The capital of the central Indian state of Telangana, lying by the Musi river, not only has a rich history but a promising future, thanks to a booming tech hub.
It was said the last Nizam of Hyderabad, who ruled the city and its surrounds between 1911 and 1948, was the richest man in the world during his reign. Fittingly, today’s Hyderabad is increasingly prosperous.
The city’s gross domestic product rose by more than a third between 2015 and 2018 to $23.58bn. Meanwhile, annual GDP growth statewide has averaged 9.7 per cent over the past five years, outstripping the national average of 7.5 per cent over the same period.
The city’s 9.5m inhabitants are better off too: official figures for 2017-18, the latest available, show Hyderabad’s annual per capita income of Rs361,256 ($5,100) was well above the Indian average of Rs129,901.
Hyderabad has a world-class technology sector, benefiting from a large pool of skilled workers and employing around 540,000 people. Global giants have bases in and around Hitec City, also known as “Cyberabad”, a tech hub in north-west Hyderabad.
Amazon opened its first international campus and its largest single office building in the world there in August, housing 15,000 employees. It joins the likes of Google, Oracle, IBM, Wipro and Microsoft, whose chief executive Satya Nadella is from the city.
A new three-acre start-up incubator site is planned, as well as IMAGE Tower, a dedicated business district for the animation and gaming industry.
Full of finery
Known as “Pearl City” for its thriving trade in the gems, dating back five centuries, Hyderabad still teems with pearl merchants. Charminar, the old city’s labyrinthine bazaar, is considered the best destination for pearls.
To complete the look, designer stores Sabyasachi and Elahe in high-end neighbourhood Banjara Hills sell exquisite Indian clothing — at a price.
Rich culinary tradition
Hyderabadi cuisine is respected throughout India. Famous local dishes include haleem — slow cooked mutton and lentils traditionally eaten during Ramadan. Try it at Paradise Food Court, which has restaurants across the city. Some of the best Hyderabadi biryani, a rice and meat speciality, is served in the roadside cafés of Charminar.
For a nod to the city’s varied history, take afternoon tea on the Jade Terrace at the 19th-century Taj Falaknuma Palace, former home of the Nizam and now a five-star hotel.
Cricket all over
Cricket is an obsession in Hyderabad, which counts prolific former international batsman VVS Laxman and former Indian women’s captain Mithali Raj among its homegrown talent. Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, which seats up to 55,000, is home to the SunRisers Hyderabad Twenty20 team, winners of the 2016 Indian Premier League and runners-up in 2018.
The city is dotted with public pitches — for cricket and other sports — including Astro Park and Dribble Football. For members and their guests, The Secunderabad Club, about 11km north of central Hyderabad, is a more exclusive spot to practise your googly.
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