After my "pilgrimage" to Tirumala I went to a somewhat more worldly place. The new IT-boomtown of India, Hyderabad, also known these days as Cyberabad.
One of Hyderabad's landmarks, a giant statue of Buddha, stands beautifully lit in Hussein Nagar (Lake). 8 people died and the statue sunk to the bottom of the lake when the boat originally intended to bring the statue to it's place sank. It ws later retrieved and put in place.
All this modernity hype aside, I stayed in the old town and did not see much of the IT-city. And Hyderabad does have a rich history as seat of one of South India's richest and most powerful Kingdoms. Unusually for a place so far south in India it was ruled by a Muslim Dynasty. On the picture above you see one of the main monuments of that time, and Hyderabad undisputed landmark number one: The Char Minar. It is a womderful gateway combined with a mosque, commemorating the eradication of a plague.
Here is a closer look at Char Minar giving perhaps a better sense of the size and impressiveness of it. Ordinary people can gain access to the wonderful view from the top for 5 rupees (100 for foreigners).
I paid the 100 rupees to go to the top and despite the nice view over the whole city this was my favourite thing to look at. Little yellow and black auto rickshaws looking like an army of little beetles or ants. As far as I could count there are 76 rickshaws in the picture.
Hyderabad is not a very tourist orientated city, but amongst it's attractions is a better than average zoo. I'm not too keen on taking pictures of animals in captivity, but this one I couldn't stand for. A life size Tyrannosaurus Rex in a simulated jurassic landscape.
In the middle of Hyderabad I saw the nicest cow stables I have yet seen. Decorated with large colourful wall paintings of Krishna, who in Hindu mythology is intrinsically connected to the cow.
With an IT-boom comes money and with money comes the desire to spend it on ever new experiences. So theme restaurants have become all the rave this year and I decided to try one of them out. This is Restaurant Gufaa, which as you can see, sports an African Jungle Cave theme.
The funniest part of the Gufaa experience is that all the waiters are dressed in Safari costumes. Priceless (although the food was quite expensive too).