Established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Hyderabad remained under the rule of the Qutb Shahi dynasty for nearly a century before the Mughals captured the region. In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I declared his sovereignty and created his own dynasty, known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The Nizam's dominions became a princely state during the British Raj, and remained so for 150 years, with the city serving as its capital. The city continued as the capital of Hyderabad State after it was brought into the Indian Union in 1948, and became the capital of Andhra Pradesh after the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Since 1956, Rashtrapati Nilayam in the city has been the winter office of the President of India. In 2014, the newly formed state of Telangana split from Andhra Pradesh and the city became joint capital of the two states, a transitional arrangement scheduled to end by 2025.
Relics of Qutb Shahi and Nizam rule remain visible today; the Charminar—commissioned by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah—has come to symbolise Hyderabad. Golconda fort is another major landmark. The influence of Mughlai culture is also evident in the region's distinctive cuisine, which includes Hyderabadi biryani and Hyderabadi haleem. The Qutb Shahis and Nizams established Hyderabad as a cultural hub, attracting men of letters from different parts of the world. Hyderabad emerged as the foremost centre of culture in India with the decline of the Mughal Empire in the mid-19th century, with artists migrating to the city from the rest of the Indian subcontinent. The Telugu film industry based in the city is the country's second-largest producer of motion pictures.
Hyderabad was historically known as a pearl and diamond trading centre, and it continues to be known as the "City of Pearls". Many of the city's traditional bazaars remain open, including Laad Bazaar, Begum Bazaar and Sultan Bazaar. Industrialisation throughout the 20th century attracted major Indian manufacturing, research and financial institutions, including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the National Geophysical Research Institute and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Special economic zones dedicated to information technology have encouraged companies from India and around the world to set up operations in Hyderabad. The emergence of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the 1990s led to the area's naming as India's "Genome Valley". With an output of US$74 billion, Hyderabad is the fifth-largest contributor to India's overall gross domestic product.
According to John Everett-Heath, the author of Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place Names, Hyderabad means "Haydar's city" or "lion city", from haydar (lion) and ābād (city), and was named to honour the Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was also known as Haydar because of his lion-like valour in battles. Andrew Petersen, a scholar of Islamic architecture, says the city was originally called Baghnagar (city of gardens). One popular theory suggests that the founder of the city, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah of the Golconda Sultanate, named it "Bhagyanagar" or "Bhāgnagar" after Bhagmati, a local nautch (dancing) girl with whom he had fallen in love. She converted to Islam and adopted the title Hyder Mahal. The city was renamed Hyderabad in her honour.
According to German traveller Heinrich von Poser, whose travelogue of the Deccan was translated by Gita Dharampal-Frick of Heidelberg University, there were two names for the city: "On 3 December 1622, we reached the city of Bagneger or Hederabat, the seat of the king Sultan Mehemet Culi Cuttub Shah and the capital of the kingdom". French traveller Jean de Thévenot visited the Deccan region in 1666–1667 refers to the city in his book Travels in India as "Bagnagar and Aiderabad".
Archaeologists excavating near the city have unearthed Iron Age sites that may date from 500 BCE. The region comprising modern Hyderabad and its surroundings was known as Golkonda (Golla Konda-"shepherd's hill"), and was ruled by the Chalukya dynasty from 624 CE to 1075 CE. Following the dissolution of the Chalukya empire into four parts in the 11th century, Golkonda came under the control of the Kakatiya dynasty from 1158, whose seat of power was at Warangal, 148 km (92 mi) northeast of modern Hyderabad.
The Kakatiya dynasty was reduced to a vassal of the Khilji dynasty in 1310 after its defeat by Sultan Alauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate. This lasted until 1321, when the Kakatiya dynasty was annexed by Malik Kafur, Allaudin Khilji's general. During this period, Alauddin Khilji took the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is said to have been mined from the Kollur Mines of Golkonda, to Delhi. Muhammad bin Tughluq succeeded to the Delhi sultanate in 1325, bringing Warangal under the rule of the Tughlaq dynasty until 1347 when Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah, a governor under bin Tughluq, rebelled against Delhi and established the Bahmani Sultanate in the Deccan Plateau, with Gulbarga, 200 km (124 mi) west of Hyderabad, as its capital. The Hyderabad area was under the control of the Musunuri Nayaks at this time, who, however, were forced to cede it to the Bahmani Sultanate in 1364. The Bahmani kings ruled the region until 1518 and were the first independent Muslim rulers of the Deccan.
Sultan Quli, a governor of Golkonda, revolted against the Bahmani Sultanate and established the Qutb Shahi dynasty in 1518; he rebuilt the mud-fort of Golconda and named the city "Muhammad nagar". The fifth sultan, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, established Hyderabad on the banks of the Musi River in 1591, to avoid the water shortages experienced at Golkonda. During his rule, he had the Charminar and Mecca Masjid built in the city. On 21 September 1687, the Golkonda Sultanate came under the rule of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after a year-long siege of the Golkonda fort. The annexed area was renamed Deccan Suba (Deccan province) and the capital was moved from Golkonda to Aurangabad, about 550 km (342 mi) northwest of Hyderabad.
