Sunday, December 6, 2009


I was awaiting my joining with Satyam and I had some time to spare in the middle. My mom and dad along with Dada and Dadi were eager to go on a trip to Haridwar. We had booked early tickets for Haridwar from Ahmedabad in the Haridwar Express. The train starts off on Sundays at 11:00 am or so in the morning. I had a lot of difficulty taking my grandparents to the railway platform. The lift was for luggage/old people and since very few old people actually arrive through the lift, it wasused only for luggage with the last preference being given to the old people. The wheelchairs were not to be found anywhere and even if they were found, it was going to be impossible to carry them up the stairs.

Finally, we made it to the train. It was largely empty and since we were 5 people, we occupied one whole compartment and sat and enjoyed the journey. The diesel engine driven train chugged us through the large barren areas of North Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi before finally arriving in Haridwar. The train took another 5 to 6 hours before we finally reached Haridwar.

The moment we got off the train we were besieged by rickshaw pullers or cycle rickshaw drivers as is the norm in any Indian city favored by tourists. Not having experienced such a ride before, it was a unique experience for me. I had heard about rickshaws being pulled by men in Calcutta, but had never seen anything like this in Maharashtra and Gujarat. I wasn't really comfortable sitting merrily being pulled by a thin, scrawny fellow twice my age.

We finally got to our guest house and set up the luggage there. After some rest, I went out for a short walk in the surprisingly cool weather of Haridwar - Gandhinagar was really hot then in October.

While on the walk, let me tell you some interesting things about Haridwar. Haridwar means Hari ka Dwar or Gate to God. Haridwar is considered to be one of the 7 holiest cities by Hindus. Haridwar is the place where the river Ganges enters the plains of Northern India. Haridwar is also an entry point to the Char Dham or four centers of pilgrimage of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Jamnotri. Haridwar is also one of the oldest living cities. There are many ashrams dotted alongside the various tributaries of Ganges that sprawl across Haridwar. The headworks of the Upper Ganga Canal are located in Haridwar. The IIT Rourkee is located in Haridwar district and the huge campus of BHEL - Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited is also a part of Haridwar. Another fun fact is that in spite of being home to so many people and travellers from all over the world, Haridwar is a town that does not serve non-vegeterian food anywhere. The whole town is vegetarian. I can see my Chicken Tikka loving friends' scowling faces as I write this. :-)

Besides being all this and more as we will know in further posts, Haridwar is also very beautiful and a nature lover's delight. Owing to the Ganges, it is a very green city.

As seen in the picture here, there are a few old gentlemen feeding the fish at a ghat in Haridwar. Ghats are a series of steps that lead to the river. The ghats help people to perform a lot of activities on the edge of the water. Feeding the fish is considered an auspicious act in Haridwar and hence largely practiced by the local population and pilgrims.

Here you can see an even better picture of a ghat. Many such ghats dot the banks of the Ganges all along Haridwar. These ghats are used for bathing by pilgrims and also for washing clothes, frolicking in the water etc. Some hotels in Haridwar have their private ghats too.

And now a last snap of the beautiful Ganges.

Will write more about Haridwar and its various pilgrim spots in my next post.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Restaurants in Sindhi Colony, Hyderabad

Sindhi Colony, Hyderabad - a small colony just behind TankBund and MG Road. The moment you step on the road that leads inside to this colony, it seems as if Hyderabad changes. We spent our initial days in Hyderabad looking for a roof over our heads here and that is when we fell in love with Hyderabad and Sindhi Colony - spending lots of time there. A lot of our friends lived in and around Sindhi colony. This was because the Satyam buses which go all the way to Bahadurpally used to start from Anand theater near Sindhi Colony. Unlike Ahmedabad, the theatres of Hyderabad are still very much alive - thanks mainly to Telugu movies and their strategic locations.

Sindhi Colony has a largely cosmopolitan crowd. Located just besides Hussainsagar and TankBund, it is a wonderful place to live in. And to the delight of us Gujaratis, it has a sizable Gujarati population too. The Gujarati food restaurants and sweet shops catering to the Gujarati sweet tooth do attest to this.

As we move in from Anand theater on Prenderghast road towards Sindhi Colony, the first restaurant we encounter is Corn Club.

