So this is about my ‘Day 2’ in Hyderabad. This is how I spent my last Sunday in the capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Hope you have read about my day 1 experiences! This will be helpful in planning your own short and sweet weekend trip to the city.
Sunday Lunch at Rayalaseema Ruchulu!
We started our Sunday fun in local style. Our friend suggested an authentic eating place which pays a rich cultural tribute to the heritage of the Telangana, Coastal Andhra and the Rayalaseema region through the dishes. It was a very simple but attractive place, located at an interesting place called lakdi ka pul. The name of the restaurant was Rayalaseema Ruchulu. Later, I learned that it has many branches in the city and is popular for its great Andhra food. We went for their thaalis, sambhar rice, ghiye ka halwa. This place is extremely famous for its fish curry, mutton and spicy food but since we were going to the Chilkur Balaji temple next, all of us chose to eat only vegetarian and we were just not disappointed. The thaali was extremely good and delicious. Everything tasted great on the taste buds. The sambhar rice was amazing. The buttermilk was love. The paneer pakodas, variety of veggies, lentils, rice made our day. They have many specialties and I am definitely gonna visit it on my next trip.
Visa Temple or the Chilkur Balaji temple
Believe me or not but before this trip, I had no clue about this temple. I was trying to find out interesting things to do in the city and discovered about this temple. I was amused to read an article on BBC India and its popularity among software professionals, especially traveling to USA. On the banks of Osman Sagar lake, it is located 30 kilometers away from the city. When I suggested a visit to this temple, almost everyone agreed. None of us had any wish nor any of us is traveling to USA in recent times, yet we wanted to pray here. It is said that it is a very powerful temple and your wish to travel is granted here. We visited the temple out of curiosity. I really wanted to see if people believed in this visa story thing. Did people really visit the temple to ask for visa grant? Is Lord Balaji of Chilkur, really a visa God? And as the popularity goes, everything was true about it. People were taking rounds of the central temple where the deity is kept. Some even had paper in their hand and they were keeping a count. It was very interesting to see the faith and the trust. It showed that their wishes had been fulfilled.
I really liked the fact that the temple accepts and demands no money. The faith goes that in order to make your wish true, you must do 11 pradakshanas. Once the wish comes true, the devotee must come back to offer 108 pradakshanas (circumabulation) around the entire temple. After doing your rounds, you may go to main deity and pray to him. It is a very simple temple with a beautiful South Indian style make but I was mighty impressed with the way things are carried on here. Away from the din of the city, the ambiance is also very peaceful. There was a very powerful energy inside which was telling me that wishes do granted here. And when you look at the throng of devotees, you become sure of it. By the time we left the place, it was already 5:30 p.m.
Golconda Fort Light and Sound Show
After the visit to the visa temple, our friend drove us to Golcondo fort. You might be wondering which fort is open in the evening. Well, the plan was to see the sound and light show at the fort. To see the actual facade and its ramparts, it was not possible in this hot weather. I will go for it in the winter months when the afternoon can be used fruitfully. Our friend suggested that the evening show which talked about the origin of the fort, its rulers and its legacy was worth a do. When we reached, we were told that there had been some technical issue in the last few days and they were not charging money for it. They said, you may go and sit and listen, if its works well and good, else not much can be done about it. We gave it a chance and got lucky. With the musical bites from Jagjeet Singh and live commentary by Amitabh Bachchan, its made for an enlightening dive in the era of the Kakatiya Dynasty. It was also good to learn about the Qutb Shahi dynasty, history of Hyderabad and the various people who made the fort flourish.
After knowing about its history, I am more eager to see it, one of its kind that is built on top of a granite hill. It was not possible today because it remains open for visit only till 5:30 p.m. It is a major engineering feat and a very popular landmark for the city. It has stood through many historic events and I am sure it is a delight even today to see the its various parts, important positions and the aerial view from the top. By the time, the show came to end, it was already 8 p.m. We clicked some pictures and decided to head home. It had been a great weekend trip to Hyderabad.
Since we had to start back towards Vijayawada at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, we called an early wrap. We were not very hungry and also everyone wanted to take some rest. The dinner was ordered. We ate some mutton, rice and dal and had a good nap. Not to forget, hubby answered some emails and prepared for the next day before sleeping. He is one typical workaholic, I tell you, who cannot sleep without opening their laptops. But its always so fun to travel with him. He is always up for my itineraries and plans. The road from Hyderabad to Vijayawada is a great drive. We started early and reached in time. The guys got down at their office and I came back home. On the way we had stopped for breakfast and coffee at Seven Food Court. On the way, there is Mahatma Gandhi temple too. We didn’t have time to stop. Maybe you can. These days, I am in Vijayawada. Keep following stories from there.