In 1714 Farrukhsiyar, the Mughal emperor, appointed Asif Jah I to be Viceroy of the Deccan, with the title Nizam-ul-Mulk (Administrator of the Realm). In 1724, Asif Jah I defeated Mubariz Khan to establish autonomy over the Deccan Suba, named the region Hyderabad Deccan, and started what came to be known as the Asif Jahi dynasty. Subsequent rulers retained the title Nizam ul-Mulk and were referred to as Asif Jahi Nizams, or Nizams of Hyderabad. The death of Asif Jah I in 1748 resulted in a period of political unrest as his sons, backed by opportunistic neighbouring states and colonial foreign forces, contended for the throne. The accession of Asif Jah II, who reigned from 1762 to 1803, ended the instability. In 1768 he signed the treaty of Machilipatnam, surrendering the coastal region to the East India Company in return for a fixed annual rent.
In 1769 Hyderabad city became the formal capital of the Nizams. In response to regular threats from Hyder Ali (Dalwai of Mysore), Baji Rao I (Peshwa of the Maratha Empire), and Basalath Jung (Asif Jah II's elder brother, who was supported by the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau), the Nizam signed a subsidiary alliance with the East India Company in 1798, allowing the British Indian Army to occupy Bolarum (modern Secunderabad) to protect the state's capital, for which the Nizams paid an annual maintenance to the British.
Until 1874 there were no modern industries in Hyderabad. With the introduction of railways in the 1880s, four factories were built to the south and east of Hussain Sagar Lake, and during the early 20th century, Hyderabad was transformed into a modern city with the establishment of transport services, underground drainage, running water, electricity, telecommunications, universities, industries, and Begumpet Airport. The Nizams ruled their princely state from Hyderabad during the British Raj.
After India gained independence, the Nizam declared his intention to remain independent rather than become part of the Indian Union. The Hyderabad State Congress, with the support of the Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India, began agitating against Nizam VII in 1948. On 17 September that year, the Indian Army took control of Hyderabad State after an invasion codenamed Operation Polo. With the defeat of his forces, Nizam VII capitulated to the Indian Union by signing an Instrument of Accession, which made him the Rajpramukh (Princely Governor) of the state until 31 October 1956. Between 1946 and 1951, the Communist Party of India fomented the Telangana uprising against the feudal lords of the Telangana region. The Constitution of India, which became effective on 26 January 1950, made Hyderabad State one of the part B states of India, with Hyderabad city continuing to be the capital. In his 1955 report Thoughts on Linguistic States, B. R. Ambedkar, then chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution, proposed designating the city of Hyderabad as the second capital of India because of its amenities and strategic central location. Since 1956, the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad has been the second official residence and business office of the President of India; the President stays once a year in winter and conducts official business particularly relating to Southern India.
On 1 November 1956 the states of India were reorganised by language. Hyderabad state was split into three parts, which were merged with neighbouring states to form the modern states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The nine Telugu- and Urdu-speaking districts of Hyderabad State in the Telangana region were merged with the Telugu-speaking Andhra State to create Andhra Pradesh, with Hyderabad as its capital. Several protests, known collectively as the Telangana movement, attempted to invalidate the merger and demanded the creation of a new Telangana state. Major actions took place in 1969 and 1972, and a third began in 2010. The city suffered several explosions: one at Dilsukhnagar in 2002 claimed two lives; terrorist bombs in May and August 2007 caused communal tension and riots; and two bombs exploded in February 2013. On 30 July 2013 the government of India declared that part of Andhra Pradesh would be split off to form a new Telangana state, and that Hyderabad city would be the capital city and part of Telangana, while the city would also remain the capital of Andhra Pradesh for no more than ten years. On 3 October 2013 the Union Cabinet approved the proposal, and in February 2014 both houses of Parliament passed the Telangana Bill. With the final assent of the President of India in June 2014, Telangana state was formed.
Situated in the southern part of Telangana in southeastern India, Hyderabad is 1,566 kilometres (973 mi) south of Delhi, 699 kilometres (434 mi) southeast of Mumbai, and 570 kilometres (350 mi) north of Bangalore by road. It lies on the banks of the Musi River, in the northern part of the Deccan Plateau. Greater Hyderabad covers 650 km2 (250 sq mi), making it one of the largest metropolitan areas in India. With an average altitude of 542 metres (1,778 ft), Hyderabad lies on predominantly sloping terrain of grey and pink granite, dotted with small hills, the highest being Banjara Hills at 672 metres (2,205 ft). The city has numerous lakes referred to as sagar, meaning "sea". Examples include artificial lakes created by dams on the Musi, such as Hussain Sagar (built in 1562 near the city centre), Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar. As of 1996, the city had 140 lakes and 834 water tanks (ponds).
Hyderabad has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw) bordering on a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh). The annual mean temperature is 26.6 °C (79.9 °F); monthly mean temperatures are 21–33 °C (70–91 °F). Summers (March–June) are hot and humid, with average highs in the mid-to-high 30s Celsius; maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C (104 °F) between April and June. The coolest temperatures occur in December and January, when the lowest temperature occasionally dips to 10 °C (50 °F). May is the hottest month, when daily temperatures range from 26 to 39 °C (79–102 °F); December, the coldest, has temperatures varying from 14.5 to 28 °C (57–82 °F).
