Hyderabad, City of Pearls, is like an elderly, impeccably dressed princess with really faded, really expensive jewellery. Once the seat of the powerful and wealthy QutbShahi and AsafJahi dynasties, the city has seen centuries of great prosperity and innovation. Today, the 'Old City' is full of centuries-old Islamic monuments and even older charms. In fact, the whole city is laced with architectural gems: ornate tombs, mosques, palaces and homes from the past – some weathered and enchanting, others recently restored and gleaming – are peppered across town.
The 1990s saw the rise of Hyderabad's west side (the aged princess’s fun, stylish granddaughter) and the emergence of a new decadence. 'Cyberabad', with Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Pune, is the seat of India’s mighty software dynasty and has created a culture of good food and posh lounges for the city's new royalty. Secunderabad, north of the Hussain Sagar, is the former British cantonment, now useful to travelers mainly for its huge train station.
Traffic is a problem here: keep in mind that even short distances can take a long time to cover. Like many Indian cities Hyderabad has a tropical climate. The best time to visit the city is from mid-November to mid-February. Temperatures are mild with abundant sunshine during this time and average temperature range from a low of 15°C (59°F) to a high of 29°C (85°F). March to June is hot and dry with occasional thunderstorms. Highs can reach 45°C (113°F) or more and lack of air-conditioning can make it feel very uncomfortable. July, August, September and October can be quite warm and humid and low pressure systems from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon season can cause heavy rain for days.
Telugu (the state language of Andhra Pradesh and one of India's six living classical languages) and Urdu are widely spoken in Hyderabad, and most educated people speak Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and/or English. English signs are common.
Hyderabad is located in central Andhra Pradesh and is spread over an area of 260 km2. The city lies in the Deccan Plateau and rises to an average height of 536 m above the sea level. The city lies at 17.366° N latitude and 78.476° E longitude.
Hyderabad is blessed with a unique landscape – spectacular rock formations that are about 2,500 million years old; amongst the oldest and hardest rocks in the world. Rocky and hilly regions around the city are under obliteration for urbanization. Granite ridges and hillocks weathered into picturesque balancing forms are a part of the Deccan Shield area. Grey and Pink Granites are among the world's oldest. Crops are commonly grown in the surrounding paddy fields. The city’s soil type is mainly red sandy with areas of black cotton soil. Hyderabad falls in the seismic zone-I and is seismically least exposed to earthquakes.
The highest point in the city is Banjara Hills. The contour level falls gradually from west to east creating almost a trough near the Musi River which runs through the city. This natural feature has facilitated water supply by gravity.
Hyderabad has a unique combination of a tropical wet and dry climate that borders on a hot semi-arid climate. The climate of Hyderabad remains fairly warm through most parts of the year and does not receive much rainfall in the monsoon. With the onset of winters in North and central parts of India, temperatures marginally come down in the months of December and January and the nights become quite cool in and around the Hyderabad city. During the summer months, the mercury goes as high as 42°C while in winters the minimum temperature may come down to as low as 12°C. June to November are the months of monsoons, accompanied by rains.
The mean maximum temperature ranges between 39°C and 43°C in May. After the withdrawal of the monsoon, the maximum temperature rises slightly due to increased insulation. The mean minimum temperature is 13°C to 17°C in December and January, but it rises to 26°C to 29°C in May. The minimum temperature falls rapidly after October, and less than 10°C has been recorded on individual days.
For most parts of the year the weather and climate of Hyderabad remains fairly moderate and you can visit the Hyderabad city anytime in the year but the best season to visit Hyderabad is between October–February.
Average temperatures range between 39°C and 21°C in September and October. Weather is usually cloudy with possibility of rain
The Country Code for INDIA is +91 or 0091 & The City Code for HYDERABAD is 40
Landline numbers in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai have eight digits whereas the numbers in smaller cities could have only 4-7 digits. All mobile numbers are 10 digits & begin with 7, 8 or 9.
Area Codes in India are referred to as STD codes. STD codes for some major cities are:
Landline: International access code (00 or +) followed by 91, then STD CODE followed by Landline no.
Eg. +91 40 XXXXXXXX
Mobile: International access code (00 or +) followed by 91 and the 10-digit Mobile no. Eg. +91 XXXXXXXXXX.
Dialing within India:
Local call: Landline no. (Ex. 45600000)
Long distance call - 0 then STD Code followed by Landline no. (Ex. 022 45600000)
From Indian landline to Indian Mobile
Local call -10 digits Mobile no. (Ex. 9900990099)
Long distance call - 0 followed by 10 digits Mobile no. (Ex. 0 9900990099)
From Indian Mobile to Indian landline
Local or Long distance calls - 0 followed by STD Code, followed by Landline no. (Ex. 022 45600000)
From Indian Mobile to Indian Mobile
Local Call - 10 digits Mobile no. (Ex. 9900990099)
Long distance call - 0 followed by 10 digits Mobile no. (Ex. 0 9900990099)
Dialing out of India to an International number
The international access code when dialing out of India is 00 (or + when dialing from a mobile phone).
