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Built by the people  
This edifice in white marble, completed in 1913, was once the Town Hall of the Nizam's Hyderabad State. Its construction started in 1905 with the money raised by the Hyderabadis to celebrate the 40th birthday of Nizam Mahaboob Ali Khan. Architects from Rajasthan were specially commissioned to design it. It now houses the 295-seAP State Assembly  People's  Edificeat Legislative Assembly of AP. A few unobtrusive additions have been made to the old structure to accommodate the offices of various political parties and ministers.

An interesting addition that attracts the attention of all passers by and visitors is the massive ebony coloured statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The pensive figure of the Mahatma, sitting serenly on the front lawns was carved by the renowned sculptor, Ram Kinkar.

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Standing majestic, standing sombre
Charminar by nightCharminar is the landmark of Hyderabad.Without a mention of this monument built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 AD, the description of Hyderbad is incomplete. This edifice was set when the foundation of Hyderabad was just being laid. A prototype of the ritualistic taziya, the Charminar today stands majestically in the heart of the Old City. Its imposing 180-feet tall structure has four minarets rising to a height of
48.7 metres. The western section houses a mosque that showcases the brilliant craftsmanship of the Qutb Shahi artisans. Historian Haroon Khan Sherwani is of the opinion that the upper storey was a school, while the French traveller, Tavernier believed that it was used as a pumping reservoir. Yet others believe that the Charminar served as a gateway overlooking an elegant piazza. Whatever be the purpose of the upper storey, today Charminar forms an elegant backdrop to the bustling Lad Bazar and stands indulgently looking over Char Kaman, the four arches that elegantly span across four busy streets. Top
Witness to the the Qutb Shahi era
Golconda Fort The Golconda Fort is a must-see historical monument. This sprawling fort stands about 10 km west of Hyderabad. It was originally constructed on a hill by the Kakatiya kings of Warangal in the later part of the 12th century. It was then called Mankal.

However, it was the Qutb Shahi kings of the 16th century who developed the fort and made it their official home with Hyderabad as their capital. Thus grew the mighty Golconda kingdom, the most powerful in the Deccan in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Old fort buildingsSultan Quli Qutb Shah reconstructed the entire mud structure fortifying it with stone. While the walls and bastions were rebuilt with large blocks of masonry, the gates were studded with iron spikes. Within the precincts of the fort lie, scattered in all directions, a number of old buildings, mosques and other historically and architecturally important places. The fort is constructed about 400 feet above the surrounding plain. There are eight gates in the outer wall.

The sprawling Golconda FortOne of the most interesting feature of the fort is its indigenous system of acoustics. The various edifices are arranged in a way to transmit sound to different far-away points. A clap at the entrance of the fort could be heard in the court hall. An indigenous signalling device indeed. In Golconda, the Qutb Shahi rulers were also believed to have developed an ingenious water supply system.

A Sound and Light show after the fall of dusk recreates the history of the Golconda Fort. It also recreates the magic of the bygone times, for the tourists and visitors to carry home tucked in precious corners of their hearts.

Details of Sound and Light show:

1st show ( English - All days )

Nov. - Feb. 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

Mar. - Oct. 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

2nd show ( Telugu - Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday )

Nov. - Feb. 7.45 p.m. to 8.45 p.m.

Mar. - Oct. 8.15 p.m. to 9.15 p.m.