Heavy rain from the south-west summer monsoon falls between June and September, supplying Hyderabad with most of its mean annual rainfall. Since records began in November 1891, the heaviest rainfall recorded in a 24-hour period was 241.5 mm (10 in) on 24 August 2000. The highest temperature ever recorded was 45.5 °C (114 °F) on 2 June 1966, and the lowest was 6.1 °C (43 °F) on 8 January 1946. The city receives 2,731 hours of sunshine per year; maximum daily sunlight exposure occurs in February.
Hyderabad's lakes and the sloping terrain of its low-lying hills provide habitat for an assortment of flora and fauna. As of 2016, the tree cover is 1.66% of total city area, a decrease from 2.71% in 1996. The forest region in and around the city encompasses areas of ecological and biological importance, which are preserved in the form of national parks, zoos, mini-zoos and a wildlife sanctuary. Nehru Zoological Park, the city's one large zoo, is the first in India to have a lion and tiger safari park. Hyderabad has three national parks (Mrugavani National Park, Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park and Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park), and the Manjira Wildlife Sanctuary is about 50 km (31 mi) from the city. Hyderabad's other environmental reserves are: Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy Botanical Gardens, Shamirpet Lake, Hussain Sagar, Fox Sagar Lake, Mir Alam Tank and Patancheru Lake, which is home to regional birds and attracts seasonal migratory birds from different parts of the world. Organisations engaged in environmental and wildlife preservation include the Telangana Forest Department, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Blue Cross of Hyderabad and the University of Hyderabad.
According to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 part 2 Section 5: "(1) On and from the appointed day, Hyderabad in the existing State of Andhra Pradesh, shall be the common capital of the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh for such period not exceeding ten years. (2) After expiry of the period referred to in sub-section (1), Hyderabad shall be the capital of the State of Telangana and there shall be a new capital for the State of Andhra Pradesh."
The same sections also define that the common capital includes the existing area designated as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation under the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, 1955. As stipulated in sections 3 and 18(1) of the Reorganisation Act, city MLAs are members of Telangana state assembly.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) oversees the civic infrastructure of the city's 30 "circles", which together encompass 150 municipal wards. Each ward is represented by a corporator, elected by popular vote. The corporators elect the Mayor, who is the titular head of GHMC; executive powers rest with the Municipal Commissioner, appointed by the state government. The GHMC carries out the city's infrastructural work such as building and maintenance of roads and drains, town planning including construction regulation, maintenance of municipal markets and parks, solid waste management, the issuing of birth and death certificates, the issuing of trade licences, collection of property tax, and community welfare services such as mother and child healthcare, and pre-school and non-formal education. The GHMC was formed in April 2007 by merging the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) with 12 municipalities of the Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medak districts covering a total area of 650 km2 (250 sq mi). In the 2016 municipal election, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi formed the majority and the present Mayor is Bonthu Ram Mohan. The Secunderabad Cantonment Board is a civic administration agency overseeing an area of 40.1 km2 (15.5 sq mi), where there are several military camps. The Osmania University campus is administered independently by the university authority.
Law and order in Hyderabad city is supervised by the governor of Telangana. The jurisdiction is divided into three police commissionerates: Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda. Each zone is headed by a deputy commissioner.
The jurisdictions of the city's administrative agencies are, in ascending order of size: the Hyderabad Police area, Hyderabad district, the GHMC area ("Hyderabad city") and the area under the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA). The HMDA is an apolitical urban planning agency that covers the GHMC and its suburbs, extending to 54 mandals in five districts encircling the city. It coordinates the development activities of GHMC and suburban municipalities and manages the administration of bodies such as the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB).
As the seat of the government of Telangana, Hyderabad is home to the state's legislature, secretariat and high court, as well as various local government agencies. The Lower City Civil Court and the Metropolitan Criminal Court are under the jurisdiction of the High Court. The GHMC area contains 24 State Legislative Assembly constituencies, which form five constituencies of the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Parliament of India).
The HMWSSB regulates rainwater harvesting, sewerage services and water supply, which is sourced from several dams located in the suburbs. In 2005, the HMWSSB started operating a 116-kilometre-long (72 mi) water supply pipeline from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam to meet increasing demand. The Telangana Southern Power Distribution Company Limited manages electricity supply. As of October 2014, there were 15 fire stations in the city, operated by the Telangana State Disaster and Fire Response Department. The government-owned India Post has five head post offices and many sub-post offices in Hyderabad, which are complemented by private courier services.
Hyderabad produces around 4,500 tonnes of solid waste daily, which is transported from collection units in Imlibun, Yousufguda and Lower Tank Bund to the dumpsite in Jawaharnagar. Disposal is managed by the Integrated Solid Waste Management project which was started by the GHMC in 2010. Rapid urbanisation and increased economic activity has also led to increased industrial waste, air, noise and water pollution, which is regulated by the Telangana Pollution Control Board (TPCB). The contribution of different sources to air pollution in 2006 was: 20–50% from vehicles, 40–70% from a combination of vehicle discharge and road dust, 10–30% from industrial discharges and 3–10% from the burning of household rubbish. Deaths resulting from atmospheric particulate matter are estimated at 1,700–3,000 each year. Ground water around Hyderabad, which has a hardness of up to 1000 ppm, around three times higher than is desirable, is the main source of drinking water but the increasing population and consequent increase in demand has led to a decline in not only ground water but also river and lake levels. This shortage is further exacerbated by inadequately treated effluent discharged from industrial treatment plants polluting the water sources of the city.
The Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare is responsible for planning, implementation and monitoring of all facilities related to health and preventive services. As of 2010–11, the city had 50 government hospitals, 300 private and charity hospitals and 194 nursing homes providing around 12,000 hospital beds, fewer than half the required 25,000. For every 10,000 people in the city, there are 17.6 hospital beds, 9 specialist doctors, 14 nurses and 6 physicians. The city also has about 4,000 individual clinics and 500 medical diagnostic centres. Private clinics are preferred by many residents because of the distance to, poor quality of care at and long waiting times in government facilities, despite the high proportion of the city's residents being covered by government health insurance: 24% according to a National Family Health Survey in 2005. As of 2012, many new private hospitals of various sizes were opened or being built. Hyderabad also has outpatient and inpatient facilities that use Unani, homoeopathic and Ayurvedic treatments.
In the 2005 National Family Health Survey, it was reported that the city's total fertility rate is 1.8, which is below the replacement rate. Only 61% of children had been provided with all basic vaccines (BCG, measles and full courses of polio and DPT), fewer than in all other surveyed cities except Meerut. The infant mortality rate was 35 per 1,000 live births, and the mortality rate for children under five was 41 per 1,000 live births. The survey also reported that a third of women and a quarter of men are overweight or obese, 49% of children below 5 years are anaemic, and up to 20% of children are underweight, while more than 2% of women and 3% of men suffer from diabetes.
When the GHMC was created in 2007, the area occupied by the municipality increased from 175 km2 (68 sq mi) to 650 km2 (250 sq mi). Consequently, the population increased by 87%, from 3,637,483 in the 2001 census to 6,809,970 in the 2011 census, 24% of which are migrants from elsewhere in India, making Hyderabad the nation's fourth most populous city. As of 2011, the population density is 18,480/km2 (47,900/sq mi). At the same 2011 census, the Hyderabad Urban Agglomeration had a population of 7,749,334, making it the sixth most populous urban agglomeration in the country. The population of the Hyderabad urban agglomeration has since been estimated by electoral officials to be 9.1 million as of early 2013 but is expected to exceed 10 million by the end of the year. There are 3,500,802 male and 3,309,168 female citizens—a sex ratio of 945 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 926 per 1000. Among children aged 0–6 years, 373,794 are boys and 352,022 are girls—a ratio of 942 per 1000. Literacy stands at 82.96% (male 85.96%; female 79.79%), higher than the national average of 74.04%. The socio-economic strata consist of 20% upper class, 50% middle class and 30% working class.
Referred to as "Hyderabadi", the residents of Hyderabad are predominantly Telugu and Urdu speaking people, with minority Bengali, Gujarati (including Memon), Kannada (including Nawayathi), Malayalam, Marathi, Marwari, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Uttar Pradeshi communities. Hyderabad is home to a unique dialect of Urdu called Hyderabadi Urdu, which is a type of Dakhini, and is the mother tongue of most Hyderabadi Muslims, a unique community who owe much of their history, language, cuisine, and culture to Hyderabad, and the various dynasties who previously ruled. Hadhrami Arabs, African Arabs, Armenians, Abyssinians, Iranians, Pathans and Turkish people are also present; these communities, of which the Hadhrami are the largest, declined after Hyderabad State became part of the Indian Union, as they lost the patronage of the Nizams.
Telugu and Urdu are both official languages of the city, and most Hyderabadis are bilingual. The Telugu dialect spoken in Hyderabad is called Telangana Mandalika, and the Urdu spoken is called Dakhini. English is also used. A significant minority speak other languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Bengali and Kannada.
Hindus are in the majority. Muslims form a very large minority, and are present throughout the city and predominate in and around the Old City. There are also Christian, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Parsi communities and iconic temples, mosques and churches can be seen. According to the 2011 census, the religious make-up of Greater Hyderabad was: Hindus (64.93%), Muslims (30.13%), Christians (2.75%), Jains (0.29%), Sikhs (0.25%) and Buddhists (0.04%); 1.56% did not state any religion.
In the greater metropolitan area, 13% of the population live below the poverty line. According to a 2012 report submitted by GHMC to the World Bank, Hyderabad has 1,476 slums with a total population of 1.7 million, of whom 66% live in 985 slums in the "core" of the city (the part that formed Hyderabad before the April 2007 expansion) and the remaining 34% live in 491 suburban tenements. About 22% of the slum-dwelling households had migrated from different parts of India in the last decade of the 20th century, and 63% claimed to have lived in the slums for more than 10 years. Overall literacy in the slums is 60–80% and female literacy is 52–73%. A third of the slums have basic service connections, and the remainder depend on general public services provided by the government. There are 405 government schools, 267 government aided schools, 175 private schools and 528 community halls in the slum areas. According to a 2008 survey by the Centre for Good Governance, 87.6% of the slum-dwelling households are nuclear families, 18% are very poor, with an income up to ₹20,000 (US$310) per annum, 73% live below the poverty line (a standard poverty line recognised by the Andhra Pradesh Government is ₹24,000 (US$370) per annum), 27% of the chief wage earners (CWE) are casual labour and 38% of the CWE are illiterate. About 3.72% of the slum children aged 5–14 do not go to school and 3.17% work as child labour, of whom 64% are boys and 36% are girls. The largest employers of child labour are street shops and construction sites. Among the working children, 35% are engaged in hazardous jobs.