In India both GSM & CDMA (WLL) mobile systems are present. Please contact your mobile service providers to check their roaming partners & tariffs in India. Indian SIM cards can be purchased at the airport or at conference venue.
Hyderabad is the financial, economic, political capital of Andhra Pradesh and the largest contributor to the state's GDP, state tax and other revenues. The nominal GDP of Hyderabad metro was estimated to be US$15 billion in 2010. The World Bank Group ranked the city as the second best Indian city for doing business in 2009.
The city is one of India's prominent Information Technology hubs, generating INR 36,000 crore from its software exports. Starting in the 1990s, the economic pattern of the city changed from a primarily service hub to a more diversified spectrum. Service industry is the major contributor, with urban workforce constituting 90% of the total workforce.
Hyderabad is among the global centres of information technology for which it is known as Cyberabad (Cyber City). The city's IT sector includes the IT-enabled services, business process outsourcing and entertainment industries. During 2008-09, Hyderabad's IT exports reached US$4.7 billion.
The development of a township with related technological infrastructure called HITEC City prompted global and particularly US-based companies to establish their operations in Hyderabad. The city is home to more than 1300 IT firms and houses the Indian headquarters of Microsoft, Google, CA Technologies, Amazon and Facebook. The Microsoft campus in Hyderabad is the largest research and development facility outside the US. The campus of CA Technologies's is the largest R&D facility of the company. Major areas where such campuses have been set up are Madhapur, Kondapur, Gachibowli and Uppal
Tourism industry forms an important part of Hyderabad's economy. In March 2012, The Indian Union Tourism Ministry declared Hyderabad as the first ever "Best Heritage City" of India. Tourism related fairs are held regularly in the city. In 2010, the city was listed among the Gamma+ World City by GaWC, and in 2011 it was ranked nineteenth in the world by The New York Times in The list of 41 Places to Go in 2011.
The city houses many famous historical sites including the Charminar, Chowmahalla Palace, Salar Jung Museum and other art galleries, libraries, sports complexes, museums and theatres.
Hyderabad is known as the City of Pearls due to presence of industry engaged in pearls trade, and until 18th century the city was the only global trade center of large diamonds. Many traditional and historical bazaars are located in and around the city. The Laad Bazaar and nearby markets have shops that sell pearls, diamonds and other traditional ware and cultural antiques. The retail industry in Hyderabad is on the rise, and multiple business districts are spread across the city. Many national and international companies have set up retail business across the city.
Hyderabad had emerged as a biopharmaceutical hub of the world and is known as India's pharmaceutical capital. In 2008–09, Hyderabad's biopharmaceuticals exports reached US$3.1 billion. The establishment of public sector in life science and the Genome Valley, 'Fab City' and the 'Nano Technology park' established extensive infrastructure in bio-technology and these attributes attracted regional companies and MNC's to set up head offices, warehouses, research and development centres in the city.
Hyderabad witnessed a high growth in the real estate business. In 2007-08, the city's prime residential areas of Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills reached the highest growth percentage in India. The Economic Times evaluated Banjara Hills to be worth US$20.7 billion. The Andhra Pradesh government is building a business district at the suburbs of the city at the heart of which will be the 450-metre (1,480 ft) tall APIIC Tower. In 2011, Hyderabad was ranked as the fourth best city to live in India. The retail industry growth over the last decade has spurred hectic commercial activity. A number of mega malls have come up and more are being built. Leveraging on the trend, major property developers have set up base in the city.
Hyderabadi cuisine is a princely legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad, India. The city was founded by the Sultans of Golconda, who has developed its own cuisine over the centuries. It is heavily influenced by Turkish (Biryani), Arabic (Haleem), Mughlai andTandoori, with considerable influence of the spices and herbs of the native Telugu and Marathwada cuisine. The Cuisine also contains city specific specialities like Aurangabad (Naan Qalia), Gulbarga (Tahari), Bidar(Kalyani Biryani) etc.
The cuisine emphasises the use of ingredients that are carefully chosen and cooked to the right degree and time. Utmost attention is given to picking the right kind of spices, meat, rice, etc. Therefore, an addition of a certain herb, spice, condiment, or combination of all these add a distinct taste and aroma. The key flavours are of coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds which are extensively used in many dishes. The key difference from the North Indian cuisine is the presence of dry coconut and tamarind in its cuisine.
MehboobAlam Khan is a foremost expert on the Hyderabadi cuisine. He has restored many of lost recipes of the Hyderabadi tradition.
History of Hyderabadi Cuisine
A 400-year history is behind the culinary delights of Hyderabadi food. It evolved in the kitchens of the Nizams, who elevated food to a sublime art form. Hyderabad cuisine is highly influenced by Mughals and partially by Arabic, Turkish and Irani food where rice, wheat and spices are widely used to great effect. It is also influenced by the native Telugu and Marathwada food, bringing in a unique taste to the dishes.