Corn Club restaurant
Cornclub, Sindhi Colony, Hyderabad
This restaurant as the names suggests basically serves many different varieties of corn dishes. It has a nice corn sandwich. One other specialty that they serves is the Makke Di Roti and Sarso Da Saag combo. The food is nice, more often than not and tastes really well too. You can also have a bowl of corn if all you want is a light snack on your way in or out of Sindhi Colony.

Sri Sarvana Bhavan restaurant
This restaurant is the typical "Tiffin" outlet of Hyderabad serving tea, coffee, juices and south indian food all around the day. The idlis of this restaurant are recommended. Overall its a  South Indian food joint where all you do is to order, have your food standing and leave.

Haridwar restaurant
The Haridwar restaurant in Hyderabad's Sindhi Colony is undoubtedly the best family restaurant around. It has a menu which has something of everything. There is a bit of South Indian, a large North Indian menu, a few Hyderabadi dishes and some snacks too. Haridwar restaurant provides some of the best Punjabi food this side of Secunderabad. The best place to have a wholesome meal for one and all and a flat 10% discount for all Satyamites on producing your ID card.

Temptations, Sindhi Colony
Vadilal Temptations, Sindhi Colony, Hyderabad

There are many ice cream joints all over Sindhi Colony and Hyderabad, but this one deserves a special mention as it was the one place where we spent many hours savoring ice creams in the Hyderabad heat.

Chung Hua
This restaurant is a wonderful small Chinese restaurant. This is one of the few places where you get original Chinese hand made noodles. The non veggies have recommended their golden fried prawns as being very tasty. The restaurant is small but still a good place for a nice dinner once in a while when you are bored of Bowl O China nearby.
Chung Hua Restaurant, Hyderabad

Makhan Bhog
Just bang opposite to Dimmy's Pan Shop, there is Makhan Bhog. This place is no restaurant, but is one of the best places to buy sweets and all sorts of Farsan items from. The sweets - right from Gulab Jamun to Ras Gullas are all very highly recommended.

Mamta Sweet Shop
This sweet shop is owned and run by a Gujarati. You can have Dhokla, Ganthiya and all the different lip smacking varieties of cholesterol loaded "Gujarati Farsan" in Hyderabad that all Gujaratis crave.

Dimmy's Pan Shop Chaat
Dimmy's Pan Shop has a small chaat corner in front of the shop which serves some really delicious chaat items. The sandwiches are recommended and so are all the fruit juices from here. There was a small "Laari" opposite to Dimmy's which served "Dabeli's in Hyderabad". In the hot summers they also used to serve "Ice Golas in Hyderabad" here from a laari opposite to Dimmy's.

Chillies Restaurant
We had our first party at this restaurant when all 20-25 of us got together for a huge wholesome meal together just before we left for Snow World. The restaurant has a good ambience and decent service, but the food is a let down. It has an underlying South Indian taste in all that you order. It is in the lane that goes straight towards Paradise from Mamta Sweet Shop.

RajGujarat Restaurant
I get a lot of hits from people searching for Gujarati food in Hyderabad. RajGujarat is a typical thali place where we Gujaratis used to have Gujarati food in Hyderabad. RajGujarat is a place that serves Gujarati thalis and also serves A la Carte. The thalis are the specialty though. The food is a lot like Gujju - Marwadi food and the rotis are not that bad either. They are actually thin and not made of maida..You can have your fill with a full thali that usually consists of two subzis, one dal, rotis, rice and papad all for Rs. 45. This was what we cost conscious, low budget, well paid Satyamites used to eat during the weekdays.

Pizza and Softies in Sindhi Colony, Hyderabad
Besides this a new open air Pizza joint had also opened in Sindhi Colony when I was leaving Hyderabad. This place served pizzas and ice cream softies, sundaes etc. The pizza were much cheaper and looked a lot like the ones from premium stores. Except that the toppings were not as well made and the cheese was quite a bit different. Having pizza from here was a faster way to get to our food and we had quite a few eat outs there.

Hot Chips
All types of chips are available for sale at this shop. It is a favorite for all those who indulge in drinking binges on weekends. Some of the largest variety of fresh chips can be found at this shop.