The historic city established by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah on the southern side of the Musi River forms the "Old City", while the "New City" encompasses the urbanised area on the northern banks. The two are connected by many bridges across the river, the oldest of which is Purana Pul ("old bridge"). Hyderabad is twinned with neighbouring Secunderabad, to which it is connected by Hussain Sagar.
Many historic and tourist sites lie in south central Hyderabad, such as the Charminar, the Mecca Masjid, the Salar Jung Museum, the Nizam's Museum, the Falaknuma Palace, and the traditional retail corridor comprising the Pearl Market, Laad Bazaar and Madina Circle. North of the river are hospitals, colleges, major railway stations and business areas such as Begum Bazaar, Koti, Abids, Sultan Bazaar and Moazzam Jahi Market, along with administrative and recreational establishments such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Telangana Secretariat, the India Government Mint, Hyderabad, the Telangana Legislature, the Public Gardens, the Nizam Club, the Ravindra Bharathi, the State Museum, the Birla Temple and the Birla Planetarium.
North of central Hyderabad lie Hussain Sagar, Tank Bund Road, Rani Gunj and the Secunderabad Railway Station. Most of the city's parks and recreational centres, such as Sanjeevaiah Park, Indira Park, Lumbini Park, NTR Gardens, the Buddha statue and Tankbund Park are located here. In the northwest part of the city there are upscale residential and commercial areas such as Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Begumpet, Khairatabad and Miyapur. The northern end contains industrial areas such as Sanathnagar, Moosapet, Balanagar, Patancheru and Chanda Nagar. The northeast end is dotted with residential areas. In the eastern part of the city lie many defence research centres and Ramoji Film City. The "Cyberabad" area in the southwest and west of the city has grown rapidly since the 1990s. It is home to information technology and bio-pharmaceutical companies and to landmarks such as Hyderabad Airport, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar and Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park.
Heritage buildings constructed during the Qutb Shahi and Nizam eras showcase Indo-Islamic architecture influenced by Medieval, Mughal and European styles. After the 1908 flooding of the Musi River, the city was expanded and civic monuments constructed, particularly during the rule of Mir Osman Ali Khan (the VIIth Nizam), whose patronage of architecture led to him being referred to as the maker of modern Hyderabad. In 2012, the government of India declared Hyderabad the first "Best heritage city of India".
Qutb Shahi architecture of the 16th and early 17th centuries followed classical Persian architecture featuring domes and colossal arches. The oldest surviving Qutb Shahi structure in Hyderabad is the ruins of Golconda fort built in the 16th century. Most of the historical bazaars that still exist were constructed on the street north of Charminar towards the fort. The Charminar has become an icon of the city; located in the centre of old Hyderabad, it is a square structure with sides 20 m (66 ft) long and four grand arches each facing a road. At each corner stands a 56 m (184 ft)-high minaret. The Charminar, Golconda fort and the Qutb Shahi tombs are considered to be monuments of national importance in India; in 2010 the Indian government proposed that the sites be listed for UNESCO World Heritage status.
Among the oldest surviving examples of Nizam architecture in Hyderabad is the Chowmahalla Palace, which was the seat of royal power. It showcases a diverse array of architectural styles, from the Baroque Harem to its Neoclassical royal court. The other palaces include Falaknuma Palace (inspired by the style of Andrea Palladio), Purani Haveli, King Kothi and Bella Vista Palace all of which were built at the peak of Nizam rule in the 19th century. During Mir Osman Ali Khan's rule, European styles, along with Indo-Islamic, became prominent. These styles are reflected in the Falaknuma Palace and many civic monuments such as the Hyderabad High Court, Osmania Hospital, Osmania University, the State Central Library, City College, the Telangana Legislature, the State Archaeology Museum, Jubilee Hall, and Hyderabad and Kachiguda railway stations. Other landmarks of note are Paigah Palace, Asman Garh Palace, Basheer Bagh Palace, Errum Manzil and the Spanish Mosque, all constructed by the Paigah family.
Recent estimates of the economy of Hyderabad's metropolitan area have ranged from $40 billion to $74 billion (PPP GDP), and have ranked it either fifth- or sixth- most productive metro area of India. Hyderabad is the largest contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP), tax and other revenues, of Telangana, and the sixth largest deposit centre and fourth largest credit centre nationwide, as ranked by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in June 2012. Its per capita annual income in 2011 was ₹44,300 (US$690). As of 2006, the largest employers in the city were the governments of Andhra Pradesh (113,098 employees) and India (85,155). According to a 2005 survey, 77% of males and 19% of females in the city were employed. The service industry remains dominant in the city, and 90% of the employed workforce is engaged in this sector.
Hyderabad's role in the pearl trade has given it the name "City of Pearls" and up until the 18th century, the city was the only global trading centre for Diamonds known as Golconda Diamonds. Industrialisation began under the Nizams in the late 19th century, helped by railway expansion that connected the city with major ports. From the 1950s to the 1970s, Indian enterprises, such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Bharat Electronics (BEL), Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) and Andhra Bank (AB) were established in the city. The city is home to Hyderabad Securities formerly known as Hyderabad Stock Exchange (HSE), and houses the regional office of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). In 2013, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) facility in Hyderabad was forecast to provide operations and transactions services to BSE-Mumbai by the end of 2014. The growth of the financial services sector has helped Hyderabad evolve from a traditional manufacturing city to a cosmopolitan industrial service centre. Since the 1990s, the growth of information technology (IT), IT-enabled services (ITES), insurance and financial institutions has expanded the service sector, and these primary economic activities have boosted the ancillary sectors of trade and commerce, transport, storage, communication, real estate and retail.
