Hyderabad – The City of Pearls

The culture of Hyderabad is a diverse one. Not only does it have an amalgamation of different cultures, Hyderabad boasts of a rich cultural heritage too. Being ruled by the Asaf Jahi dynasty, it came to be known as the “city of Nizams”. As this dynasty crumpled, the Mughals took over and brought about a sea change in the cultural outlook of the people. Today, Hyderabad flourishes in its rich cultural history.

Hyderabad City Guide

The influence of this vast royal past shines even today in the culture of Hyderabad, food and iconic architectural structures such as Charminar and Golkonda Fort, which stand as a testament to the city’s glorious history. The locals of the town are referred to as Hyderabadis, and they have developed a culture that is distinctly a mixture of both Muslim and Hindu traditions.

Hyderabad is a melting pot of North and South Indian cultures. The culture of Hyderabad is quite distinct from the rest of Telangana and showcases strong Islamic influences inherited from the period of the Nizam rule. The impact of the Islamic culture is starkly visible on Hyderabad’s architecture, food, lifestyle and language. This is more evident in the old city, while the new city represents a more cosmopolitan culture. 

The city has a rich tradition of literature and fine arts, with many museums, art galleries and exhibitions dedicated to the display of Hyderabadi heritage. Being multicultural, festivals of all ethnicities, be it Diwali, Eid or Christmas, are given equal importance and celebrated with a lot of pomp and brilliance.

Hyderabad is the fastest growing city in Telangana and with the ever-increasing real estate and a booming IT sector, the city has successfully retained its spot on the list of cosmopolitan cities in India. Hyderabad has an excellent propensity to accommodate all types of people with the number of things that it has to offer. People usually visit this city to seek employment and education since it is the international center of information and technology in India.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) was created in 2007 to oversee the civic infrastructure of the 18 “circles” of the city. This increased the area of Hyderabad from 175 square kilometers to 650 square kilometers, and the population grew by 87%. The GHMC has a population of 10 million, which makes it the 6th most populous urban agglomeration in India. Hyderabad’s 2021 population is now estimated at 10,268,653. 

In 1950, the population of Hyderabad was 1,096,320. Hyderabad has grown by 264,509 since 2015, which represents a 2.64% annual change. Most Hyderabadi are Telugu and Urdu speaking people, although there are minority communities of Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Marwari, Malayali, Oriya, Gujarati, Punjabi and Uttar Pradesh. Hinduism is the most common religion practiced in the city (55.5%), followed by Muslims (41%), Christians (2.5%), Jains (0.5%), Sikhs (0.3%), Buddhists (0.02%) and other religions.

Like many Indian cities Hyderabad has a tropical climate. The best time to visit the city is from mid-November to mid-February.Temperatures are mild with abundant sunshine during this time and average temperature range from a low of 15°C (59°F) to a high of 29°C (85°F). March to June is hot and dry with occasional thunderstorms. Highs can reach 45°C (113°F) or more and lack of air-conditioning can make it feel very uncomfortable. July, August, September and October can be quite warm and humid and low pressure systems from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon season can cause heavy rain for days. 

The Hyderabad Urban Development Authority is pushing the city to become the next Silicon Valley. The State Government of Telangana, and the Government of Andhra Pradesh before it, have put in remarkable efforts to develop the city’s existing infrastructure. The govt. has planned considerable growth of the Greater Hyderabad region and is set to leave Pune and Bangalore far behind in a few years. With eyes both on environmental protection and development, the government is juggling its way past one hurdle after another. If plans are adhered to, Hyderabad is set to become the next big industrial phenomenon of the country.


Many expatriates moving to India, prefer Hyderabad to other cities such as Delhi, Mumbai or Hyderabad, as the cost of living in  Hyderabad is much cheaper than in the other cities. It is possible to get a house at a very affordable price compared to these cities.  Madhapur (the heart of this area is known as HITEC City), Kondapur, Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills are the preferred locations for  expats to reside in. Independent houses/bungalows are  readily available in these  areas. 

Hyderabad Serviced Apartment

Madhapur, near HITECH City, has quality  apartments. Grouped row independent houses, called villas, are available in all the above-said areas. All these locations are with an  assortment of apartments and independent houses is a prime residential location. There are few Luxury hotels and many good  restaurants in this part of the city. There are many supermarkets and a number of up-market boutiques and coffee shops.

For the most part, Hyderabad is a safe city, especially considering the number of people that call it home. However, as with most cities,  some areas are more desirable than others. Most of these communities are well equipped with modular kitchens, Modern fixtures,  fittings and various amenities such as club house, swimming pool, gym, indoor games etc.

