Hyderabad, fabulous history with a 21st century attitude
Set in the hot and sultry south of India, Hyderabad has a rich culture to explore, and in the past was known as the 'city of pearls' because of it's rich trading past. Also a major modern business hub, 'Cyberbad' reflects all that anyone could wish for in a 21st century city, shops, restaurants and clubs galore.
Major events and best weather
Because of the heat in Summer, from late March to June, and the monsoon from July to October, the best time for a trip to the area is from mid October to end of March. It's sunny, with temperatures from 15 to 29 degrees C. Religion is split mainly between Hindu and Muslim, and the festivals to watch out for are: Hindu: 'Ganesh Chaturthi' in August/September, and Diwali, ' the festival of lights' in October, both of which are fun and lively. There is also 'Bonalu' in July/August, which worships the Goddess Mahakali. Muslim festivals are: 'Eid al-Fitr' which marks the end of Ramadan, and 'Eid al Adha', the 'Sacrifice Feast'.
A few practicalities before you get there
Telugu is the state language, and Urdu is also widely spoken. Many people also speak Hindi, and watch out, Hindi and Urdu are often spoken in dialect. Life is much cheaper in Hyderabad than New Delhi, with a Cheap Thali normally priced at around Rs. 120, a restaurant meal will cost around Rs. 250. Food is delicious, spicy and encompasses the more dairy based curries of central and northern India, and the coconut based recipes of the south too.
Getting to know Hyderabad
The airport to central Hyderabad Shuttlebus is the 'Pushpak' airport liner, and is air conditioned. It costs between Rs. 100 - 250 one way. Radio Taxis are in front of the arrivals Terminal; fares: Rs. 40 per km, and at night, add 25 % surcharge between 23h - 05h. Hotels vary widely, from cheap for Rs, 1000 or so, to average: Rs. 2,000, to luxury: Rs. 3500. It's also a good idea to negotiate the fare in advance for taxis and autos, and note that the minimum for taxi and autos is Rs. 20 for 2 km and Rs. 10 for every additional km travelled. Buses are run by APSRTC - these can often be very crowded, approximate fares start from Rs. 20. Hyderabad is seeing increasing amounts of business travellers and is an important IT hub, and is also a popular leisure tourist destination.