Hyderabad's commercial markets are divided into four sectors: central business districts, sub-central business centres, neighbourhood business centres and local business centres. Many traditional and historic bazaars are located throughout the city, Laad Bazaar being the prominent among all is popular for selling a variety of traditional and cultural antique wares, along with gems and pearls.
The establishment of Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL), a public sector undertaking, in 1961 was followed over the decades by many national and global companies opening manufacturing and research facilities in the city. As of 2010, the city manufactured one third of India's bulk drugs and 16% of biotechnology products, contributing to its reputation as "India's pharmaceutical capital" and the "Genome Valley of India". Hyderabad is a global centre of information technology, for which it is known as Cyberabad (Cyber City). As of 2013, it contributed 15% of India's and 98% of Andhra Pradesh's exports in IT and ITES sectors and 22% of NASSCOM's total membership is from the city. The development of HITEC City, a township with extensive technological infrastructure, prompted multinational companies to establish facilities in Hyderabad. The city is home to more than 1300 IT and ITES firms that provide employment for 407,000 individuals; the global conglomerates include Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, Yahoo!, Oracle Corporation, Dell, Facebook, CISCO, and major Indian firms including Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Polaris, Cyient and Wipro. In 2009 the World Bank Group ranked the city as the second best Indian city for doing business. The city and its suburbs contain the highest number of special economic zones of any Indian city.
Like the rest of India, Hyderabad has a large informal economy that employs 30% of the labour force. According to a survey published in 2007, it had 40–50,000 street vendors, and their numbers were increasing. Among the street vendors, 84% are male and 16% female, and four fifths are "stationary vendors" operating from a fixed pitch, often with their own stall. Most are financed through personal savings; only 8% borrow from moneylenders. Vendor earnings vary from ₹50 (78¢ US) to ₹800 (US$12) per day. Other unorganised economic sectors include dairy, poultry farming, brick manufacturing, casual labour and domestic help. Those involved in the informal economy constitute a major portion of urban poor.
Hyderabad emerged as the foremost centre of culture in India with the decline of the Mughal Empire. After the fall of Delhi in 1857, the migration of performing artists to the city particularly from the north and west of the Indian sub continent, under the patronage of the Nizam, enriched the cultural milieu. This migration resulted in a mingling of North and South Indian languages, cultures and religions, which has since led to a co-existence of Hindu and Muslim traditions, for which the city has become noted. A further consequence of this north–south mix is that both Telugu and Urdu are official languages of Telangana. The mixing of religions has also resulted in many festivals being celebrated in Hyderabad such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali and Bonalu of Hindu tradition and Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha by Muslims.
Traditional Hyderabadi garb also reveals a mix of Muslim and South Asian influences with men wearing sherwani and kurta–paijama and women wearing khara dupatta and salwar kameez. Most Muslim women wear burqa and hijab outdoors. In addition to the traditional Indian and Muslim garments, increasing exposure to western cultures has led to a rise in the wearing of western style clothing among youths.
In the past, Qutb Shahi rulers and Nizams attracted artists, architects and men of letters from different parts of the world through patronage. The resulting ethnic mix popularised cultural events such as mushairas (poetic symposia). The Qutb Shahi dynasty particularly encouraged the growth of Deccani Urdu literature leading to works such as the Deccani Masnavi and Diwan poetry, which are among the earliest available manuscripts in Urdu. Lazzat Un Nisa, a book compiled in the 15th century at Qutb Shahi courts, contains erotic paintings with diagrams for secret medicines and stimulants in the eastern form of ancient sexual arts. The reign of the Nizams saw many literary reforms and the introduction of Urdu as a language of court, administration and education. In 1824, a collection of Urdu Ghazal poetry, named Gulzar-e-Mahlaqa, authored by Mah Laqa Bai—the first female Urdu poet to produce a Diwan—was published in Hyderabad.
Hyderabad has continued with these traditions in its annual Hyderabad Literary Festival, held since 2010, showcasing the city's literary and cultural creativity. Organisations engaged in the advancement of literature include the Sahitya Akademi, the Urdu Academy, the Telugu Academy, the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, the Comparative Literature Association of India, and the Andhra Saraswata Parishad. Literary development is further aided by state institutions such as the State Central Library, the largest public library in the state which was established in 1891, and other major libraries including the Sri Krishna Devaraya Andhra Bhasha Nilayam, the British Library and the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram.
South Indian music and dances such as the Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam styles are popular in the Deccan region. As a result of their culture policies, North Indian music and dance gained popularity during the rule of the Mughals and Nizams, and it was also during their reign that it became a tradition among the nobility to associate themselves with tawaif (courtesans). These courtesans were revered as the epitome of etiquette and culture, and were appointed to teach singing, poetry and classical dance to many children of the aristocracy. This gave rise to certain styles of court music, dance and poetry. Besides western and Indian popular music genres such as filmi music, the residents of Hyderabad play city-based marfa music, dholak ke geet (household songs based on local Folklore), and qawwali, especially at weddings, festivals and other celebratory events. The state government organises the Golconda Music and Dance Festival, the Taramati Music Festival and the Premavathi Dance Festival to further encourage the development of music.
