Hyderabad is home to so many historical monuments, parks, lakes and natural rock formations that the “Top 20” tourist attractions steal the lime light completely away from the other toursit spots. In this post I would try to throw light on some of the lesser known tourist attractions. I would be grateful if any of you could add to this list (by doing so in comments section). Here we go.
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park: The park is located in Vanasthalipuram, on the outskirts of Hyderabad city on the Hyderabad- Vijayawada road. Once the Nizam’s (former Hyderabadi rulers) hunting grounds, it is now home to the beautiful black bucks with their spiral horns along with several species of birds.
The deer park maintained by the Forest Department, has an undulating terrain, of 189 hectares dominated by acacia trees and grasslands. The park looks picturesque in the monsoon with the golden and white flowers of these trees on the lush green carpet of grass. Besides Acacias, neem, Bauhinias, Buteas ( Flame of the forest) and a variety of thorny scrub species are found in this dry scrub forest. The main species of fauna found here is the endangered Black Buck, the state animal of Andhra Pradesh. There are over 400 black bucks (Amtelope Cervicapara), about 500 Cheetals and large herds of wild boar. Several species of birds like Partridges, Quails, peacocks, Doves, pond herons, egrets, kingfishers, cormorants and birds of prey like kites, vultures etc are found here.
There are rest sheds and observation towers for viewing the animals inside the park. There are facilities available for a van ride inside the park to see the animals from close quarters for a nominal fee. The park is open every day of the week except Mondays from 9.a.m. to 5 p.m.
Update: A multi-cuisine restaurant named “Peacock” will be opened at the park very soon.
Raymond’s Tomb was built in the memory of the brave French General Michel Joachim Marie Raymond (1755 – 1798 AD). Raymond’s Tomb is situated in Mussaram Bag, Malakpet. He joined as an ordinary soldier in the service of the ruling Nizam of Hyderabad. He rapidly worked his way up and soon commanded the position of an army General. Not only was he respected in the army, he was also popular among the ordinary public. He was fondly known as Musa Ram among the Hindus and Musa Rahim among the Muslims. Now you know why the place of Ramond Tomb is called Musarambagh!
The tomb is open on all days except Friday. The timings are from 9:30 am to 4:30pm. While touring the tomb, you can also head off to the French Garden, which is located nearby. It is a beautifully laid out lawn with velvety green grass and lovely flowers. You can also spot military barracks of the army that were once bustling under the command of the valiant general Raymond.
Moula-Ali Dargah: This Dargah is built on a hilltop near Moula-Ali, in North-Eastern corner of Hyderabad. The bird’s eye view of Hyderabad city from atop the Moula-Ali hill would be breathtaking. Moula-Ali dargah is unique in a sense because it does not contain the buried remains of any sufi saint like in the case of other dargahs, it was built on the site of a miracle. According to the legend, a Muslim princess experienced a recurring dream in which she saw Hazrat Ali’s handprint on the side of a mountain. Hazrat Ali, in case you don’t know, is son-in-law of Prophet Mohammed. After years of searching for the handprint, she finally came to the area north of Hyderabad, inquired among locals about their knowledge of such a handprint, and found the image on a rock atop the hill where the dargah was later built. BTW, this dargah is one of the 11 heritage sites identified by “Heritage conservation committee” of HUDA. To make life easy for the visitors there is a long staircase to climb up the hill to reach Dargah.