There are many other places in Sindhi Colony where we used to eat and which do deserve a special mention. I will be putting more information about them later.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hyderabad's Nehru Zoological Park aka Hyderabad Zoo

Hyderabad is dry and it doesn't rain as much here as it does in many other cities of the country. As a result, the Hyderabadi terrain is largely composed of rocks. Huge boulders of stones strewn around everywhere with a few shrubs and fewer trees anywhere in sight. Its a lot like Ahmedabad in that respect, albeit, I have to say that the Government in Hyderabad has really worked in making this city even more beautiful. As I have already mentioned in my post about Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, the tourism department of Andhra Pradesh has worked wonders for the city of Hyderabad.

The Zoo in Hyderabad aka Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad is one such place that is really well created and superbly maintained. The whole zoo is lush green with trees and extremely well maintained. The animals are not kept in cages as with the usual zoo, but instead they are all kept in huge open areas and trenches are dug to ensure that they do not jump out. This made photographing the animals a lot more fun and I hope it helped the animals live better too. The moment I entered the zoo, I went berserk with my camera. There was so much to click and so little time.

We saw the beautiful white tigers lazing around in the afternoon and they were a lot of fun to photograph in the open as there was a trench separating us from them and no barbed wire as is the usual case. Here is a picture of the white tigers.
I also had a chance to snap a beautiful photograph of this pair of Herons - if I remember the name correctly, and here is that.
There were many ponds and lakes in the zoo itself and at one of these water bodies, I found this pair of swan.
While clicking snaps in the Butterfly garden, I came across a large variety of flowers, cultivated to attract a large variety of butterflies. On such beautiful snap is showcased below.
This picture of two lovebirds on a small pillar is one of my favorite snaps from the zoo. This pair of lovebirds was standing right under the light from the sun and it allowed me to get this beautiful snap with the birds well illuminated and defined by the sunlight.
In the butterfly park, I managed to get a superb snap of a butterfly sitting on a flower and it does look very beautiful. I have seen hundreds of similar snaps, but still I like this photograph of butterfly too.
Wildlife photography - even in a zoo, made me realize the importance of having a proper DSLR, as the slow shutter speeds and fast reaction times required leave very less room for error. My Canon S3 IS fell woefully short of my expectations while shooting in the zoo.

Here is one snap from the lake which I took while waiting for the boat to take us on a joyride around the lake. I don't know if this is the picture of a Heron or that of a swan, but the contrasting colors do make it look beautiful. I was not able to really focus well on the black bird and that does show in the photograph, but its a good snap nevertheless.

The Zoological Park in Hyderabad is a huge place and besides the Mir Alam Tank it also has a small toy train you can take a ride in and a small animal safari through a region where they have kept the cheetahs and the lions in the wild. The whole tour of the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad will easily take a full day. I will not recommend the Zoo for tourists coming to visit Hyderabad for a 3-4 day visit, but for the IT crowd and students living in Hyderabad, the Zoo is definitely a must visit. Some more details about the zoo.

Mir Alam Tank, Hyderabad
The last picture was taken at the Mir Alam tank which forms a boundary of the Nehru Zoological Park. Mir Alam was a Prime Minister of Hyderabad from 1804 to 1808 and he was instrumental in building this mile long arched dam with 21 arches. Its construction was started on 25th July 1804 and was completed on 8th June 1806. Andhra Pradesh Tourism offers boating facilities that include mechanised boats, steering boats and speed boats. The speed boats available here are mostly hired for film shootings. A 20 minutes trip on the boat takes anything between Rs 20 to Rs 150 depending on the type of boat hired. Guest House accommodation is also available.

Timings of the Hyderabad Zoo

April to June : 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
July to March : 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Fees for the Hyderabad Zoo

The entry fees are Rs 20 for adults and Rs 15 for children. The fees for various other rides like Train Ride, Elephant Ride, Maharaja Elephant Ride, Safari Ride and the Nocturnal Animal House range from Rs. 15 to Rs 50. Carrying a camera inside the zoo also costs Rs 20 and if you want to bring in your four wheeler you will have to shell out an additional Rs 500 for that.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sahib Sindh Sultan restaurant, Hyderabad - Banjara Hills

Sahib Sindh Sultan LogoWe visited the Sahib Sindh Sultan restaurant, Hyderabad in Banjara Hills for a Friendship Day party. The Sahib Sindh Sultan restaurant, Hyderabad is another offering from the prestigious BJN group. India's first passenger train between Boribunder and Thane was pulled by three locomotives - Sahib, Sindh and Sultan. This is how the restaurant gets it name. Sahib Sindh Sultan, Hyderabad - the restaurant has interiors that are created to give a feel of India when the first railway line was installed between Boribunder and Thane. The railway theme is present throughout the restaurant with a Pullman-style carriageway which makes one feel as if you are sitting in an actual train.

