Shilparamam Hi tec city, Madhapur. 11AM-8PM. Designed as a contrast to the futuristic Cyber tower that lies across the road, the crafts village of Shilparamam ("sculpture village") guards the entrance road to Hi tec city. The intent is to showcase and preserve the old. There is a bazaar where you can buy assorted handicrafts and art work. There is also an entire village where you can find realistic -looking sculptures of villagers carrying out their traditional crafts. You can also find a rock museum which contains natural rock formations that allegedly look life-like.
Charminar 9AM-5PM, closed on Friday 1PM-2PM for prayers. Literally "Four minarets", this structure was built at the very spot at which Quli Qutb Shah prayed for the end to the plague epidemic. The Charminar has long been the icon of Hyderabad. The towers rise to a height of 48.7 m above the ground. It has 140 steps. There is a mosque with 45 prayer spaces located inside in the upper storeys.
Mecca Masjid (SW of the Char Minar). Mecca Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in the city and easily the biggest. Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah began building it in 1617 under the supervision of Mir Faizullah Baig and Rangiah Choudhary. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb completed the construction in 1694. The mosque is a granite giant with awe-inspiring innards. The main hall of the mosque is 75 feet high, 220 feet wide and 180 feet long, big enough to accommodate ten thousand worshipers at a time. It is believed that Muhammed Quli commissioned bricks to be made with the soil brought from Mecca and inducted them into the construction of the central arch of the mosque, which explains the name of the mosque. It is mandatory for women to have a dupatta / shawl in order to be granted entry into the premises.
Golconda Fort 7AM-8PM. The Golconda Fort was the capital of the Qutb Shahi kingdom. Set aside a minimum of 2 hr to do justice to your visit -- the outer wall measures 10 km. There is also a light and sound show - the story of Golkonda - for an hour after sunset lasting ~1h that tells you the story of the fort and is worth seeing. The English show runs Nov-Feb 6:30PM daily and Mar-Oct until 7PM daily. Hindi and Telugu shows are run afterwards in certain days. Afterwards, have a wander through the tiny streets and shops surrounding the fort. The beautiful scruffy old shops and houses will sell you everything from naan bread to bangles, and the fading and gaudy old painted gates and houses are a delight, as are the friendly locals. Rs 100 all.
Salar Jung Museum Naya Pul, Afzalgunj (Turn left once you reach the south bank of Musi using the Nayapul), ☎ +91 40 2452 3211. Sa-Th 10AM-5PM, ticketing closes at 4:15PM. This collection belonged to the Salar Jungs, Prime Minsters of Hyderabad, but has been augmented since. The collection includes articles mostly from medieval and modern times, with a concentration of articles from the Islamic era. The western wing on the second floor is interesting. It contains paintings, furniture and other objects that the Salar Jung got from the West. The collection of Nizam jewellery is displayed only on special occasions. It is one of the best private collections and museums in India.
Birla Mandir Adarsh Nagar, Naubat Pahad (Two different routes depending on whether you want to drive right to the top or climb the stairs.). 10AM-noon, 2PM-8PM. The industrial house of the Birlas have the tradition of building magnificent marble temples in cities of India. This one is one of the best. Located on top of Naubat Pahad (mountain), this clean, sparkling white temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara has viewing areas that afford a great view of the city. There is a free cloakroom available for both electronics and shoes. Nowadays it is filled with tourists,who come to marvel at its architecture rather than for spiritual purposes. One should observe the intricate carvings on the marble walls and dome of the temple.
B.M. Birla Planetarium and Science & Technological Museum Adarshnagar, Hyderabad -63 (Very close to Birla Temple, Naubat Pahad), ☎ +91 40 2324 1067. Museum 10:30AM-8PM, Planetarium English shows 11:30AM, 4PM, 6PM, More shows in Telugu and one show in Hindi. F-W. The show at the planetarium lasts 35 min and is moderately interesting. The Dinosaurium at the upper level is interesting. It contains a complete skeleton of a dinosaur Kotasaurus yamanpalliensis discovered in the village of Yemanapalli in 1988.