These neighborhoods have the advantage of being close to the s various international schools, and IT corridor and the availability of  good physical and social infrastructure and civic amenities, is what makes these areas popular. Restaurants, supermarkets, convenience  stores, entertainment options are in proximity to all these areas. Some of the newly constructed apartments, gated villas and houses  are well planned and luxurious with modular kitchen, modern fixtures, fittings and with various amenities such  as club house,  swimming pool, gym, indoor games etc.

Location plays a vital role in choosing the right place to live. But there are more things to be considered while deciding your accommodation. For example, unfurnished apartments have basic household and kitchen appliances, air conditioners, and a water heater . These can be negotiated with the landlord. Furnished apartments are fully furnished mostly as per the expat quality.

There are good Hotel service apartments in Hyderabad. Temporary accommodation for a few months is available, preferably serviced apartments. Most of the club house amenities are available in the same society complex. You should also check if  the  rental  quoted  is  inclusive  of  apartment  associated maintenance  costs and if the landlord is providing you with utility  connections.

The set up cost is borne by the landlord and the monthly rental and usage charges are borne by the tenant. The monthly payment will have to be made directly to the vendors. Please note that there is always a due date for making payments. You should also be mindful about the layout of the property, condition of all electrical appliances supplied including air conditioners and washing machines  etc., provision for Electricity backup, water storage, humidity/mildew damage and if the telephone, internet line and gas connections are provided by the landlord.

Hyderabad Cuisine

Legend goes that the Nizam of Hyderabad had 49 types of Biryanis cooked in his kitchen which churned out delicacies that were an amalgamation of Turkish, Mughlai and Arabic influences blended with native Telugu and Maratha culinary traditions.

Hyderabad Cuisine

Hyderabad is well-known for its divinely delicious cuisine. The cuisine of Hyderabad reflects sheer royalty as these were once served to the ‘Nizams’ of Hyderabad. The culinary dishes in Hyderabad have a 400 year history and as centuries have passed, the cuisine of Hyderabad only got more delicious. The dishes here have been inspired from Turkish, Arabic, ‘Mughlai’ and ‘Tandoori’ styles of cooking. These dishes, with a blend of ‘Telugu’ spices and ‘Marathwada’ techniques have led to the cuisine of Hyderabad that we have today. 

The most excellent Hyderabad cuisines are found in Hyderabad itself, the Marathwada region and ‘Telangana’ region. The various dishes here are made for special occasions like weddings, festivals, banquets and for tourists. The key ingredients in most of the dishes in Hyderabad are peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds, tamarind and these are usually cooked in earthen pots, copper or brass utensils. Some of the most popular delicacies found here includes the ‘Hyderabadi Biryani’, ‘Kheer’, ‘Paaya Nahari’, ‘Pattar Ka Gosht’, ‘Khubani-ka-Meetha’, ‘Baghare Baingan’, ‘Haleem’ and much more. 

Hyderabadi Biryani has been popularized by Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani, which is made with raw, marinated mutton cooked in between the layers of rice. Hyderabadi food tastes excellent when cooked in any medium as it gets its taste from the spices, not the fat which is used.


Hyderabad has some of the best world-class hospitals where thousands of international patients come for treatment each year. However, public facilities don’t often meet international standards and you’re better off going to a private hospital. You’ll easily find English-speaking staff at most private hospitals. But despite affordable medical facilities in the city, it is best to take medical insurance that covers all your medical expenses. 

Hospitals in Hyderabad

Some of the best hospitals in the city are Continental Hospital, AIG Hospital, Medicover Hospital, Apollo Hospital & Care Hospital. There are however certain precautions that one needs to take in Mumbai to maintain the health of their family. For example, all water must be boiled and filtered before drinking or used for oral hygiene. Drinking tap water is not recommended and one should always use a water filter at home or buy filtered water. 


With India gaining popularity globally, Hyderabad, stands to gain a lot and this fact is clearly reflected in terms of education. Hyderabad  today, is considered a desirable destination to pursue education and is a favored educational destination among many nationalities. The  schools and other educational institutions in Hyderabad are either run by the government or by private organizations.

Schooling in Hyderabad

The medium of learning is usually English , Telugu or Hindi and these schools are affiliated to either the SSC Board ,Indian Certificate of  Secondary Education (ICSE) or the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE). Hyderabad also has several international schools and  preschools available, offering both British and American curriculum. The American school early childhood education center has a program for  three to five year.

Some of the top international schools in the city are International School of Hyderabad, Oakridge International School, Rockwell International School, Phoenix Greens International School and Indus International School. 


