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Introducing Hyderabad & Secunderabad

Hyderabad, City of Pearls, is like an elderly, impeccably dressed princess with really faded, really expensive jewellery. Once the seat of the powerful and wealthy Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi dynasties, the city has seen centuries of great prosperity and innovation. Today, the ‘Old City’ is full of centuries-old Islamic monuments and even older charms. In fact, the whole city is laced with architectural gems: ornate tombs, mosques, palaces and homes from the past – some weathered and enchanting, others recently restored and gleaming – are peppered across town.

The 1990s saw the rise of Hyderabad’s west side (the aged princess’s fun, stylish granddaughter) and the emergence of a new decadence. ‘Cyberabad’, with Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Pune, is the seat of India’s mighty software dynasty and has created a culture of good food and posh lounges for the city's new royalty.

Secunderabad, north of the Hussain Sagar, is the former British cantonment, now useful to travelers mainly for its huge train station.

Traffic is a problem here: keep in mind that even short distances can take a long time to cover.