2nd show ( Hindi - Mon, Wed, Fri. & Sun )Top
Cannons made in 1786 are still around
Gun foundry, Nizam's Tope-ka-SanchaOne of the several cannon and cannonball factories set up in 1786 by Monsieur Raymond, the then French General deputed in Nizam's service, the Gun Foundry is the only one of its kind in Andhra Pradesh. Called Tope-ka-Sancha by the locals, today it can be tracked in Abids in a narrow lane opposite the Mahboobia Girls' High School. Cannons, or the topes, which bear inscriptions that reveal details of its manufacture, are displayed in Baagh-e-Aam, the Public Gardens.
Tribute in stone
HighcourtThe High Court is situated on the south banks of river Musi, which now falls under the Afzalgunj area. It is one of the few fine buildings in Sarcenic style built in red and white stone. While Shankarlal of Jaipur drew up the plan of the High Court, local engineer Mehar Ali Fazil executed the design. It is said that while digging the foundation for this structure, workers unearthed the ruins of two palaces, the Hina Mahal and the Nadi Mahal. Nizam VII inaugurated the monument on April 20, 1920. A reproduction of this building carved in thick silver can be found in the Purani Haveli museum. Top
On Nizam's land, with Queen's purse
Looking up to the sky - Holy Trinity ChurchThe Church of Holy Trinity is a marvellous piece of architecture that was built in 1846 during the British rule. It is said that the Queen Victoria aided this construction by contributing from her private purse. It was built on a piece of land donated by the Nizam's government. Next to this church is a 150 year old cemetery, where many British soldiers were laid to rest. In 1983, during their stay in Hyderabad, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited the Holy Trinity Church. Top
Hyderabadi bangles, Hyderabadi environ
Vibrant Lad BazaarLad Bazar is a street flanked with shops selling colourful bangles, glittering bridal wear et al. This bustling marketplace, famous for its stone-studded lac and glass bangles, is on the top of the local itinerary of all tourists.

A visit to Lad Bazar is a must if you are looking for a feel of the tradition of Hyderabad. The bazaar, also famous for utility articles, bridal wears, attars (perfumes) and embroidery in gold and silver threads, leads to a cross road simply called the Chowk, the Square.

Famous Lac bangles in Lad BazaarAt the Chowk one can see splendid pink gates and semi-circular outer walls of the Nizam's parade grounds. These walls are built in the French - Islamic style. During the times of Nizam VI, the place was used to quarter his troops. The gateway is wide to facilitate the movement of the elephants.Top

120 years of betting and gambling
The Race Course in its earlier heydaysThe 120-year-old Malakpet Race Course lies off the highway to Vijayawada. The place became a major scene of action in the winter of 1879 when the first races were held. Betting began way back in 1880 when a grand lottery was one of the chief attractions.

Equipped with a swimming pool for exercising horses and a training school for apprentice jockeys, today's Race Course of Malakpet is regarded as one of the finest modern Race Courses in India.

Awe inspiring, spiritually uplifting

Mecca MasjidThe Mecca Masjid is the largest mosque in the Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the second largest in India and the seventh largest in the world. The awe inspiring masjid, located in the Southwest of Charminar, can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers. The construction of Mecca Masjid, started in 1614 A.D by Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah, continued for over 77 years to be completed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1694 AD. It is believed that the central arch of the mosque was built using bricks specially brought from Mecca. Thus the name, Mecca Masjid.

The lofty colonnades and the arches at the entrance are made from single slabs of granite brought from a stone quarry 11 km north of Charminar. Legend has it that these slabs were pulled with the aid of 1,400 bullocks. The construction involved the work of 8000 masons and labourers. To the south of the mosque are the marble tombs of all Nizams, except that of Mir Osman Ali Khan. Mecca Masjid has a hall, 67 m long, 54 m wide and 23 m high. Its roof is supported by 15 graceful arches that lend it grandeur and elegance. A strand of the Prophet's hair is believed to be found in one of its many rooms. After all this, it is not a wonder that it is regarded as one of the most impressive mosques of the world.

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All about Charminar
Buddhist heritage sites
Kothi Residency
Charminar to regain its  charm
Back in times
Golconda Fort
Gun Foundry
High Court
Holy Trinity Church
Lad Bazar
Race Course
Mecca Masjid
Osmania University
Paigah Tombs
Purani Haveli
Public Garden
Qutb Shahi tombs
Salar Jung Museum
Malwala Palace
Hyderabad Botanical Gardens
KBR National Park
Lotus Pond
The Birla Mandir
Birla Science Centre

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