Evoking Enigma: The Spectrum of India
Updated: Oct 12, 2019
Believe me, I never want to use the word ‘bustling’ again. Bustling (if you already know this word then I don’t blame you… but keep on reading) is an adjective in the dictionary, which means ‘full of energetic and noisy activity’, used probably in every travel story and press release known to mankind that describes a vibrant city – in a more optimistic way. I feel like including it, even in the middle of a sagging travel story would still be an obvious – overkill. Nevertheless, as I traveled to the squawking yet compelling streets of Charminar Area, I could never lie. Mystic is India - Scruffy is India - Bustling is India.
It has a lot more drama than the Kardashian’s. It has a lot more suspense that the supersonic, roller coaster rides. It has a lot more action than another Stallone' movie. It has a lot more comedy than most of the politicians in the Philippines. It has a lot more dancing, spinning, acting, twisting and madness than the ending of numerous Bollywood Films.
It has a lot more hues and shades than you could ever imagine. It is a rainbow of experience that will lead you to the bliss and bites, pains and promises, luxury and leisure, current and chronicles of one of the most historic places on earth.
Unto the journey of palettes is a destination called India.
This is the magical place of Hyderabad, the crazy contrasting spectacle and the undeniable truth.
It was my first time in Hyderabad and I felt like a pre-teen entering the first day of High School years, wherein we already overcome being with strangers from different ‘familiy backgrounds’ after Nursery, when we already had our share of friends and fights after Kindergarten, and when we already had ‘insightful knowledge’ about life and traveling as we had couple of educational and leisure field trips after Elementary years – yet we are still curious. I am very curious, and as much as I love animals, I don’t care if it kills the cat.
I am curious as soon as I step my foot at the Hyderabad airport and much more – when I exited. All my senses were analytically working overtime like flowers that blossoms in Japan, every spring season. My eyes were frantically glancing at every angle of the streets, on the way to my hotel. I see every beautiful trees and leaves that waves in the strong winds, I see locals walking at the streets graciously staring at me inside the cab while we were stucked in a heavy traffic at quarter past to ten in the evening and strangers waving their hands across the glass window of public buses in different sizes and colors, some chased by belching dusky smokes, smiling like we’re living in 1980’s – where people use to smile at each other without the paranoia of being kidnapped or being murdered in a foreign land.
Hyderabad is the capital city of Andhra Pradesh and positioned on the banks of Musi River. Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, who was the fifth sultan of the Golkonda, established the city in 1591. The Qutub Shahi dynasty reigned over Hyderabad until 1687 when Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor conquered it to make it a part of his empire. Asif Jah I, who was a viceroy appointed for Hyderabad by the Mughal Empire, professed his sovereignty over the place in 1724 and this gave impetus to the Asif Jahi dynasty, better known as the Nizams of Hyderabad.
The princely state sustained its existence through the colonial rule before acceding to the Indian Union in 1948. The city was the capital of Hyderabad state from 1948 until 1956. When the Andhra Pradesh state was formed in 1956, Hyderabad was made into the state capital.
The tour operator slash driver suddenly ask me if I could see the hotel that they booked from across 30 kilometers from where we are. How could I not? it is one of the most eye-catching hotels in the land that screams beauty, poignancy and drama.
WHERE TO STAY: AMRUTHA CASTLE
Situated at the heart of the city of pearls and minarets and conveniently in front of the Secretariat in Saifabad, the exquisite hotel is part of the Country Club family of clubs and resorts. The Country Club is recognized by the ‘Limca Book of Records’ as ‘India’s biggest chain of Family Clubs’. Country Club India LTD has 55 destinations across India, Middle East, Bangkok and Sri Lanka and is planning to grow even bigger. The hotel is built like a vintage hotel in Europe, on the ranks of Bavarian Castle-Schloss Neushwanstien, this abode of royal luxury and gorgeous grandeurs is constructed in medieval European architectural style with the magnificent Birla Mandir as a scenic background.
WHERE TO VISIT, TOUR AND SHOP: BIRLA MANDIR
This fascinating and contemporary temple in Hyderabad is located on top of Kala Pahad, towards the southern point of Hussain Sagar. The Birla family constructed the temple in 1976, which is a renowned family of industrialist in India.
Birla Mandir is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, but there are two other deities in the temple – Padmavati and Andal. The beautiful structure is built from white marble, which was brought all the way from the state of Rajasthan. The architecture of the temple is its highlight, as it is a synthesis of South Indian and Oriya architectural styles. The Rajagopuram of the temple is built using the South Indian style of architecture, while the tower over the main shrine is built using the Oriya style of architecture. The temple has some spectacular sculptures depicting scenes from the Hindu epics, Mahabharat and Ramayana.
Enthralling, making you miss a heartbeat, and blink an eye or two is the Golkonda fortress citadel, which has an amazing acoustical system, whereby a clap of your hands can leave behind resounding noise that reverberates all-around you. The Quli Qutub Shahi exemplary refined shows through in the architectural designing of the Fort. You will certainly feel small standing in front of it, but the grandeur feeling in you will lighten up in order to feel as grand as the monument itself. The famous fort was a safe venue for the Kohinoor diamond as well as Hope diamond. The Golkonda fame for diamond mines is a popular and the Europeans definitely were attracted to this rich landmine.
RAMOJI FILM CITY
The Ramoji Film City has the honour of being in the Guinness World Records as the largest film studio complex in the world. It was established in 1996 by the Ramoji Group and is sprawled over an area of 1,666 acres. It offers world-class filmmaking facilities. Many films in English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam and Kannada have been shot here along with television serials and commercials. Besides its top-notch film making facilities, Ramoji Film City is also a popular recreation destination. It has a 5-star as well as a 7-star hotel at the entrance and once inside, visitors will be mesmerised by the different film sets and Hawa Mahal, which is a miniature replica of the Golconda Fort.
Who says looking for historic places and shopping cannot go hand by hand? One of my most favorite places in India is the charming Charminar Area that will surely make you feel the spirit of Hyderabad.
The grand, tall, stately structure, popularly called Charminar, is globally recognized icon, an architectural grandeur, situated on the banks of the Musi River. Awesome, eye-catching, and arousing one’s sensual taste, the monument remains fresh in one’s memories for years to come. A tourist cannot miss out on such centuries old grandiose creation. On the east of it lies the enticing Laad Bazaar and the granitely based Makkah Masjid.
The grandeur Indo-Islamic architecture splendidly displays the Persian architectural streaks of forgone era of rich Muslim heritage, made up of limestone, pulverized, mortar, reflecting Mughlai architectural talent. The four minarets add to the aura of the Hyderabad monument. A place that you will never forget in your lifetime and once you are smitten by the spectrum of Hyderabad, its enigmatic charm will never leave you.