Popularly known as the “Pearl City”, and the “City of Nizams”, the state capital of Telangana, Hyderabad, is a home to a vibrant multicultural society. The sixth most populated city in the country is the only city in India where one can find an excellent confluence of both old and new.
People from all over the country, belonging to various castes, creeds, religions, and ethnicities, have made Hyderabad their home, living together in perfect harmony. Due to this exceptional admixture, Hyderabad has developed a distinctive culture, which is a unique fusion customs, traditions, and philosophies. Showcasing diversity at its very best, the city celebrates every festival with a lot of pomp and splendour.
Languages of Hyderabad
Urdu was the official court language of Hyderabad during the era of royals. Today, “Dakhini Urdu” or “Deccani Urdu” is the primary dialect of the city’s Muslim population. Telugu, on the other hand, which is the native language of Andhra, is spoken by a majority of the locals in Hyderabad. Both Urdu and Telugu have co-existed here for centuries. Apart from these two languages, Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, and English is also spoken by a large number of local people.
Delectable Cuisines Borne Out of Cultural Confluence
The culinary tradition of Hyderabad bears an amazing influence of Mughlai, Iranian and Andhra cuisines. The Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, which carries an inimitable flavour and aroma, is believed to have its roots back in Persia. According to historians, the Nizams borrowed elements of preparing this dish from Iranian settlers, Arab traders and Mughal kitchens, and combined them with the local ingredients used in the fiery Andhra dishes.
The local Irani cafés and bakeries are also a fine specimen of the multiculturalism that Hyderabad exudes. These shops sell baked goods, biscuits and the famous ‘Irani chai’ that has become almost synonymous with the city.
Blended Architectural Styles
The historical palaces and mosques that are scattered throughout the city of Hyderabad, reflect a concoction of Indo-Islamic architectural style. Charminar, Golconda Fort, the Hyderabad High Court, Osmania University, Mecca Masjid, and Charkaman are some of the prominent buildings in the city, which carry Mughal and Qutub Shahi architectural tones.
The Nizams of Hyderabad also applied European styles of architecture in many of their palaces, as depicted by the King Kothi, Chowmahalla, and Falaknuma. Again, North Indian architectural traits are distinctly visible in Lord Venkateshwara temple and Birla Mandir.
Myriad of Festivals Round the Year
Being a unique melting pot of ethnicity and cultures, all popular festivals such as Eid, Ramzan, Christmas, Diwali, Navratri, and Dussehra are celebrated at par all over Hyderabad on a grandiose scale. Held annually, the Deccan Festival is also an important occasion that has a great fan following in the city of pearls. Other festivals that are celebrated in Hyderabad include Sankranti, Rakhi, Bonalu, and Muharram.
The Modern Edge
While Hyderabad has attracted many migrant communities which includes the Afro-Arabians or Siddis, the Persians, and the Afghans, it has been witnessing a new set of migrants ushered in by the IT boom over the last decade or so.
Hyderabad is a historical city with a rich past that dates back to almost 400 years, but it’s also the second biggest IT hub in the nation, after Bengaluru. Loaded with large-scale infrastructure, today, the cosmopolitan city is a home to a plethora of multinational companies. IT giants like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others are thriving in the city.
Besides, the city also hosts world’s largest film studio complex — Ramoji Film City, where numerous successful South Indian and Bollywood films have been made.
However, no matter how modern Hyderabad may have turned into, the city still preserves the aroma of its precious history, the royal culture, and the essence of traditional mouth-watering cuisines. As such, the city exhibits a unique balance of modern lifestyle and traditional ethos, quite unlike any other city in India.