Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hyderabad, India

This summer, I’ve been interning at a company called Chitika (check out their website at Chitika.com) and it’s been an amazing experience. As my time here for the summer is coming to a close in a couple of weeks, I found the perfect place to write about today. The main office is in Westborough, Massachusetts, yet there is another branch that I’ve been extremely curious about: Hyderabad, India.

Although Hyderabad might not be the capital of the country or the largest city, it has gotten many mentions by critics and visitors for its beauty. Nicknamed “The City of Pearls,” it was the only city in India to be named one of the must see-places in the world by New York Times and has been referred as “The Heart of the Indian Peninsula” by Time Magazine US. There’s a ton of things to do, see and eat in Hyderabad, so let’s check them out!

The first site that locals mentioned (thanks Loomy!) was the Golkonda Fort. This ruined city just 11 kilometers (about 6.8 miles) west of Hyderabad was built in the 13th century, while some historians say that it is actually 2,000 years old. This fort is a huge isolated granite hill that rises 400 feet above the surrounding plain. The most interesting thing about this place is that there was a vault that stored some of the most famous diamonds in the world mostly produced by the Kollur mine in Golkonda, including the Hope Diamond. When I went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington D.C., I got the chance to see this diamond in person and I couldn’t believe how huge it is! If you want to check out some more about the Hope Diamond, visit http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/hope.htm.

Another amazing site you can visit in Hyderabad is the beautiful Birla Mandir. This is a Hindu temple of Lord Venkateshwara and is made completely of white marble. This temple is open to the public so anyone is welcome. Just look at how magnificent this place is!

Another monument that can’t be ignored is the Charminar. This has become a global icon for Hyderabad and is considered one of the most recognized structures in India. This square structure has a signature style of Islamic architecture and is beautiful not only on the outside but the inside as well. It was the monument which became the center of the new civilization in Hyderabad in the 16th century and therefore carries a big significance to the city.

Other places in Hyderabad that you can visit include the Hi-Tec City which highlights the city’s specialty in the Technology industry (Chitika is located in this township), the majestic Chowmahalla Palace, and the Mecca Masjid, one of the oldest mosques in India. To find out more about Hyderabad, check out this guy’s website: http://www.hyderabadplanet.com/index.html. What do you think of this unique place?

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