Although the city is not particularly noted for theatre and drama, the state government promotes theatre with multiple programmes and festivals in such venues as the Ravindra Bharati, Shilpakala Vedika and Lalithakala Thoranam. Although not a purely music oriented event, Numaish, a popular annual exhibition of local and national consumer products, does feature some musical performances. The city is home to the Telugu film industry, popularly known as Tollywood and as of 2012, produces the second largest number of films in India behind Bollywood. Films in the local Hyderabadi dialect are also produced and have been gaining popularity since 2005. The city has also hosted international film festivals such as the International Children's Film Festival and the Hyderabad International Film Festival. In 2005, Guinness World Records declared Ramoji Film City to be the world's largest film studio.
The region is well known for its Golconda and Hyderabad painting styles which are branches of Deccani painting. Developed during the 16th century, the Golconda style is a native style blending foreign techniques and bears some similarity to the Vijayanagara paintings of neighbouring Mysore. A significant use of luminous gold and white colours is generally found in the Golconda style. The Hyderabad style originated in the 17th century under the Nizams. Highly influenced by Mughal painting, this style makes use of bright colours and mostly depicts regional landscape, culture, costumes and jewellery.
Although not a centre for handicrafts itself, the patronage of the arts by the Mughals and Nizams attracted artisans from the region to Hyderabad. Such crafts include: Bidriware, a metalwork handicraft from neighbouring Karnataka, which was popularised during the 18th century and has since been granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag under the auspices of the WTO act; and Zari and Zardozi, embroidery works on textile that involve making elaborate designs using gold, silver and other metal threads. Another example of a handicraft drawn to Hyderabad is Kalamkari, a hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile that comes from cities in Andhra Pradesh. This craft is distinguished in having both a Hindu style, known as Srikalahasti and entirely done by hand, and an Islamic style, known as Machilipatnam that uses both hand and block techniques. Examples of Hyderabad's arts and crafts are housed in various museums including the Salar Jung Museum (housing "one of the largest one-man-collections in the world"), the AP State Archaeology Museum, the Nizam Museum, the City Museum and the Birla Science Museum.
Hyderabadi cuisine comprises a broad repertoire of rice, wheat and meat dishes and the skilled use of various spices. Hyderabadi biryani and Hyderabadi haleem, with their blend of Mughlai and Arab cuisines, carry the national Geographical Indications tag. Hyderabadi cuisine is influenced to some extent by French, but more by Arabic, Turkish, Iranian and native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. Popular native dishes include nihari, chakna, baghara baingan and the desserts qubani ka meetha, double ka meetha and kaddu ki kheer (a sweet porridge made with sweet gourd).
One of Hyderabad's earliest newspapers, The Deccan Times, was established in the 1780s. In modern times, the major Telugu dailies published in Hyderabad are Eenadu, Andhra Jyothy, Sakshi and Namaste Telangana, while the major English papers are The Times of India, The Hindu, and The Deccan Chronicle. The major Urdu papers include The Siasat Daily, The Munsif Daily and Etemaad. Many coffee table magazines, professional magazines and research journals are also regularly published. The Secunderabad Cantonment Board established the first radio station in Hyderabad State around 1919. Deccan Radio was the first radio public broadcast station in the city starting on 3 February 1935, with FM broadcasting beginning in 2000. The available channels in Hyderabad include All India Radio, Radio Mirchi, Radio City, Red FM, Big FM and Fever FM.
Television broadcasting in Hyderabad began in 1974 with the launch of Doordarshan, the Government of India's public service broadcaster, which transmits two free-to-air terrestrial television channels and one satellite channel. Private satellite channels started in July 1992 with the launch of Star TV. Satellite TV channels are accessible via cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite services or internet-based television. Hyderabad's first dial-up internet access became available in the early 1990s and was limited to software development companies. The first public internet access service began in 1995, with the first private sector internet service provider (ISP) starting operations in 1998. In 2015, high-speed public WiFi was introduced in parts of the city.
Public and private schools in Hyderabad are governed by the Central Board of Secondary Education and follow a "10+2+3" plan. About two-thirds of pupils attend privately run institutions. Languages of instruction include English, Hindi, Telugu and Urdu. Depending on the institution, students are required to sit the Secondary School Certificate or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. After completing secondary education, students enroll in schools or junior colleges with a higher secondary facility. Admission to professional graduation colleges in Hyderabad, many of which are affiliated with either Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad (JNTUH) or Osmania University (OU), is through the Engineering Agricultural and Medical Common Entrance Test (EAM-CET).
There are 13 universities in Hyderabad: two private universities, two deemed universities, six state universities and three central universities. The central universities are the University of Hyderabad, Maulana Azad National Urdu University and the English and Foreign Languages University. Osmania University, established in 1918, was the first university in Hyderabad and as of 2012 is India's second most popular institution for international students. The Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University, established in 1982, is the first distance-learning open university in India.
Hyderabad is also home to a number of centres specialising in particular fields such as biomedical sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, such as the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) and National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). Hyderabad has five major medical schools—Osmania Medical College, Gandhi Medical College, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Deccan College of Medical Sciences and Shadan Institute of Medical Sciences—and many affiliated teaching hospitals. The Government Nizamia Tibbi College is a college of Unani medicine. Hyderabad is also the headquarters of the Indian Heart Association, a non-profit foundation for cardiovascular education.