The comprehensive menu starts with its choice of food from the North West Frontier Province, which is named as Fish Tikka a la Lord Rippon, Lady Canning’s Reshmi Paneer Tikka, Kanpur Tomato Shorba, Sir Francis Drake’s Lobster, Jhansi Rani ki Farmaish, Vulcan Foundry Murg Badam, Roti ki Boti, Karara Palak Chaat and many other dishes like these. The food at Sahib Sindh Sultan restaurant comes in many different cuisines with Gujarati, Rajasthani and Punjabi food available. They also stock hard drinks and some exquisite desserts.
The train like Sahib Sindh Sultan restaurant's exterior
The food is served on huge silver plates and it is usually in a large quantity and we loved it as it was fit for our group of fifteen. We started off with some luscious starters. I don't know why, but I love starters the most amongst North Indian food. The tables are usually served with four different chutneys and bread sticks. The service was excellent as in all BJN group outlets, the food was the usual North Indian fare but the decor and the ambiance were clearly the highlights of Sahib Sindh Sultan restaurant, Hyderabad. All the while that you are eating, you can hear the sounds of train arrivals and departures, besides the ringing of the station master's bell.
Inside the Sahib Sindh Sultan restaurantFinally, you get to the Benarasi paanwala who just like Angeethi, serves some highly prices strictly average paans. There are some shops which are highly recommended for the paans, but most of the times, the paan in Hyderabad are strictly average.

The visit to Sahib Sindh Sultan was a wonderful affair for us as we loved having our fill in its wonderful ambience. Getting out and reaching home in the rain was a different matter altogether as the rickshaw wallahs standing outside City Center demanded exorbitant rates - especially in the rains. So, we hired a taxi and all of us scrambled inside one Tavera and reached straight home - hale and healthy. :-) Late night transport to and fro from Banjara Hills is always a costly affair - in ways more than one and I would recommend avoiding it.

Sahib Sindh Sultan was also a costly affair, but worth every penny. :-)

Loony ratings:
Ambience : 9/10
Food : 8/10
Price : 7/10
Quantity : 8/10
Service : 8/10

Address : City Center Mall, Road No 1, Banjara Hills.
Phone No: 66570000, 66683337

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Prasad's IMAX, Hyderabad

One of the best places to hangout in Hyderabad is the Prasad's IMAX theater. Some facts about Prasad's IMAX.

Prasad's IMAX is South India's first, India's 3rd and the world's largest 3 D Imax theater. Located on the banks of the Hussainsagar Lake, it was a part of the Buddha Purnima project which was the project that installed the huge Buddha statue in the middle of the Hussainsagar Lake.

What is IMAX technology?
IMAX is an entertainment company headquartered in New York and Toronto. This company has also produced some wonderful movies like T Rex, Island of Sharks etc. The acronym IMAX was created from the words Maximum Image. This format is the largest and the most exciting film format in the world with a screen size which is 10 times larger than the 35mm format and thrice as large as the 70 mm project.

Prasad's IMAX Theater Facade
Prasad's IMAX provides a wonderful experience as it is a huge complex with a lot of shops and outlets inside for you to be able to roam and enjoy at. There are ice cream and food counters, a lot of game counters, shops for the shopaholics and nearly 5 to 6 screens that screen non 3 D movies too.

Prasad's IMAX Interior
One of Hyderabad's favourite hangout, IMAX is usually very crowded. Also it is virtually impossible to get a ticket at IMAX on public holidays. And a final warning. The streets outside IMAX are not a very safe place for women late in the nights after a matinee show. Avoid rickshaws and better have your own vehicle for a late night visit.

