Talk about coming back to earth with a thud, landing straight back into a huge city after the incredibly relaxed Goan beaches is certainly a shock to the senses. Hyderabad started off with a thump and although it’s not overwhelming in a physical or sensory sense, the first impression of the city is leading me towards a depressive state, a sorry realization that the peace, tranquility and pleasantries of late are likely to be finished now.
I’m in yet another Indian city, sure Hyderabad has a cracking palace and lively market area, but it’s a place where I’m going to have to work hard to earn my reward, to find something here that is nice. I’m staying relatively close to the palace and market area, south of the heart shaped lake at the centre of town, far enough away from the lake that I can’t smell the acrid soup it contains. I’m quite pleased that I only have a few nights here.
My first impressions aren’t great and as I explore a bit more I can find things to like, there’s some excellent Mughal architecture littered about the city, the onion domed palace and spires, no longer a shining white, but still regal. These palaces, universities and hospitals relate to the British period, when Hyderabad was an autonomous region, the ruling classes remaining in place and prospering along with the colonials.
The palace also comes from the same time period as the other Mughal architecture, and is a delightful regal little oasis inside a big busy, clunky city. The palace complex consists of few large buildings, some nice tree lined water filled courtyards overlooked by domed rooves and attractive spires. I really enjoyed strolling through the palaces, gawking at the Islamic design aesthetic of swirling floral designs and understandable opulence. The palace was donated to the city by the royal family, now it’s a museum explaining much about the history of the city.