributor city to India's overall GDP in 2011–12. Its per capita annual income in 2011 was ₹44,300(US$660). As of 2006, the largest employers in the city were the governments of Andhra Pradesh (113,098 employees) and India (85,155). According to a 2005 survey, 77% of males and 19% of females in the city were employed. The service industry remains dominant in the city, and 90% of the employed workforce is engaged in this sector.
Hyderabad's role in the pearl trade has given it the name "City of Pearls" and up until the 18th century, the city was also the only global trading centre for large diamonds. Industrialisation began under the Nizams in the late 19th century, helped by railway expansion that connected the city with major ports. From the 1950s to the 1970s, Indian enterprises, such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL), Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), National Mineral Development Corporation(NMDC), Bharat Electronics (BEL), Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL),Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) and Andhra Bank (AB) were established in the city. The city is home to Hyderabad Securities formerly known as Hyderabad Stock Exchange (HSE), and houses the regional office of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). In 2013, theBombay Stock Exchange (BSE) facility in Hyderabad was forecast to provide operations and transactions services to BSE-Mumbai by the end of 2014. The growth of the financial services sector has helped Hyderabad evolve from a traditional manufacturing city to a cosmopolitan industrial service centre. Since the 1990s, the growth of information technology (IT), IT-enabled services (ITES), insurance and financial institutions has expanded the service sector, and these primary economic activities have boosted the ancillary sectors of trade and commerce, transport, storage, communication, real estate and retail.
Hyderabad's commercial markets are divided into four sectors: central business districts, sub-central business centres, neighbourhood business centres and local business centres. Many traditional and historic bazaars are located throughout the city, Laad Bazaar being the prominent among all is popular for selling a variety of traditional and cultural antique wares, along with gems and pearls.
The establishment of Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL), a public sector undertaking, in 1961 was followed over the decades by many national and global companies opening manufacturing and research facilities in the city. As of 2010, the city manufactured one third of India's bulk drugs and 16% of biotechnology products, contributing to its reputation as "India's pharmaceutical capital" and the "Genome Valley of India". Hyderabad is a global centre of information technology, for which it is known as Cyberabad (Cyber City). As of 2013, it contributed 15% of India's and 98% of Andhra Pradesh's exports in IT and ITES sectors and 22% of NASSCOM's total membership is from the city. The development of HITEC City, a township with extensive technological infrastructure, prompted multinational companies to establish facilities in Hyderabad. The city is home to more than 1300 IT and ITES firms, including global conglomerates such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, Yahoo!, Dell,Facebook, and major Indian firms including Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Polaris and Wipro. In 2009 the World Bank Groupranked the city as the second best Indian city for doing business. The city and its suburbs contain the highest number of special economic zones of any Indian city.
Like the rest of India, Hyderabad has a large informal economy that employs 30% of the labour force. According to a survey published in 2007, it had 40–50,000 street vendors, and their numbers were increasing. Among the street vendors, 84% are male and 16% female, and four fifths are "stationary vendors" operating from a fixed pitch, often with their own stall. Most are financed through personal savings; only 8% borrow from moneylenders. Vendor earnings vary from ₹50 (74¢ US) to ₹800 (US$12) per day. Other unorganised economic sectors include dairy, poultry farming, brick manufacturing, casual labour and domestic help. Those involved in the informal economy constitute a major portion of urban poor.
Jubilee Hills to Punjagutta
India Post , a govt-owned enterprise, has its headquarters at Abids known as GPO. And its second biggest centre is located in Secunderabad.
The dialing code for Hyderabad is 040. When calling from overseas, dial +91 40 XXXX XXXX. If you have a non-working phone number with only 7 digits try to add "2" in front of it. There are public booths scattered around the city.
The rate for Indian 'phones is around 1 paise per second for local/national calls. It is very easy to get a prepaid mobile, which are very cheap to buy and for calls. As per government regulations both a photo ID and a photograph are required for prepaid postpaid connection.
Internet cafes are spread around town and most easily found in the city and residential areas. Charges vary between ₹ 5-15/hr. Reliance WebWorld provides Broadband internet centres.
For a longer stays with a laptop, it's better to get a Data plan either from Tata Indicom or Reliance Mobile, which are around ₹ 1,000 a month. If you have a WiFi enabled laptop or other digital device there are many public WiFi networks available in Hyderabad for free access to high-speed internet.
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