A Holiday in Hyderabad

This culture-rich city blends northern and southern Indian communities together to form a unique melting pot of culinary delights, performing arts and Indo-Islamic architectural influences. The Nizam dynasty ruled this kingdom for over 200 years and continued to befriend the colonial powers of Britain and France that sought to take ownership. Once India became independent of the British Raj, Asaf Nizam fought for his region to remain a separate entity from the rest of India.

After a labourer uprising, The Constitution of India declared Hyderabad a state of India. Lying on the banks of the Musi River, this city of lakes embraces the state of Andhra Pradesh and one could make Hyderabad their base as it is conveniently close to some of the sandy beaches that surround the Bay of Bengal or head to Pragati Resorts for some essential body pampering. Holistic health therapies include medicated, synchronised Ayurvedic massage, herbal steam baths along with yoga and meditation classes.

Bed and breakfast is offered free when booking selected treatments. If nature calls, travel a mere 15 kms from the crowds to immerse mind and body in Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park; blackbuck, wild boar and incredible bird life are all part and parcel of this nature enclave. The introduction of African cheetah is being considered as part of a conservation programme here.

An ornithologists’ dream destination is Kolleru Lake. The largest expanse of fresh water in the region hosts an extraordinary spectacle; thousands of migratory bird species from Australia, Egypt, Siberia and the Philippines flock here during the months of October and March; Painted and Open-billed storks, White Ibis, Teal, Widgeons, Painted storks and Red-crested Pochards are just a few of the many different types of feathered visitors who gather here every year.

Thinking about birds, search Hyderabad flights and fly to India in a bid to discover new cultures and expand your culinary repertoires. With over 400 years of traditional cuisine infused with international flavours, a meal out in this part of the world will scintillate your taste buds and leave you longing for more. Vegetarian options feature heavily on the menus; all laden with the intrinsic aromatics of coconut, sesame seeds, tamarind, peanuts and chilli.

Be adventurous with your palate and try the authentic biryanis as well as a serving of haleem (ground wheat and mutton) with kebabs. The region favours spice and will utilise mustard, garlic and chillies together to form an explosion of fresh flavours. Their own secret blend of masala will delight curry-lovers. The exact ratio of ingredients that make up this iconic base to a lot of Indian dishes is a well-guarded secret passed down through the generations.

If you are privileged to be invited into someone’s home for dinner, they will invite you to their “Shahi Dastarkhan”.This translates into the dining place and is a revered meeting place for family and friends in which to share a meal. This will normally consist of a low ‘chowki’ (table) and mattresses with bolsters as seating. You may be offered a sweet dessert such as bread and cashew nut pudding (double-ka-meetha) or marzipan (Badam-ki-Jhab) to complete your gastronomic adventure.