Cicerone: Help Hyderabad

Old Oct 9th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Cicerone: Help Hyderabad

We have been thinking about going to Hyderabad for some time, so I have been collecting information, In a previus tread you gave this answer:
If you want a recco for a pearl shop in Hyderabad,let me know.
I can not find the tread again, but as we now are leaving for Hyderabad end of this week, I would love to have what ever information you can pass on.
We do have the sightseeing planned, more hints about shopping, restaurants.
Do you also have info about hotels, we do not want to stay at the 5* hotels, too expencive, we want to stay more in the city center, around 100 $, been looking at Green Park, Golkonda, Harsha, are you familiar with any of theese hotels or some others?
I have read somewhere the bazar is very lively in the evenings during Ramadan, very much looking forward to the trip.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 05:05 AM
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The hotel youhave mentioned are all good,More so green park and Golkonda.Other hotels that are good are Hotel Viceroy,ComfortInn.
Visit the "Abids' an area for shopping..itisa long stretch of road.There is a restaurant called "Palace Heights" in this place a well known one and is located on the top most floor.(hope it exists still!)
Also visit more crowded area near the Charminar in OLD city.
To buy pearls, more shops and good ones are located in nearer to Birla Mandir and ofcourse in old city also.Popular shops are are Manathrai, Sri Kridshna Pearls etc..Take the receipt so that next time when you visit you can exchange for another design.

If you nneed more information, let me know.

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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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OK for the pearl shop:

Mangatrai Jewellers
Punjagutta cross road
Hyderabad - 500 032,
Tel: 91- 40- 2341-1816
email to [email protected]
http://www.mangatrai.com/

I have not been, but my boss says the location is closer to Secunderabad, the commercial "second city" of Hyderabad which is north of the old town and closer to the airport. She said there were a number of other pearl shops along the street. Do a bit of comparison shopping before your trip if you can (at least on line) so you know what prices should be for size and quality. Chinese cultured pearls have really brought prices down overall, but their quality is not nearly as good as Japanese and other pearls, so you want to make sure you are paying for the quality you want. This shop was recommend to her by one of our Indian partners in Hyderabad, and I think should be reputable.

For hotels, Hyderabad is a booming business town and the 5 stars are expensive and often fully booked up, but you can sometimes find weekend deals. Citybell may not have been to Hyderabad in a while, the Viceroy Hotel has been completely redone and is now a very nice Marriott with prices to match, probably out of the Ops range, but on a weekend perhaps worth a look, nice location with lake views from many rooms. Very nice new pool and grounds and the rooms are redone with flat screen TVs, etc.

I have only stayed at the Marriott and the Sheraton (but hey my employer pays for the bulk of the stays, I just hang out on weekends), but have pulled out my trusty Lonely Planet and suggest you take a look at the following if you want to be south of the river, Central Court go to http://www.thecentralcourt.com/

The Green Court is actually near the airport and is north of town and far north of the river, I would not say this is in the "city center" if you want to be near the old town area south of the river. (It would be close to the pearl shop above, however.) I don't think Hyderabad really has a city center, but if you are talking about the old town area, more of that is south of the river, around the Charminar and along the river (i.e. the state museum the wonderful fantasy of the High Court building). I think the Golconda Hotel is toward the Banjara hills which are also north and east of the river and so is not really central either. I don't know either hotel, but for location they may not be that convenient if you feel you want to spend a lot of time in the southern parts of the town. Don't know the location of the Harsha at all.

For restaurants, there is an outlet of Dumpukt in the Sheraton which is excellent. There is also an outlet of Bukhara which I would highly recco (north Indian but so excellent). Another good south Indian restaurant would be Dakhni in the Taj Residency at 1 Taj Banja Rd, Tel 339-9999. The restaurant I think Citybell is referring to is the Palace Heights Restaurant & Bar, 8th Flor, Triveni Complex, Tel 24754939. It does have great views and good food, albeit not a lot of Indian food, it is multi-cuisine.

I agree that the bazaar area near the Chaminar is the most interesting, it will definitely be lively after sundown during Ramadan. Lots of chador-wearing women, I always feel like I am back in the Middle East when I am there.

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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 11:24 PM
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Thank you so much for your replies. It is a spur of the moment idea to go to Hyderabad, we only made the decision this Monday morning, (although it has been on our list since they started direct flights from Europe) and we will be leaving tomorrow or the day after. My husband works for an airline company, which means we can travel on standby basis at a very reasonable price, but we never know until last minute, if we get on the plane or not.
I do not have a proper map of the city, so it is difficult to get a feel of it.
We have got positive replies from 2 hotels, so I believe we just pick one for the first couple of nights, and then we do have time to go around finding the best place.
I know it is difficult to define city centre, we do want to stay in a part of the city, where we might be able to walk to restaurants, we always try to find outdoor sitting,
Thanks for info regarding pearls, looking at the web-site, I feel it not really my style, but who knows what we are going to find.
We plan on staying for 8 days, if we like the city.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 02:22 AM
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No matter where you stay, you can get to restaurants in the neighborhood; whether you will want to walk there is another question given the general condition of sidewalks in India and street traffic. I think the area around the lake is actually the most pleasant, and there are restaurants along the lake which have lakefront terraces, sorry I canít recco any in particular but they always look interesting to me. Your hotel should be able to recco some, they are along the east and south side of the lake for the most part, as busy roads run along the west and northern parts.

With that long a stay, please get a guide book which has a map of the city and suggestions for sights as well. I believe there is a lot in the outlying area beyond the Golconda Fort; I have not done much exploring beyond the city and the fort.

With regard to the pearl shop, it is my understanding that they will make you anything you want in any design, you can pick loose pearls and have them strung if all you want is a simple strand with a plain clasp. Indian women tend to like very ornate, heavy jewelry, and I believe the website is aimed toward Indian women.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Thanks for all your help. I have been collecting the info I could find on the net, most guidebooks do not have many pages for Hyderabad, but we do like just to walk / drive around and look at normal day life.
If we do find something interesting / special I will post after we return.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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You may already know this, but if you will be there 8 days and are leaving tomorrow, then you may be there for both Diwali, the major Hindu festival (October 21) AND the end of Ramadan (celebrated as Eid al Fitur on October 22). A very good time to be in India to see both a Muslim and Hindu celebration, esp in Hyderabad with such a big Muslim population. Even if you arenít there on the actual days, you may be able to see events leading up to it, esp for Diwali. You should ask at your hotel whether there are temples or events you can go to with regard to seeing Diwali celebrations. Id is mostly about eating and street festivals around eating and celebrating the end of the fasting period, which are also fun.
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