Its Very Busy
Trip Start Jan 05, 2011
29Trip End Apr 28, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
mania for the last 2 weeks! So here is our account of Hyderabad city.
We left the very picturesque town of Hampi on a 10pm night train that arrived in Hyderabad
central station the next day. Well what a shock we had! Coming from a sleepy historic town
to a city that holds 5.5million was a vast contrast. And the first task we had to was to
cross one of the busiest junctions in the city to our hotel. After several minutes hovering
on the side of the road and in the central reservation we made it across
to find that the hotel had no recognition of our booking
that this is the only booking I made on the whole trip. I tried various spellings of Nathan,
Chinman and even Mr Pinkney but to no avail. I'm sure I hadn't had too much Honeydew brandy in Goa the day I booked it!
Anyway they ushered us to their not so grand 'sister' hotel 30 seconds walk away. After inspecting several rooms and getting a deal for ourselves we plotted up in quite a hot noisy room. But,it did have a tv for the start of the cricket.
First stop that afternoon was the Sarjung Museum. We braved a street vendor for some samosa chat where they break the samosa up and mix it with other veg on a hot plate and serve in a mini dish. Well we survived it!
The museum has 36,000 historical (well, the majority a lot of tat not that dis-similar to a Michael Jackson collection after a visit to Vegas) objects of the various Nizams (princes) of the region over the last 250 years. It was a good 2-3 hours of looking at artifacts and the highlight was a musical clock that i have to say wasn't that musical.We saw a gathering of 60+ people in a large hall all facing a clock and 2 tv screens, so we joined them
After a good afternoon in the museum we followed the Lonely Planet to Hotel Shabab for some 'authentic Indian food. Once meal at Shabab and you'll be forever under it's spell'. we walked from the hotel to the restaurant along busy busy roads and it felt like we had a thousand eyes watching us everywhere we went. I don't think we saw any other tourists en route. When we made it across the road and into the downstairs streetside seating area Claire was quick to pull me outside and mentioned she was the only woman in there and with blonde hair to boot. We were then ushered upstairs to mixed eating area. Hyderabad has a big muslim contingent hence the 'men only' area. Anyways the meal passed without further incident and the food was great. I even left with a 'parcel' of left overs of the food I couldnt eat. Which meant as soon as i left the restaurant i was surrounded by street kids begging for food. After maneuvering past these and into a auto rickshaw we were then spotted at traffic lights by a beggar with no arms screaming at us for money whilst we hoped for the lights to change. Not sure where we would have put it if we wanted to give him anything!
The next day we headed off to Galconda Fort which was on our book we read in Goa. It was just a derelict ruined fort (think Castle Acre but bigger, hotter and with a few steep climbs!) but it was being visited by 1000 school kids all wanting photos and autographs and it all became a bit suffocating
The evening is spent at Lumbini Park, a lake side park with boat rides out to the 'worlds largest freestanding stone Buddha statue - 17.5m tall'. One of the boating options is a 20min speedboat ride, do a lap then head back to shore. Everyone 'must wear a life jacket' ... except the 6month old baby sitting on mum's lap! Another glimpse of Indian life as families gather to watch the sunset, couples cuddle on the shady benches and people of all ages walk behind the waterfall for photos.
During the day Claire informed me that during our scrumptious dinner at Hotel Shabab she had seen something move along the floor. Further inspection confirmed her fears that it was a furry rodent friend but felt she could only tell me after we had survived the meal without food poisoning
After lots of historical sight seeing in Hampi and in Galconda we decided to have a fun day. So we booked ourselves on a tour Ramoji Film City, the coach load did look a little surprised to see us get on the bus and although we don't know what they were singing about we enjoyed the Bollywood tunes for the 20km ride out of town. It is basically a mini theme park but set in an 800 hectare series of studios where current Indian soap operas and films are recorded. The gardens are immaculate (just how India in your imagination i.e. minus poverty and plastic bottles, would be) and the whole day was nice and leisurely, we had the biggest smiles on our faces from being somewhere so light hearted and fun. Although we are mini celebs once again and now rest on many more Indian household mantelpieces it was lovely not to be the main attraction. They also had TV's showing the India Bangladesh game all around the park so we managed to catch glimpse of that too, through the hoardes of uncles, fathers and sons gathered round the sets.
Another thing we managed to get a glimpse of is how the Indians like to queue for rides...very badly and very close together
After a good day out we found a cracking all you can eat buffet, at one of the Indian tourist hotels, for a good price just round the corner from the hotel where we stuffed our face contently and found a beer for the first time in a week...heaven!
So our first visit to a major city was done although a little shocking after the tranquility of the last places we had been. But the excitement of our first cricket match was building and really starting to kick in as we prepared for an really early train to Nagpur for the Netherlands game.
Up at 5am.... and ready for another early start for the journey to Nagpur