On entering Hyderabad, visitors are immediately blinded by an urban maze of gleaming malls and glass-fronted office blocks. However, once they discover the charming Old City, they realize there is substance behind the shiny surface.
Hyderabad was originally founded on the edge of the River Musi. This area now constitutes the historic Old City. Many major attractions such as the Mecca Masjid and Charminar are located in this area.
The city's rapid growth has led to its merging with neighboring ‘twin' city, Secunderabad. The best way to get your bearings in Hyderabad is to refer to the two large bodies of water flowing through the city. The Musi River flows from east to west, to the north of Hussain Sagar Lake.
The southern bank of the Musi River is home to many historical attractions, including Charminar, Birla Mandir and Chowmahalla Palace. Golkonda is also considered part of the Old City, despite its location on the north bank of the river.
Once Hyderabad's twin city, Secunderabad was engulfed by the sprawling metropolis. Situated northeast of Hussain Sagar Lake, this area of the city offers better roads, modern facilities and lots of green spaces. The area was once a military cantonment.