I’m sure from the time you’ve landed in Hyderabad, you’ve been hearing the name ‘Old city ‘ and has made well aware of the hype of this place.
So what’s the hype around the Old city all about?
Well… Let me tell you, Old city is the home to some awestrucking 16th-century monument, gorgeously built palaces, and some must-visit bazaars. The old city was surrounded by a wall built by Quli Qutub Shah during the 16th and 17th century which was later demolished in the late 19th century. The old city serves as the famous landmarks of Hyderabad apart from Charminar.
What is Old City famous for?
Here are some things Old city is well known for.
1) Charminar :
Located on the banks of Musi river and in the middle of the old city, Charminar directly translates to ‘ four minarets’. Charminar was built in 1591 by Quli Qutub Shah as a mosque surrounded by 4 huge minarets on each side ranging to the height of 160ft. Charminar is also known as a landmark of Hyderabad and listed as the “Archaeological and Architectural Treasure’ by official ‘List of monuments’. Consisting of busy local markets around it and due to having high historical and religious significance, it has some of the highest tourists/visitors every year.
2) Pearls, Laad bazaar, and Gulzar house :
Hyderabad is also known as the Pearl city of India. Apart from its rich heritage and traditions, Hyderabad is the primary hub and supplier of some of the best manufacturers and trade of pearls. It is called Pearl city due to its blossoming trade of Pearls across the country and even to the world. The best pearl jewelry in Hyderabad can be found in the old city and its famous jewelry markets: ‘Laad bazaar and Gulzar house’.
Laad Bazaar is one of the busiest yet most famous markets for artificial jewelry, well crafted Pearl jewelry and stuffed diamond jewelry. Thronged by dozens of shops by the roadside, laad bazaar offers various options and insight to a well-emerged region consisting of best jewelry throughout India. Visited by thousands of people every day, Laad Bazaar is a must-visit when in Hyderabad.
Gulzar Houze is the name of a fountain located in the middle of the road which leads the path towards Charminar. Surrounded by many shops Gulzar Houze is known as the best ‘go-to’ place for jewelry. Gulzar Houze still emerges as the first thought to Hyderabadis when they think of buying or selling some amazing pieces of jewelry.
3) Mecca Masjid :
Located very close to Charminar and by banks of Musi river, Mecca masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. It was built by Quli Qutub Shah and is considered to be very rich in architectural heritage. Mecca masjid not only witnesses religious practices but also welcomes hundreds of tourists on a daily basis irrespective of their religion and culture. Mecca masjid is a perfect example of Indo-Islamic culture (Unity in diversity) representing the real image of India. It also holds the title of ‘Highest number of people offering their jummah prayers’ so much so that the line of the devotees can extend towards the road and more depending on the time. It also holds the largest iftaar sessions during Ramadan and thousands of people break their fasts in Ramadan at mecca masjid. A perfect blend of culture, religion, and unity.
4) Salar Jung Museum :
Located close to Charminar within the old city, the Salar Jung museum is one of the largest museums in the world. It is also one of the three National Museums of India. It consists of artifacts, ceramics, sculptures, paintings, textiles, manuscripts, scriptures, Quran, etc from all over the world dating back to decades. It is one of the most visited art museums and the tickets are cheap making it available to people of all classes.
It has 38 galleries spread across 2 floors and each type of artifacts is displayed in each gallery making it a must-visit for you when in Hyderabad.
5) The Street Food of Old City :
The old city is one of the preferred places to have the country’s best street food. Roadsides loaded with dozens of shops fill the atmosphere around Old City with the aroma of some lip-smacking delicacies. Let it be breakfast or dinner or a sneaking midnight meal, the old city is always to your rescue.
The food ranging from Fruit, Samosa Chaats, Kebabs, Haleem, Dosas, Nihaari, Naan, Daalcha-Khaana, Khichdi Qeema, Qurbaani ka meetha, Idly, Vada, Dahi Vade, Biscuits to Biryanis. You name it and the Old city has it. The famous Chai and Osmania Biscuit from Nimrah bakery are not to be missed. Carrying the traditions and heritage of the Old city proves to stand out in all fields.
6) The Street Clothing :
You thought that was it? didn’t you? Wait, there’s more. The old city is not only thronged by dozens of shops drowning in jewelry and some amazing street food but it will also give you some best street shopping experience of your life. From kids to adults, the street clothing shops in the old city is loaded with amazing varieties of dresses and even footwear. Available at cheap prices. The street clothing of Old City deserves all your attention.
Is there any reason you’d skip your visit to the old city? I don’t think so. Don’t forget to have your hands on some amazing ceramics and carpets too.