I was travelling a little away from Hyderabad towards the Rangareddy District and was told that enveloped within the Madhapur and Jubilee Hills is this supposed Secret Lake which is also called the Durgam Cheruvu, Hyderabad. What served merely as the source of drinking water for the Nizam and for the people of the Golconda earlier has now been converted into an urban outdoor relaxation facility by the Government. There are boating facilities and also a segregated area for fishing within the lake to attract potential visitors, who could be tourists as well as the locals.
As the Durgam Cheruvu was approaching, I could feel the change in the atmosphere. There was certain freshness in the air, an unmistakable dewy quality, which could make a person spend hours here without a care of the world for sure. This was the perfect place for me to spend my last few hours of the trip. It was indeed everything that I was hoping it to be. The cool calm and serene waters in the evening sun had a warm glow about it. A soft breeze ensured that the weather felt pleasant and I sat on a boat to enjoy the place to the fullest. It was feeling ethereal as the wind kept caressing and the scenery enthralled me. There were a few other boats, which were occupied by couples; it seems the place is frequented by romantic couples who preferred the secluded place for a day out. The Government has made ample efforts to popularize the place. There are many artificial waterfalls, a floating fountain and a rock garden, which will interest the people visiting the place.
For the young and adventurous, there are provisions for trekking, rock climbing and rappelling and also an art gallery, which has notable items on display. The sculptor garden seemed an innovative inclusion where I suppose artists came looking for inspiration. The Durgam Cheruvu, Hyderabad is a sure shot place for fun and outdoor activities but all of it would have been enhanced if I had the company of my friends or family. This time I would surely have to revisit with some company to experience Hyderabad once again but in a different way.
Hussain Sagar Lake Hyderabad : Hussain Sagar Lake of Hyderabad is one of the most famous tourist locations. There is a huge statue of Gautam Buddha at the centre of the lake. The statue if also one of the famous landmarks of Hyderabad. I clicked many pictures here. I also enjoyed having Biryani at the Paradise Hotel nearby.
This trip to Hyderabad was fast winding up for me. Just as the hotel environment was feeling like home, a look in the itinerary reminded me that very soon the trip was threatening to be over. Yes, there has been some wonderful time spent already, the proof of all of which remained in my SLR, yet it felt too soon for it was my last day this day when I would visit the Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad and then on to another sightseeing and that was it. With a heavy heart for the same reason, I sat on the breakfast table.
Once I was ready, the conveyance for the Heritage Hotel too arrived and I was on my way for all that was left. A look at the stately building and the regal expanse of the Falaknuma Palace shook me out of my misery. The scene in front of my eyes was nothing short of a page from the fairy-like stories. The grand entrance, the impressive outer façade and the opulence that emanated from the interiors gave me a heady feeling, which transported me to the era of the Nizam’s and the Kings. And no wonder, the palace has been the royal abode for years until it was leased to the Taj Group of Hotels for its conversion into a five-star hotel. Everything is breathtaking- the Venetian chandeliers, the rare and antique furniture belonging to the erstwhile era and the carefully refurbished ambience, all spoke volumes for the period, which is now a part of the glorious past.
Likewise are the Japanese Gardens - spectacular and captivating. The lush greenery around the hotel befitted the Kings and the Queens. They are accessible only to the distinguished gentry who choose to have reservations here. The Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad was a treat to watch. I could not gain access to the rooms as I was not staying with them but I am sure it would surely be very attractive as well. As I made way to the Durgam Cheruvu, Hyderabad, I had assigned my reason to return to Hyderabad - it would surely be for a stay at this hotel, my pocket permitting of course.
Indira Park, Hyderabad : If you are planning to visit the Hussain Sagar lake, make it a point to visit the Indira Park. It is located very close to the lake. The park cover 76 acres of land. The park is named after late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The park is beautiful and abounds in scenic beauty. I loved this place very much.
I guess my prayers were speed posted to God because just as I prayed for the happiness of my friends and family, God decided to make me happy and exuberant. Testimony to this was my visit to the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad - possibly the most favorite place of mine in Hyderabad owing to the love for animals in me. I get never tired of zoos. People might find it odd but also in photography, wild life clicking is my passion. Odd because I am old and all yet I still shriek like a child the moment I witness the animals like I did when I was in the third grade.
There are over 250 species of animals that could be seen in the zoo. As I entered, the atmosphere of the zoo became evident to me. There were groups of children and lone ones too, all accompanied by their guardians I presumed. It was indeed great to see families making an outing to such a place because often families find ample reasons to move together other than movies and malls in which although they appear to be together but in essence, almost all get diverted to their own interests. Here in the zoo, there can be no threat for that. It is for the children and the adults invariably visit their own childhood through this trip. There were many exhibits and safaris within the zoo premise and I had the most of the day at my disposal to make the most of it. Apart from the animals on display, the zoo also endeavored to breed animals successfully albeit in captivity but had the best interests for the animals for the successful rearing of the little ones.
Some of the carnivores that look menacing in the cages of the Nehru Zoological Zoo, Hyderabad are the African Lion, the Wild Dog, the small Indian Civet, the Striped Hyena, and many more. The flora and fauna of the zoo premise is kept conducive for the animals. Among the Safaris, I availed the Tiger Safari inside the secured Safari vehicle. I had to coerce myself to leave the zoo and make my way to the Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad.
