Hyderabad is what you get when you merge a rich past with a bright and modern future. The capital city of the state of Telangana was once the capital of the kingdom of Golconda, one of the most important dynasties in India’s history. Additionally, it was also a Princely State, but is now known more for its growing presence as an IT powerhub. Hyderabad is a big city, and there’s no better way to discover all it holds in store than by bike – best way to go adventuring into the past. Read on to know how to go about exploring Hyderabad by bike.
Best Time To Visit Hyderabad
The best time to visit Hyderabad is from November to March. Winter in Hyderabad lasts from November until February, and temperatures can range anywhere from highs of 27 degrees in the afternoons to 15 degrees at night. This is also peak tourist season so you can expect crowds at the monuments and sites.
Summer is from March to May, with some of the hottest weather in the city. Temperatures reach as high as 45C. Avoid exploring Hyderabad by bike in this season as it will be extremely exhausting. The heat will get trapped in your helmets and you won’t be able to enjoy the monuments. You can also go biking in Hyderabad in the monsoon, from June to September. However, it’s ideal to go at the start of June or the end of September. Hyderabad receives very heavy rains and this can interrupt your plans to explore the city.
Places To Visit In Hyderabad
Prior to Hyderabad, the region of Golconda was the capital of the Golconda kingdom. At its heart was a strong and mighty fort – the Golconda fort. Rebuilt for their purposes in the 16th century by the Golconda kings, this majestic site still retains its prowess and strength. The fort still shows the spike-studded gates, made such to prevent elephants from breaking it down. It boasts a futuristic water supply system and acoustics for a time when speakers didn’t exist to magnify voices. It commands a stunning view of the surroundings, and tourists get to see the sweeping plateau below.
The Golconda fort is easily accessible from the main areas of Hyderabad. It also has a pay and park facility right outside the fort. We recommend heading to the Qutub Shahi Tombs first. Leave in time to reach the fort by 5, and book tickets for their amazing Sound and Light show. The fort closes at 5.30 pm and only those with tickets for the show are allowed to remain.
Qutub Shahi Tombs
Centrally located, the Qutub Shahi Tombs date back to the 18th century. Here you will find the tomb of the Qutub Shahi dynasty founder himself – Sultan Quli Qutub-ul-Mulk. The longest overseer of this grand project, he also ensured that there were tombs for members of the royal family and not just for the rulers themselves. Alongside the tombs, you also find terraced gardens, domes and intricate carvings. Admire the 18th century Indo Saracenic architecture – an architectural style that is diverse in nature. Parapets, minarets and arches adorn the tombs, and they are a must see.
The site is also home to the Deccan Festival that happens every year in the month of February. The five day long festival commemorates the Qutub Shahi era in the form of cultural, art and music performances. Its central location makes it very easy to reach, and it is only 2 kms from the Golconda fort. The site has parking facilities, and is open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. It is shut on Fridays.
Going to Hyderabad and not visiting the Charminar is one of the saddest things to do, as it is undoubtedly a close part of the city. An Urdu word, Charminar translates to ‘four minarets’. RIght enough, 4 minarets stand tall against the sky, spiraling upwards facing four directions. It was built in the 16th century, yet stands proud against the hustle and bustle of the Laad Bazaar.
Charminar comes with parking facilities, and it is a 30 minute ride away from the Qutub Shahi Tombs. We recommend leaving your bikes parked for a bit longer and exploring Laad bazaar as it is full of life and a definite experience of Hyderabad.
Close to the Charminar, the Chowmahalla Palace will take your breath away. Located in the midst of a sprawling estate, the palace actually contains four mahals or palaces, which is why the name – Chow meaning four and Mahalla meaning Palace. They are the Afzal Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, and Aftab Mahal. Also make sure you see the heart of the palace – Khilwat Mubarak. It is a huge Durbar hall with Persian handiwork and Mughal styled domes and arches. A marble platform inside the hall is where the royal seat, the Takht-e-Nishan, was positioned.
Vehicles are not allowed inside, so you will have to leave your bikes in the designated parking area. Exploring this vast site happens on foot, so we recommend not tiring yourself out here if you have a whole day of biking ahead of you. Instead, stop here before lunch.
Opened in 1963, the Nehru Zoological Park has nearly 1,500 species of birds and animals. Perhaps the best part about it is the way in which the animals are cared for. Putting their comfort and health above the ‘entertainment’ factor, the animals are given open, wide enclosures that resemble their natural habitats as much as possible. Worried about being able to spot the wildlife in these vast enclosures? The zoo organises safris to see lions, bears and bison. Kids will enjoy a ride on their toy train, while the Butterfly Park and Aquarium Park are sure to stun people of all ages.
The park is huge, and if you find yourself exhausted from all the biking, you can always make use of one of their battery operated vehicles to cover more distance easily. The zoo has a designated parking area for all vehicles.
Apart from visiting all the sights we’ve mentioned, you can also easily navigate your bikes down the lanes of Hyderabad and explore the city on your own terms. Make sure you get a bite of the mouth-watering Hyderabadi biryani as well! Just ensure you have rented the right kind of bike to make your travels easier – we can always help with that!