All in all, Prasad's IMAX is the perfect way to spend a hot Hyderabadi afternoon with your friends. You can also go out on a walk across the Hussainsagar lake in the afternoons once the weather cools down a bit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ananda Buddha Vihara, Buddha Temple at Hyderabad

Ananda Buddha Vihara Temple, Hyderabad
It was a boring Sunday. Jigar had scrambled over to my place in Begumpet and we were bored watching television and had nothing to do. We were also going through a serious abstinence phase and so Jigar wanted out and I wanted photography. I had read a small byline in my Lonely Planet about a quaint Buddhist temple on a hill in Hyderabad and off we went to the Ananda Buddha Vihara, Hyderabad.

The Lonely Planet guide provided accurate details to the destination. We went up to East Maredpally and from there took a rickshaw to Mahendra Hills. Not surprisingly, the rickshaw driver hadn't heard of the place either. We asked him to take us to Mata Amritanandmayi's Ashrama which is next to Ananda Buddha Vihara as he concentrated on coaxing the rickshaw above the steep streets of Mahendra Hills. The buddhist temple of Ananda Buddha Vihara is the last building at the edge of a hillock, just adjacent to Mata Amritanandmayi's ashrama.
View of Ananda Buddha Vihara from the entrance
The sight of the temple is guaranteed to take your breath away. And as you climb over its steps and watch the city, you will wonder why no one told you before about this place. The Ananda Buddha Vihara offers some beautiful views of the city. As you enter the huge hall of the temple, with lights flooding the hall through the huge French windows, you will be surprised by the calm serenity of the place. The temple has a huge golden Buddha statue in its center. You can undoubtedly forget yourself sitting in this magnificent hall.
Beautiful Cloud formations from the steps of the Ananda Buddha Vihara, Buddha Temple, Hyderabad
Outside the hall there is a small garden with a beautiful idol of Lord Buddha under a tree. It seems to be depicting the scene where Lord Buddha is supposed to have attained Nirvana. There is also a lotus pool and a waterfall in the garden. There is a wide variety of many beautiful flowers and plants in the garden too.
A beautiful Buddha Statue in the garden of the Ananda Buddha Vihara, Buddha Temple, Hyderabad
We went out of the temple and just down the road, I spent some time photographing Jigar with some kids on the streets. They were overjoyed when I showed them their pictures on the LCD.
Jigar with the street urchins at Buddha Temple, Hyderabad
A view of the road down towards the city.
A view of Hyderabad from the Buddha Temple
We were very tired by the time we reached Ananda Buddha Vihara. But the rest in the temple did us a world of good. I had a grand time photographing the many different cloud formations that adorned the beautiful blue skies of Hyderabad that day. The sky in Hyderabad - and I am saying this with the experience of watching it nearly everyday from my top floor balcony - springs up many different patterns of clouds and color. The skies in Ahmedabad and Mumbai in contrast look grey, bleak and gloomy. Here are some pics with some beautiful cloud formations.
Beautiful cloud formations in a beautiful sky in HyderabadThe clouds move across the skyline of Hyderabad like an armada of ships sailing across oceans.
Clouds moving on the Hyderabad skies like ships sailing to war
The Ananda Buddha Vihara trust, was first set up at Tukaramgate about 24 years ago. Now it functions from a sprawling 3-acre land in Mahendra Hills. It organises the annual Buddha Jayanti celebrations and organises lectures on full moon day (Poornima) every month. The trust has also been involved in printing Buddhist literature in English and Telugu languages and translated several Buddhist works into the regional language. The Mahendra Hills complex is being run by Ven Sangharakshita Mahathera from the erstwhile composite Bengal state. Mahathera settled in the city and looks after the affairs of the Trust. The monks at the temple are very approachable and will tell you all you need to know about Buddhism.

The Ananda Buddha Vihara is undoubtedly one of the best places in Hyderabad to spend some time in solitude, peace and quiet.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Qutb Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad

Planned and built during the reign of each one of the monarchs himself, the Qutb Shahi tombs, lying a kilometre to the north of Golconda in Hyderabad are a combination of Persian, Pathan and Hindu styles of architecture. Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah built the Charminar and is considered to be the founder of Hyderabad. Nowhere else in the world does an entire dynasty find a common resting place.

Trellissed balconies, overlapping arches, arched corridors and rich ornamental parapets make the Qutb Shahi Tombs look spectacular.

