Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana located in the southern region of India. The city has a rich and varied history through the times dating back to 500BCE as revealed by the Iron age sites discovered by archaeologists. The area of Hyderabad Deccan has been ruled by the Chalukya Dynasty and later by the Kakatiya Dynasty. The region then came under the control of the Khalji Dynasty, the Tughlaq Dynasty, and Qutb Shahi dynasties before Asaf Jahi Dynasty took over and are also referred to as Nizams of Hyderabad. It was during the reign of the Qutb Shahi dynasty that some of the important monuments like Golconda Fort, Charminar, and Mecca Masjid were constructed in the city. Today Hyderabad is one of the modern cities still retaining its old-world charm through its monuments and culture.
There are many attractions which will be difficult to explore in just one day. Let us see the important places which are possible to cover and shoot if you have just one day at hand. You will also get to know what to capture as a photographer or traveler. The places have been listed which will generally be of interest to a photographer. There are many more places to explore should you have more time at hand. You may like to visit the Salarjung Museum, Ramoji Film City, Nehru Zoological Park, Shilparamam, etc which are no less from the tourism point of view.
Charminar and Mecca Masjid
A visit to the city of Hyderabad is incomplete if this famous monument is not visited. From the photography point of view, the best time to visit this monument is at dusk. It is the time when you will find some colors in the sky as well as lights coming up. Reach before sunset to find the spot from where you would be clicking. There are some buildings in the vicinity too but going on rooftops would require permission from the owner. After you decide on the angles and perspective, head to the nearby Mecca Masjid. You can make some very interesting images with people going for prayers as well as lots of people feeding the pigeons in the courtyard. The minarets will offer interesting silhouettes to capture too. Charminar offers interesting nightscapes from different angles. Try finding a place to capture some light trails as well with Charminar as the backdrop. The street hawkers with their carts lit up will offer very interesting compositions for night photography. Pump up the ISO and you are ready to go. If you are not confident of using your camera in manual mode, you may try auto mode without flash. Remember to place your camera on a tripod or steady platform to avoid shake which may happen should the shutter speeds become slow in this mode. If you are short of time it is better to cover Charminar and its surrounding areas early in the morning.
Hussain Sagar, Birla Mandir, and Buddha Statue
These places are in close vicinity and best to start your day. Reach around sunrise and you will find beautiful light on Buddha statue and Birla Mandir. Make sure you have a zoom lens of reasonable focal length to capture images from a distance Buddha Statue: Buddha statue is a 58ft high monolith situated in the middle of the lake on a platform. There are boat rides operated by the tourism department but going too close will not get you the desired shots. It is advisable to capture the images from the tank bund itself using a zoom lens. The statue is beautifully lit at night as well and makes for some interesting captures. So, you can decide to start your trip here or end the trip here at sunset. Both options are workable, but I recommend starting here so that by sunset you are in the Charminar area which is more suited for night photography. Birla Mandir: Birla Mandir is a Hindu temple located on a hillock which is 280 feet high. The temple took 10 years to construct and a blend of Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala architecture. You can capture a complete view of the temple from the tank bund itself. Photography is not allowed in the temple premises but you can still go some distance up and get some commanding spots to capture cityscapes.
This should be next on your list. Apart from appreciating the architecture, the fort gives you a commanding view of old and new Hyderabad. The fort complex and surrounding areas reveal the architectural beauty in many of the pavilions, gates, entrances, and domes. The ingenious water supply system is worth exploring. Also, try to capture the areas and cityscapes from the vantage points at the fort. The ventilation is so beautifully designed that even in summers one can feel the cool breeze in specific areas. You can find spikes adorning the huge gates which prevented the elephants to gain ingress into the fort. The fort has an outer wall of about 11 km.
Chowmahalla Palace is a palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad. It was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad during their rule. The palace was built by Nizam Salabat Jung. This palace is in the old city in Hyderabad near the Charminar. Do check out Telangana Tourism Heritage walks which start from Charminar and take you around these places.
Qutb Shahi Tombs
Not far from Golconda fort, you must visit these tombs to capture some interesting shots with different perspectives. The tombs make a large cluster and constructed on a raised platform. These tombs are domed structures built on a square base surrounded by pointed arches.
Kacheguda Railway Station
Kacheguda Railway Station has an interesting architecture with minarets and domes. Constructed by Nizam Osman Ali Khan for wider connectivity between the state with the important western cities likes Mumbai. It is interesting to try capturing some long exposure shots at night with the backdrop of the station building.
So much for a day trip to cover Hyderabad from the photography point of you. Should you have more time at hand then do visit Shilparamam for some colorful shots and take a boat ride to Buddha statue from the Eat Street at the necklace road to get some vibrant long exposure shots of the lights and reflections on the lake.