The official unit of currency is Indian Rupee. As a foreigner employed in India, binding to the India foreign exchange and Income tax law, you are restricted to open one bank account per city. Foreign nationals have to obtain a PAN (permanent account number) card for applying for a bank account. 

Direct taxes are low in the city compared to most international cities but you’ll need an accountant to help you with your taxes, given the highly complex tax structure. Overall, depending on the income level, taxes vary from 5 percent to 33 percent. Additionally, there is a GST (Goods & Services Tax) charged at almost everything that you purchase in the city or any services that you avail. The GST rates vary between 5-28 percent depending on the type of goods and services being availed. 

Transportation and Shopping

The most commonly used forms of transport in Hyderabad include government owned services such as light railways and buses, as  well as privately operated taxis and auto rickshaws.

Intercity rail services also operate from Hyderabad; the main, and largest, station is Secunderabad and Hyderabad Railway Station, which serves  as Indian Railways’ South Central Railway zone headquarters and a hub for both buses and MMTS light rail services connecting Secunderabad and  Hyderabad.

The Hyderabad Metro is a rapid transit system, serving the city of Hyderabad, Telangana, India. As of April 2019, about 221,000 people use the Metro per day. Hyderabad Metro is the second longest operational metro network in India after Delhi Metro. 

More than half of the local population in Hyderabad are dependent on local transport for commuting purposes. The means of transport in Hyderabad  are  ranging from cheapest buses to expensive taxis. 


Buses  are one of the cheapest modes of transport in Hyderabad. The Government buses are the most reliable and economical modes of transport. Taxis on the other hand are expensive but are easily available in Hyderabad  for hiring purposes. The taxis are mostly operated by private operators and Indian tourism and are available for both local and outstation purposes.

Auto Rickshaws fall in between taxis and buses. They are more expensive than buses but cheaper than taxis. Also they are easily available as they can be flagged from the road. However one has to be careful while hiring autos. This is because most of the autos drivers refuse to play by the meter.  Most of the expats are provided with a private company car and driver during their stay in India. 

Hyderabad, being one of the cosmopolitan cities of India has a lot to offer to the shopaholics.  As Hyderabad is known for its pearls and Bidri crafts, The city doesn’t disappoint the visitors  City is also well known for the variety of hand oven sarees and dress materials from nearby  places like Pochampally, Gadwal, Venkatgiri, Dharmavaram. It also hosts a number of westernized  clothing and accessories. Few of the local markets and shopping places are Sultan Bazar, Hyderabad Central, Center Centre Mall, GVK One mall, Inorbit Mall, and  Forum Mall.


Hyderabad is an extremely crowded city that means there are people everywhere, round the clock, making Hyderabad one of the safest cities in India and at par with most European cities in terms of safety. That said, it is a large metropolis and it is advisable to take general safety precautions. It is advisable to follow safety rules which you would anywhere in the world. It is best to avoid secluded places late at night. But beyond that, you can indulge in the city’s nightlife with minimum worries. 

Safety in Hyderabad


Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Indian government had made several changes to the country’s visa policies, making it easier for foreign nationals to travel to India for work or for leisure. Indian visas are divided between Regular Visas, e-Visas and Visa-on-Arrival. As per the recent changes now an applicant can apply for e-Tourist or e-Business Visa any time before his travel to India. The validity of the visa has now been made 365 days. Thus, an applicant can enter India any day post the grant to e-Tourist and e-Business visa until any time in the next 365 days.  

Immigration Services in Hyderabad

Maximum continuous stay period allowed under e-Tourist visa is up to 180 days for – USA, UK, Canada and Japan. For other countries it is 90 continuous days. Similarly, under e-Business visa, a continuous stay of 180 days is allowed and there is no requirement for registration. If the stay exceeds 180 days or if the aggregate stay in a calendar year has increased then 180 days then the applicant is required to register with the FRRO/FRO within 2 weeks of the completion of 180 days in India.

India also has a facility for visa-on-arrival, which has now been extended to nationals of South Korea and UAE also in addition to Japanese nationals. For UAE nationals though they are eligible for this category of visa only if they have applied for e-Visa and/or Regular sticker visa in the past. The validity of the visa is 60 days and can be used for tourism, business, conference and medical visit purposes. Pakistan-origin UAE nationals are not eligible for this visa category and would need to apply for a regular or e-Visa. 

Currently, the regular Tourist Visa, e-Visas and Visa-on-Arrival remain to be suspended until further notice due to the Pandemic. All other visa categories that is – Employment, Dependent, Student and Business Visa are being issued by the Indian missions abroad. In-country visa services like Resident Permit, Visa Extension, Change of Address/Passport etc are being processed smoothly.