The tombs of the Quli Qutub Shahi dynasty have stood the test of time braving human negligence and the assault of time and weather. Besides the tombs of the Quli Qutb Shahi dynasty, there are tombs of the people who were near and dear to the buried royals too.

There is a tomb of Fatima Sultan, sister of Muhammed Qutub Shah. Between Muhammed Quli’s and Jamsheed’s tomb there is the mausoleum of Kulsoom Begum who was Mohammed Qutub’s grand daughter. There are tombs that belong to Taramathi and Premamathi, Muhammed Neknam Khan, who served in the army of Abdullah, Fatima Khanum, one of Abdullah’s daughters. There is a tomb of the Sufi saint Husain Wali. It is believed that Husain wali built the Husain Sagar lake, which connects the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Here is a picture showing the corridors of the famous Qutb Shahi Tombs.

The Qutb Shahi tombs are closed on Fridays. There is a museum nearby that houses weapons, utensils etc of the Qutb Shahi period.

Museum : 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Qutb Shahi Tombs : 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. - Closed Fridays

Bus Routes
65S, 80S, 80P, 142S

Ticket Price
Rs. 2

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ohri's Tadka, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad

Ohri's LogoA visit to Ohri's Tadka on Banjara Hills was long due. That was when we heard that they are organising a Punjabi food festival. We had visited Rajdhani just the other day, but true blue foodies that we are, we couldn't resist going to the food festival. A celebrity chef from Delhi - Mr. Sweety Singh was invited for the festival. We reached the Banjara Hills, Road no 12 outlet a bit late in the afternoon as we shopped around before reaching Ohri's and so we were hungrier than ever.

The Ohri's Tadka outlet on Banjara Hills is a huge building and they have all the floors to themselves with different cuisines served on different floors. There is everything from chaat and ice creams to continental and also North Indian cuisine.

Ohri's Banjara, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad

Ohri's Tadka aka Ohri's Banjara, Banjara Hills

By the time we reached there, we were famished and so we decided to go for the full buffet lunch. The menu was elaborate and excellent. The dishes were something that I have rarely eaten and all through the taste was truly Punjabi. Being a vegetarian, I stuck to the usual veg fare and even that had my stomach filled to the brim. The pickles were a must have. I have rarely tasted such good, fresh pickles before. The different types of naans and rotis that we ordered were also sumptious. All in all Ohri's Tadka served us true North Indian fare, something which we rarely encounter in Hyderabad.

It was pricey though. The buffet lunch was worth Rs. 245 and the dinner for Rs. 295 (taxes extra). This included a welcome drink, two types of shorba, 5 pickles, 3 non-veg, 3 salads and 6 veg curries, 2 dals, 3 types of breads, 2 veg rice, 1 hot and 1 cold dessert, 1 non-veg biryani and a live counter of falooda and kulfi.

Interiors of Ohri's Banjara, Banjara HillsWe were told that the menu changes everyday, and some of the dishes are Saag Meat, Special Punjabi Meat, Dhaba Butter Chicken, Patiala Shahi Murg, Sarso Da Saag, Afghani Chicken, Kadee Pakoda, Makki Di Roti, Aloo Wadiyan, Gobi Masala, Pindi Chole, Baingan Da Bharta, Palak Gobi, Amritsari Fish Curry, Baingan Masala, Aloo Kulcha, Amritsari Machlee Fry, Lachaa Parantha, Shahi Paneer, Onion Kulcha, Paneer Lababdaar and Mutter Paneer. For the desserts, there are Malpua, Punjabi Kheer, Gulab Jamun, Moong Dal Da Halwa, Gajar Halwa, Dabba Kulfi and Matka Kulfi.

Loony Ratings:

Ambience : 8/10
Food : 9/10
Price : 8/10
Quantity : 9/10

One of the "Must Eat At" places in Hyderabad.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

M'Zuri Sana, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad

We went there with a lot of expectations. Afterall we were visiting the place touted as one of the best Hyderabad hangouts. We were told that M'Zuri Sana means "Beautiful to Behold" in Swahili. Anita, who is the owner of the store was born and brought up in Kenya. Most of the Beautiful to Behold articles present in the store are her creations. This cafe cum store stocks everything from salwars, kurtis, skirts and accessories to decorative lamps and even well designed furniture for your home. The furniture is well designed, modern and made of the best quality of materials. The clothing is ethnic and usually hand woven or hand crafted.

