Jul 262018

V and I had planned a trip to Europe in April of this year and it was a BIG DEAL – V’s 1st time to Europe and our 1st long vacation (just the 2 of us!) since Baby A was born. But that is a different story to be written about in a different post.

This story is about us in the December of 2017 (us being me) – terribly nervous about the upcoming BIG travel without Baby A. There was a long weekend around the 26th of January 2018, so we decided to do a trial round and go somewhere nearby for a few days and see how we would cope with the separation.

After a bit of discussion, we decided to go to Hyderabad (depart on the 26th and return on the 28th) as it is only 1 hour away by flight and was somewhere neither of us had been before.

We booked our flight tickets and made our reservations at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.

We decided to book a private cab for sightseeing, so we could do what we want at our pace. An online search got us to the Holidays DNA website where we contacted Sunraise Travels and booked a cab to take us around on the 27th.

We arrived at the hotel on the night of the 26th. The Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is a beautiful 5-star property located in Banjara Hills with spacious and comfortable rooms.

In the hotel lobby

We tried their buffet breakfast on the 27th. It was a typical buffet spread – Not much to say about that!

The cab driver arrived promptly at 10 am and off we went. Here is a glimpse at what we did on the 27th of January, 2018.

Qutb Shahi Tombs:

The seven tombs of Qutb Shahi Emperors are easy to miss on the way to the Golconda fort (they are only about 1 km away). Entering through an unassuming gate, we paid a nominal entry fee of Rs. 10 and walked into a near empty courtyard and suddenly came upon these silent, domed monuments. With hardly a handful of people around, the wind rustling through the trees and the soft earth whispering beneath our feet, it brought home the fact that we were indeed walking around the final resting places of the Emperors of a great dynasty.

The architecture is impressive, but unfortunately, is crumbling and ill- maintained. Some repairs were being carried out because of which we were unable to visit the mosque and the baths. Here’s hoping that this place be restored to a fraction of its past glory.

Golconda Fort:

The Golconda fort is a magnificent hilltop citadel. From the Fateh Darwaza to Balla Hisar (the highest point of the fort) it is an architectural and acoustic wonder. We wandered the pathways leading through arched doorways into cavernous halls in open-mouthed wonder. This place has withstood the test of time and has retained its grandeur!

At the entrance

Charminar:

Literally meaning “Four Minarets”, the Charminar is an iconic monument and a mosque situated smack- dab in the middle of a bustling neighbourhood bracketed by the Laad Bazaar (where you can buy authentic lacquer bangles) and the Makkah Masjid. Climb a narrow, spiralling staircase through one of the minarets to the top where you get great views of old Hyderabad on all sides.

A view from the top!

For lunch, we followed our cab driver’s advice and tried the Biryani at Hotel Blue Fox. Fragrant rice with tender pieces of chicken served with spicy mirchi ka salan – That was lip- smackingly good!

Thereafter, with full stomachs, we went ahead to the next sights.

Birla Mandir:

This is a grand Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara built by the Birla Foundation on the Kala Pahad. The temple is gleaming white and is a replica of the Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala. The complex also houses temples and shrines dedicated to Buddha and other gods such as Shiva, Ganesh, Saraswati, Hanuman, Brahma, Lakshmi and Saibaba.

Lumbini Park at Hussain Sagar Lake:

We decided to end the day with a boat ride in the Hussain Sagar lake with a stop off at Lumbini Park.

On the 28th we joined V’s friend for breakfast at Chutneys (the Banjara Hills outlet). I had the Guntur Idli (soft, steamed idlis coated with spicy molgapudi chutney) and the guys had the MLA Pesarattu ( a speciality item with a moong- dal pesarattu stuffed with upma) – Absolutely delicious!

We had to leave soon for the airport but made a quick stop at a Karachi Bakery to buy yummy stuff for the family. Karachi Bakery has become famous in Pune for its fruit biscuits, but its most popular offering is the Osmania biscuit – a crunchy, salty- sweet confection that seems to melt in the mouth. They also have a very large variety of dry- fruit and butter biscuits so, of course, we had to buy some!

Photos are from the Karachi Bakery site (www.karachibakery.com/biscuits)

Then straight onto an impatient flight back home!!

Hi I’m Sonal. I love to travel, eat and read. My dream is to combine all three passions, pack my life into a suitcase and haversack and explore the world!

Sonal Beri

Hi I'm Sonal. I love to travel, eat and read. My dream is to combine all three passions, pack my life into a suitcase and haversack and explore the world!


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