Institutes in Hyderabad include the National Institute of Rural Development, the Indian School of Business, the Institute of Public Enterprise, the Administrative Staff College of India and the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy. Technical and engineering schools include the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH), Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Hyderabad (BITS Hyderabad) and Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) as well as agricultural engineering institutes such as the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University. Hyderabad also has schools of fashion design including Raffles Millennium International, NIFT Hyderabad and Wigan and Leigh College. The National Institute of Design, Hyderabad (NID-H), will offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2015.
The most popular sports played in Hyderabad are cricket and association football. At the professional level, the city has hosted national and international sports events such as the 2002 National Games of India, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 2004 AP Tourism Hyderabad Open women's tennis tournament, the 2007 Military World Games, the 2009 World Badminton Championships and the 2009 IBSF World Snooker Championship. The city hosts a number of venues suitable for professional competition such as the Swarnandhra Pradesh Sports Complex for field hockey, the G. M. C. Balayogi Stadium in Gachibowli for athletics and football, and for cricket, the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium and Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, home ground of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. Hyderabad has hosted many international cricket matches, including matches in the 1987 and the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cups. The Hyderabad cricket team represents the city in the Ranji Trophy—a first-class cricket tournament among India's states and cities. Hyderabad is also home to the Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad champions of Indian Premier League 2016. A previous franchise was the Deccan Chargers, which won the 2009 Indian Premier League held in South Africa.
During British rule, Secunderabad became a well-known sporting centre and many race courses, parade grounds and polo fields were built. Many elite clubs formed by the Nizams and the British such as the Secunderabad Club, the Nizam Club and the Hyderabad Race Club, which is known for its horse racing especially the annual Deccan derby, still exist. In more recent times, motorsports has become popular with the Andhra Pradesh Motor Sports Club organising popular events such as the Deccan ¼ Mile Drag, TSD Rallies and 4x4 off-road rallying.
International-level sportspeople from Hyderabad include: cricketers Ghulam Ahmed, M. L. Jaisimha, Mohammed Azharuddin, V. V. S. Laxman, Pragyan Ojha, Venkatapathy Raju, Shivlal Yadav, Arshad Ayub, Syed Abid Ali, Mithali Raj and Noel David; football players Syed Abdul Rahim, Syed Nayeemuddin and Shabbir Ali; tennis player Sania Mirza; badminton players S. M. Arif, Pullela Gopichand, Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu, Jwala Gutta and Chetan Anand; hockey players Syed Mohammad Hadi and Mukesh Kumar; rifle shooters Gagan Narang and Asher Noria and bodybuilder Mir Mohtesham Ali Khan.
The most commonly used forms of medium distance transport in Hyderabad include government owned services such as light railways and buses, as well as privately operated taxis and auto rickshaws. Bus services operate from the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station in the city centre and carry over 130 million passengers daily across the entire network. Hyderabad's light rail transportation system, the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS), is a three line suburban rail service used by over 160,000 passengers daily. Complementing these government services are minibus routes operated by Setwin (Society for Employment Promotion & Training in Twin Cities). Intercity rail services also operate from Hyderabad; the main, and largest, station is Secunderabad 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. Other major railway stations in Hyderabad are Hyderabad Deccan Station, Kacheguda Railway Station, Begumpet Railway Station, Malkajgiri Railway Station and Lingampally Railway Station. The Hyderabad Metro, a new rapid transit system, is to be added to the existing public transport infrastructure and is scheduled to operate by 2018.
As of 2012, there are over 3.5 million vehicles operating in the city, of which 74% are two-wheelers, 15% cars and 3% three-wheelers. The remaining 8% include buses, goods vehicles and taxis. The large number of vehicles coupled with relatively low road coverage—roads occupy only 9.5% of the total city area—has led to widespread traffic congestion especially since 80% of passengers and 60% of freight are transported by road. The Inner Ring Road, the Outer Ring Road, the Hyderabad Elevated Expressway, the longest flyover in India, and various interchanges, overpasses and underpasses were built to ease the congestion. Maximum speed limits within the city are 50 km/h (31 mph) for two-wheelers and cars, 35 km/h (22 mph) for auto rickshaws and 40 km/h (25 mph) for light commercial vehicles and buses.
Hyderabad sits at the junction of three National Highways linking it to six other states: NH-7 runs 2,369 km (1,472 mi) from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, in the north to Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, in the south; NH-65, runs 841 km (523 mi) east-west between Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, and Suryapet, Pune, Maharashtra; and the 280 km (174 mi) NH-163 links Hyderabad to Bhopalpatnam, Chhattisgarh NH-765 links Hyderabad to Srisailam. Five state highways, SH-1, SH-2, SH-4, SH-5 and SH-6, either start from, or pass through, Hyderabad.
Air traffic was previously handled via Begumpet Airport, but this was replaced by Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) (IATA: HYD, ICAO: VOHS) in 2008, with the capacity of handling 12 million passengers and 100,000 tonnes of cargo per annum. In 2011, Airports Council International, an autonomous body representing the world's airports, judged RGIA the world's best airport in the 5–15 million passenger category and the world's fifth best airport for service quality.