By Vennela Krishna:
Here are a few facts about the Hyderabad city. Hyderabadis might know most of them, but I have tried to include lesser-known details.
1. The Hyderabad State: For a few years in independent India, the city of Hyderabad was part of the Hyderabad State, which consisted of portions of Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Till 1948, the area was under the rule of Asaf Jahis, the famous Nizams of Hyderabad. After its secession after Operation Polo, it became a state in the Union of India. The state was dissolved only in 1956 after the recommendations of the States Reorganisation Committee.
2. The Necklace Road: Necklace Road is a boulevard around Tank Bund, one of the most famous artificial lakes in Hyderabad. The road is named after its Mumbai counterpart, Queen’s Necklace (Marine Drive). When viewed from the sky, the entire stretch looks like a necklace. A major attraction in the city, Necklace Road attracts joggers in the morning and tourists all day, and it remains a major host to events like marathons, bicycle races, Ganapati Nimajjan (Visarjan) and rallies. It connects such famous places in the city as Sanjiviah Park, Jalvihar and Eat Street.
3. La Makaan: Hyderabad’s own open cultural space, La Makaan is the city’s favourite host of events ranging from debates and discussions to dramas and a range of other cultural shows. What sets La Makaan apart from the other spaces is that it is open to everyone, and anyone can host a show after submitting. The space hosts Pecha Kucha Hyderabad, and also concerts of Pandit Vithal Rao and Warsi brothers. La Makaan is also very famous for its delicious samosa. Next time you visit the city, make sure you have La Makaan on your destination list.
4. An Abundance of IIT/Medical Prep Institutions: It might not be an altogether new phenomenon compared to that in the other cities in the country, but Hyderabad takes IIT-Medical race to a whole new level. Two institutions which began the trend were Narayana and Chaitanya colleges, and their success was quickly emulated by numerous new institutions. Although widely criticised for their stress on rote learning and other impractical teaching mechanisms, these institutions have hundreds of students in a branch, and hundreds of branches throughout the city. Their abundance is not exaggerated, there is at least one of such institutions for one residential colony in the city. Once the results of the JEE and other competitive exams come out, most of these institutions are found advertising their ranks on TV, and these ads are characterized by their repeated recitations of the ranks achieved by their students.
5. Ramoji Film City: Hyderabad is home to the world’s largest film studio complex. Established in 1996 by Ramoji Rao, Ramoji Film City has till date produced hundreds of Indian movies in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and Kannada, among other languages. The Film Studio has permanent sets, from railway stations to temples, and also has a major theme park for children. Ramoji Film City remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hyderabad, and has received numerous awards since its establishment.
6. Chitragupta Temple: According to Hindu mythology, Chitragupta is the chief accountant of Yama, the God of Death, and is assigned with the task of keeping records of an individual’s good and bad deeds to determine their afterlife. Chitragupta is not worshiped as a God, but there are an extremely small number of temples dedicated to him in the country. One of them, the Chitragupta Mahadeva Devalayam, is found in Chatrinaka, deep inside the Old City complex of Hyderabad. Other than this, there is also a temple in Hyderabad for Barbarika, the son of Ghatotkach.
7. Hyderabadi Hindi: The Hindi spoken in the city draws heavily on Urdu and to an extent on Telugu vocabulary. A person unfamiliar with the language might have some initial difficulty communicating with vendors and auto-wallahs because Hyderabadi is significantly different from regular Hindi.
8.World’s Largest 3D Imax Screen: The city’s Prasad’s IMAX has the world’s largest 3D IMAX screen. Prasad’s multiplex remains the city’s most preferred movie theatre, and has attracted more than 80 million visitors till date. Movies like Avatar, Spider Man 3 and the Harry Potter series have had the highest audience in Hyderabad’s IMAX.
9. Booming IT Industry: Andhra Pradesh has a substantial amount of software export in India, and Hyderabad remains the IT capital of the state. Hyderabad’s IT exports exceeded $1 billion in 2004, and the city has been investing significantly in digital infrastructure. The industry is concentrated in the HITEC City complex of the city, and the area around the major corporate is often called Cyberabad.