Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is a bustling 400-year-old metropolis with an urban population of 4.2 million people approximately. Hyderabad is located on the Deccan Plateau and the Musi River, 650m above sea level. The physiography of Hyderabad is dominated by hills, tanks, forests, and rock formations.
The History of Hyderabad
The history of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. Quli Qutub Shah seized the reins of power from the Bahamani kingdom in 1512 and established the fortress city of Golconda. Inadequacy of water, and frequent epidemics of plaque and cholera persuaded Mohammad, the fifth Quli Qutub Shahi ruler to venture outward to establish the new city with the Charminar as its center and with four great roads fanning out in the four cardinal directions. Hyderabad's fame, strategic location and Golconda's
legendary wealth attracted Aurangazeb who captured Golconda after a long siege in 1687. After this defeat the importance of Hyderabad declined and the city fell into partial ruin.
As the Mughal Empire decayed and began to disintegrate, the viceroy, Asaf Jah I proclaimed himself the Nizam and established independent rule of the Deccan. Hyderabad once again became a major capital city, ruled by successive Nizams of the Asaf Jah dynasty until the state was merged into the Indian Union in 1948.
Hyderabad - The City Of Two Aspects
The city is cosmopolitan, and is richly endowed with a variety of cultures. While Muslim people are concentrated more towards the old city like Charminar, Secunderabad has got a more contemporary look with a concentration of Anglo-Indians. The city of Hyderabad presents an attractive amalgam of old world charm together with the ebullience of growth and enterprise. Beautiful old edifices built in the medieval, Mughal, Colonial and Indo-Saracenic styles abound, rubbing shoulders with large glass and chrome temples of commerce.
Hyderabad is called as the second Silicon Valley in India after Bangalore. Hyderabad has a Software Technology Park with leading industries like Intergraph, UUNET, TCS, Wipro, Baan, Satyam, Park International, etc.
Hyderabad - The Pearl City Of India
The city of Hyderabad is famous for its minarets and its pearl bazaar. Pearls from all over the world are said to come to Hyderabad because the artisans here are skilled in piercing and stringing pearls without damaging them. The city's gypsy tribes called 'Lambadas' and 'Banjaras' are known throughout the country for their colourful costumes and Hyderabadi cuisine is much sought after.
Making Of The Twin City - Secunderabad
In 1798, a subsidiary alliance for military and political cooperation was signed between the Nizam and the British East India Company. Thereafter an area north of what is now the Hussain Sagar Lake was established as a cantonment. The area was named Secunderabad after the then Nizam, Sikander Jah. Both Hyderabad and Secunderabad grew together and have now merged. An imaginary line drawn across the Tank bund is still used to distinguish the two cities.
Hyderabad's 400-year-old culinary history, like its culture, is unmatched by any other state in India. In fact Hyderabad was known for the spectacular way its aristocracy entertained. Of all the Muslim cuisine, Hyderabadi is the only cuisine of the sub-continent that can boast of a major vegetarian element. This has much to do with the local influences. Considering that the elite of the erstwhile Hyderabad state came from the north of India and was almost entirely Muslim, this is a little surprising. The nation's vegetarians, of course, stand to gain by it.
Some of the salient features of Hyderabadi food are the key flavours of coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds. The key spice is chilli, which is used in abundance and is the reason for the sobriquet "Dynamite Food". Other culinary delights of Hyderabad include 'Gosht', which is kid or baby goat, and is more or less, synonymous with Hyderabadi food. 'Murgh', which is chicken, is the second favourite. When it comes to gosht, Hyderabadis prize the meat of the male goat.