Recently, I made my first trip to Hyderabad. Between ComicCon India 2019 and visiting one of my closest friends who lives there, this trip was long overdue. While ComicCon was my priority for this trip, I still had a bunch of things on my agenda, and I planned on cramming them all into one extreme weekend. Obviously, things didn’t go as planned because everything in Hyderabad is so far away from each other that you need to factor in a lot of time just to get around!
So I shifted my priority to experiencing some of the amazing food and sights Hyderabad has to offer. I asked Twitter what I shouldn’t miss in Hyderabad, and the wonderful people on Twitter gave me some great answers, from which I shortlisted the bare minimum to do, and went ahead.
Okay deep breaths.— Rehna (@Rehnak) October 10, 2019
Shawarma from Pakawan
Mutton seekh kebabs from shahghouse
Chicken biriyani from shah ghouse and Bawarchi biriyani on RTC X road because the original.
Please go up the Charminar and then go have tea and snacks at nimrah cafe.
Go to ikea and have meatballs
Between prepping for cosplay then going to HiTech City to attend ComicCon, and hitting all the things I wanted to , it was going to be impossible on one weekend owing to the size of Hyderabad, and the distances I needed to cover to do everything – not to forget I had to factor in travel time from/to the airport, which is ridiculously far away as well!
So here’s a quick summary of what I did over the weekend in Hyderabad!
ComicCon Hyderabad 2019
ComicCon happens once a year in 4 different cities in India, and Hyderabad is usually the first con of the year. I have been an enthusiastic cosplayer for several years, and the purpose of my Hyderabad trip was to attend ComicCon to cosplay, so obviously this was my priority. I attended both days, doing 2 different cosplays, and this took up most of my weekend, but it was totally worth it!
One of the things Hyderabad is ridiculously famous for is Biryani. Hyderabadi Biryani is supposed to be one of the best in India, and Bawarchi is supposed to be one of the best places in Hyderabad to eat it. Full disclosure: I hate biryani in general and the only reason I was willing to eat biryani at Bawarchi was because so many people said it would change my life.
Now, it is important to remember that there is only one original Bawarchi in Hyderabad and that one is located on RTC X road. Bawarchi has become so popular in Hyderabad that you will see rip-offs everywhere, many adding prefixes like ” Your Friend Bawarchi”, or ” Original Bawarchi” or “Best Bawarchi”. Don’t be fooled. Go to RTC X road.
Back to my biryani eating experience; I went to Bawarchi and ordered the MINI Biryani, which is the portion of a full-sized biryani in every other place I’ve eaten. While my mind is still unchanged about biryani, I must admit it had a lot of flavour and was very well-done. I also ordered a Murgh Tangdi Kebab, which I LOVED. I wonder where they source the chicken from; the leg piece was so HUGE I was astonished. Definitely a must have when in Hyderabad.
Charminar & The Old City
If I had to pick one word to describe the Old City, it would be “mesmerizing”. There is so much going on in the Old City, from wedding clothes to key-chains to roadside eats to fresh vegetables, it is the kind of absolute, undulating chaos that beauty often disguises itself as! It is crowded, smelly, disorganized, and dirty, but the gorgeous architecture stands out among the chaos, and it is easy to drown out the mess around you and focus on the real beauty.
Once you’re done admiring the Charminar, the next thing to catch your eye will be the incredible, glittery market around the monument, selling all kinds of gorgeous things from clothes to jewelry to watches and what not. One thing you don’t want to miss out here is the variety of bangles – over a 100 roadside stalls to choose from and each one tries to outdo the other! You can also pick up some great artificial jewelry for special occasions!
Nimrah Cafe & Bakery
If you are at Charminar, don’t miss the tea and Osmania biscuits at Nimrah Bakery. Once you cross Charminar into the market you can easily spot the neon sign over this bakery. It might be tough to find a place to stand , but once you do, make sure you get yourself some lovely chai and Osmania biscuits to go with and consume it at your leisure as you watch the hustle and bustle around you
COAN tip: The Charminar area is very popular with pickpockets so stay on red alert and be aware of all your belongings at any time.
My favourite food experience from this trip had to be the Chicken Sambar Rice from Raju Gari Pulao at Syala Drive-in. Located in Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad, you’ll get to see some of the poshest parts of the city while you drive to this joint.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept that is Sambar Rice, picture rice mixed in a hot and smooth lentil gravy laced with a host of aromatic spices and curry leaves. Now add chunks of marinated cooked chicken to the rice and gravy mix, temper with a dollop of clarified butter, or, ghee as we call it, and *chef kiss*, you have Chicken Sambar Rice.
I’d go to Syala Drive-In all over again just to have this simple, wholesome, and hearty meal.
Some of the other things I managed to do was try the roadside spicy Andhra Chicken Fry, eat the worst Khubani ka Meetha that has ever existed, and ride through Cyberabad at night .
All in all, a fun, magical weekend in Hyderabad – not bad for my first trip. Next time, I want to hit all the tourist spots including Salarjung Museum, Paigah Tombs and Golconda Fort!