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.


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