The young and the restless love this Hyderabad Hangout and the hookahs of this place are definitely considered to be some of the best in Hyderabad. The masala chai and brownies are also something that I can personally vouch for. M'Zuri Sana is a perfect place to come and relax after some heavy shopping around the Banjara - Jubilee Hills area.

Mzuri Sana has its branches in a lot of cities all over the country. It has opened another outlet in Kharkhana in Hyderabad too. And to top it all, it has a wonderful website too. Just check out this website of MZuri Sana.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Le Cafe D'Art, Hyderabad

The posh, hip Le Cafe D'Art is one of the best places to hangout in Hyderabad. The cafe promotes local artists by displaying their paintings and selling them here. The Le Cafe D'Art is very well decorated and has a cool, hip ambience. It is one of the best places to hangout in Hyderabad for the beautiful people of the twin cities.

Le Cafe D'Art, Hyderabad
Le Cafe D'Art, Hyderabad
They serve pastas, sandwiches, grills, platters and an interesting continental breakfast. They also serve decent croissants and cappuccinos. The hookah's are expensive and definitely passable though. This cafe is open from 9 in the morning to 11 in the night.

Food at the Le Cafe D'Art, Hyderabad
Located At:
Le Cafe De Art,Below Fusion 9, Road No 1,
Banjara Hills,
Hyderabad - 500034 , India.
Phone : 040-65506661.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Moksha Restaurant, Necklace Road, Hyderabad

Moksha Restaurant with a view of Hussainsagar Lake, HyderabadWhile working at Satyam, there were times when the weekdays were hectic, what with all the tests and projects that we had to work on during our training. This left us little free time during the week. Saturdays, thus were spent resting at home or finishing upo with official tasks and planning for the Sunday. So, by evening, we used to be hungry for food and some excitement. Initially the evenings were spent in Sindhi colony, where we lived as if we were in an extension campus of Satyam. But soon we got bored of the usual restaurants in Sindhi colony and decided to try out different places.

The Moksha restaurant is a short walk from Sindhi colony. The Moksh restaurant is by the Biligiri group. They have a very good ambience, with the restaurant facing the Hussainsagar Lake and beautifully landscaped with a small fountain and rock and marble seating arrangements outside. On the inside, it is a well lit restaurant with the usual family restaurant like settings, though I have to admit that the space is huge.

The Moksha restaurant, Hyderabad serves the usual North Indian, Chinese food and some Andhra specialities. The service is prompt, or may be it was for us as we as usual were early there. I love eating at complete ease, with loads of time on hand to stuff myself to the brim. I am ambivalent about the food at this place. It was the usual stuff with nothing spectacular. The USP of the restaurant is definitely its location. You have a view of the wonderful Hussainsagar from this restaurant and there are very few restaurants in Hyderabad that offer this.

The menu is elaborate and what you order is what your experience as to how good the food is will depend on what you order. There are some exotic items like Kheema Khaleji, Dal Maska and the Deghi Mirch Murgh Tikka. We though stuck to the regular fare and ordered Chilli Mushrooms and Garlic Soup for the starters. Next up we had the Diwani Handi and Tawa Paratha from the Live Tawa counter. We didn't order any desserts and liked what we had. The food was expensive, but decent. They also serve all kinds of drinks in this hotel.

Overall, the experience at Moksha was a decent one.

Ambience : 6/10
Food : 7/10
Price : 7/10
Quantity : 7/10

A so so place which is quite expensive too.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad

SalarJung Museum, Hyderabad
The Salar Jung museum in Hyderabad on the banks of the Musi houses one of the largest one-man collection of artifacts ands antiques in the world. Salar Jung 3, Abdul Qasim Yousuf Ali Khan, was prime minister to the Nizam at the age of 24. He was in lineage of hereditary Diwans to the Nizams of Hyderabad. He was a frequent traveller abroad. On his visits he visited museums and collected some of the greatest masterpieces of all times like the Veiled Rebecca in marble, the Margarette and Mephistopheles in a single block of solid wood. This place is a must visit on any sightseeing tour in Hyderabad city.