It was time now to visit the oldest mosque of Hyderabad - the Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad. Why the place is so named and holds a special place in the hearts of all the Muslims who come here for prayer is because the central arch of the mosque is made from the soil brought from Mecca, the holiest place for Muslims all over the world. As the most revered heritage building among the other important monuments of Hyderabad, the Masjid does full justice to its strategic location. Many consider it the focal point from where the city of Hyderabad emanated in the four directions.
The maker of this important piece of history is the fifth ruler of the Qutb Dynasty- Quli Qutb Shah but sadly he was not alive to see this monument finish. The Mughal ruler Aurangzeb concluded the construction of the Masjid once he became the ruler of Hyderabad. Some of the features that set this Masjid apart from the other important sites in Hyderabad or any other place for that matter is the fact that the three arches of the Masjid were quarried from a single slab of granite piece and it took about five years to do so. There are inscriptions of Quran in various arches and domes, which although I cannot decipher of course, tells me somehow that they are surely very important to be carved here in stone. The mosque also has tombs of the Nizam’s royal family entrenched in marble graves. The architecture is much like the architecture found in the Charminar and the Golconda Fort, I could gather.
I was very much intrigued by the legendary benches near the edge of a pond here in the Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad, where the locals maintain that if anyone once sits on them definitely returns to the city of Hyderabad to sit on it another time. I took my chances and wished to return to this mesmerizing place, which has history ingrained in it. The day finally concluded and I retired to my hotel to rest for the night to be refreshed for yet another promising morning when I would visit the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad.
St Mary's Church, Hyderabad : St Mary's church of Secunderabad is famous as a tourist location and also a common place for religious tourists. Christians from all over India visit this church. There is a large statue of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary in front of this church. I loved the peace and serenity you feel here.
I had become quite a fan of the breakfast spread in the hotel. There were too many delicacies and I generally ate to my heart’s content and skipped lunch since during lunch I remained busy with the sightseeing in the city. This day was scheduled for St. George Church, Hyderabad and I was looking forward to having a look at one of the oldest churches that can be found in this part of the country. Places of worship - be it a church, temple or gurudwara- all have certain serenity and peace in them, which affects the soul and the sensibilities of the person. The divinity that is a prominent characteristic of it makes the heart go calmer and relaxed and one surely feels blessed.
The Nizam of Hyderabad felicitated the English community with the land, over which the church is constructed and it was for the worship needs of the growing English community in Hyderabad. Although, the foundation stone was laid in the year 1844 February, the church was open for worshipping only by the 19th September 1844. The credit of the planning of the building went to Mr. T.W. Ray and he was also the one who supervised the construction of the church. Ensconced in the St. George’s vestry is the original Baptism Registry, which still has the introductory words recorded.
St. George Church, Hyderabad stands as a testimony for the believers under the denomination of the Church of South India and incorporates the Diocese of Medak. The church remains in the memory of St. George and continues to make provisions for the worship of the people of the Christian Faith. My tryst with the religious places does not stop here for next on my list was the Mecca Masjid Hyderabad, which I was sure would give me a similar experience like the one that I felt in this church. The Almighty can be remembered and worshipped in endless ways but the prayers from every place of worship reaches the same God; what matters are the honesty and the purity with which He is remembered. With this note in my heart, I made my way to the next spot.
Ramoji Film City Hyderabad : You must visit the Ramoji film city of Hyderabad in your Hyderabad tour. It is amazing place and a common tourist location. People of all ages will enjoy a visit to this film city. It spans a massive 1666 acres. The film city also has a marvelous amusement park where you can have a jolly time with family and friends.
My first few days in Hyderabad and I was already enjoying the city too much, its inherent vibes, the culture and the little snippets, which I observed the moment I hit the streets. As a habitual early riser, I have been waking up way too late; I guess it is the effect of the vacations and its free spirit. Breakfast in Hyderabad is a treat with mouthwatering delicacies, which will surely add to my weight I knew, yet I was indulging without any guilt whatsoever. This day, I had rented a car to take me to the Osman Sagar, Hyderabad, which I am told is an artificial lake that once used to be the chief water reservoir for the purposes of drinking water for the city of Hyderabad, but now remains more as a spot for recreational activities.
The drive to the Osman Sagar was rather uneventful, for once the peaceful environment had calmed me and I was deep in my own thoughts. There was so much to do in life, learn experience, achieve and give and though I had covered some of my present journey in Hyderabad, my journey in life had barely begun. There were very many years to go but almost all the time it felt as though there was so much to do and so little time. I was interrupted by the halt of the car and I realized that I had reached my destination. I was quite impressed by the beautiful vast expanse of the water that lay ahead of me. It was as though it depicted the expanse of work that lay ahead of me. I braced myself - this was going to be rewarding for sure. The lake is the result of the dam on the River Musi. Despite the morning heat, a soft breeze was blowing and it caressed me as I stood admiring the scene in front of me. Often, the breeze caused a stir in the waters and the reflection of the morning sun too danced with it.
The Osman Sagar, Hyderabad was a captivating place and I may have spent a lot of time pondering there, for by the time I returned to Aditya Park- a Sarovar Portico Hotel, it was already evening.
Follow Ayushi Manroa on Quora
Hello, I am Ayushi Manroa. I love travelling and have also dabbled in photography. Being a student, I mostly end up back-packing! I started this blog to record my travelogues about the amazing places that I have been to. Be it frolicking in Goa, taking a dip in the Ganges, trekking in Coorg or hitching a ride up the Western Ghats, it is all listed here along with some of my best shots. Hope you like it. Happy reading!