SalarJung Museum, Hyderabad City

The different collections constitute of Indian Art, Middle Eastern Art, Far Eastern Art, European Art, Children Art along with a Founders gallery and a rare manuscript section. There are all sorts of weapon and clothes from that era too.

The Vieled Rebecca, SalarJung Museum, Hyderabad

A photograph of the Vieled Rebecca at the Salarjung museum in Hyderabad.

Old timers say that the huge collection of Salar Jung, who remained a bachelor was siphoned away by the domestic help and later thieves and what remains is just half of what was collected by the prime minister. Even that half is undoubtedly impressive. The museum attracts nearly 10 lakh visitors annually.

Egyptian Photograph, SalarJung Museum, Hyderabad City

A photograph of an Egyptian painting from the Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad.

For those of you who are interested in the architecture of Hyderabad city, the area around the Salarjung has some wonderful buildings. You can go sightseeing in Hyderabad and visit the impressive building of the Osmania University and the High Court in its vicinity too.

SalarJung Museum Entry Fee : 10/- for Indians Rs. 150/- for Foreigners
SalarJung Museum Timings : 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Closed on Friday
Photography : Permission
City Buses : 2, 8, 9, 72
Popular As : Largest One-Man Collections Of The World
Exhibits : Mughal Miniatures, European Paintings & sculptures, Chinese Porcelain, Japanese Silk Paintings, Carpets, Clocks, rare manuscripts, jade and ivory works etc.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, Hyderabad

Imagine you are sitting under a tree on top of a hill with a cool breeze blowing across your face and in front of you is a wide expanse of blue water surrounded by granite hillocks. And all this, right in the middle of the City of Hyderabad. Hyderabad sightseeing is always fun, not just because of the wonderful locals, and the beautiful locations but also because of the efforts that the AP Tourism Department has taken to develop most tourist places.
Amphitheatre at Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, HyderabadDurgam Cheruvu literally means Secret Lake in English. During earlier times, this lake used to supply water to the Golconda Fort. It lies just beside the posh Jubilee Hills area. The lake is called Durgam Cheruvu because there was no road leading to it for years and it was completely enclosed from all sides, making it difficult to know that there was a lake beyond the rocks. This was why very few people used to visit this place.
Amphitheatre at Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, HyderabadToday, the lake has been beautifully developed and landscaped with many different plants adding to the beauty of the garden on its banks. Usually this place has a large number of young lovers looking around for nooks and crannies. But on weekends, there are usually more families who come to enjoy the beauty of this lake. On top of the lake there is an amphitheatre and sometimes there are rock fests that are held in these beautiful, picturesque surrounds as shown in the photographs above.
Stone Carving at Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, HyderabadThis secret lake is surrounded by beautiful rocks which are very old and interest many geologists. On one hand of the Durgam Cheruvu, you can see many buildings of IT companies being built.
Boating at Durgam Cheruvu, HyderabadDurgam Cheruvu lake in Hyderabad also provides the facilities of boating on its waters. You can take a pedal boat and move around the waters for 1 hour by paying up only 120 bucks – provided you can brave the Hyderabadi sun. There are other rides also available for nominal prices in mechanized boats and also in putty boats.
Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, HyderabadThe Secret Lake is open from 9:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening. There is a cafeteria and refreshment center on the top of the lake. Some more infrastructure is also getting built by the government these days.
Beautiful Vista of Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, Hyderabad
Beautiful Vista of Durgam Cheruvu aka Secret Lake, Hyderabad

How to reach there?
Durgam Cheruvu is near the Babasaheb Ambedkar college. The best way to reach this place is to look for a crossing near to the Madhapur police station on the main road that goes to Madhapur from Jubilee Hills. From the cross roads near the Madhapur railway station, you need to take a left turn if you are travelling in the direction from Jubilee Hills to Madhapur and keep moving. Ask around a bit and soon enough you will come to the ticket window near the lake.

Remember that it might be closed due to heavy rains in the monsoon too. You can call and arrange your trip to Durgam Cheruvu.

Phone Numbers of this place are 91-40-23110523 and 040- 55510372.


Increase your PageRankPromote Your Blog
we are in

IndiBlogger - The Indian Blogger Community Visit to discover Indian blogs The Roadie and Foodie Blog - Blogged Add to favourite links Free Website Traffic Technorati Fav Tourtoo Travel Site