5 years ago, a new state was born. A state full of delightful contradictions. Newly minted but teeming with heritage. Where modern buildings, stunning palaces, grand mosques and busy streets are jumbled together. Where the song of the city melds with the quiet of lakes, the roar of waterfalls, and the whispers of thick forests and proud hills. This is Telangana – an intriguing tapestry of different threads woven together. So, turn the hourglass over, let the sands of time flow, as we discover the oldest, new state of India.
|Telangana: A Quick View of the state|
|Capital||Hyderabad (shared with Andhra Pradesh)|
|Dial Code||Hyderabad (040)|
|Population||39.644 million (as of 2018)|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Time Zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Area||112, 077 square kilometers|
The threads of history form the tapestries of every city in Telangana – weaving through skyscrapers, malls and highways. From the intricately carved minarets of Charminar, to the silent majesty of the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad- there is much to see. Why not stop by to see the 1000 pillar temple situated in Warangal? If you pass through Nizamabad, why not visit the Nizamabad Quilla – an old fort built in the 10th century by Rashtrakuta kings? You’ll also find the famous Jagannath temple, also known as Quilla Ramalayam, built by Chhatrapati Shivaji. Feast your eyes on the Elgandal Fort in Karimnagar, where the Mughal kings sat in attendance. Standing in these locations, you can feel the weight of these moments – of battles won and lost, kingdoms born and broken and kings rising and passing.
What lies under the thick green veil of Telangana’s dense forests? You’ll not only find tigers, sloth bears, leopards, black bucks, jackals, elephants, boars and wolves, but also a large selection of different bird species like the heron, egrets and open billed storks. Peer even further into Telangana’s green pocket and you’ll discover serene lakes and twisting streams, where mugger crocodiles float. The state has multiple wildlife sanctuaries and reserves, including three national parks, namely Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park, Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park and Mrugavani National Park. Popular sanctuaries include Kinnerasani, Manjira, Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam, Pocharam and more. You’re going to be spoilt for choice.
The charm of old-world bazaars melds beautifully with modern day conveniences at Telangana’s markets and bazaars. Dive into the bustle of Shilparamam market – a sprawling arts and crafts village – where you’ll find the fabrics and designs of the region at incredibly affordable prices. Run your fingers over the smooth, glossy bangles available in every shade at Laad Bazaar. You can also pick up your share of creamy pearls and fine khada dupattas here. If your shopping needs a little extra edge, visit the antique market where you’ll not only buy antique products, but the stories that come along with them. At Char Minar market, you’ll find the dazzle of jewellery – especially Basra Pearls, embellished with Gold and Silver. If you’re looking to spend a lazy day with a book, why not visit Sunday Book Bazaar? Go armed with a wallet, comfortable shoes and your best bargaining skills.
Open your palate to the taste of Telangana – sour, spicy and intense. This is, after all, the land of steaming biriyanis and crisp Karachi biscuits. But beyond that, Telangana has much to tempt you with. Dig into dishes like Sarva Pindi (a crisp savoury pancake), Malidalu (sweet ladoos made from chapati, jaggery, cashews and ghee), Sakinalu (fried rings made from rice and sesame) and Pachi Pulusu (a sour, tamarind-based soup). Finally, we cannot exclude the glorious Hyderabadi Biryani (marinated meat cooked in rice and spices), a cherished inheritance from the Nizams who once ruled the land.
Telangana was carved out of the state of Andhra Pradesh and has reshaped the lines of the Deccan Plateau. It shares its northern border with Maharashtra, its eastern border with Chhattisgarh, its western border with Karnataka, and eastern and southern borders with Andhra Pradesh.
The Deccan Plateau is heated to scorching levels during the summer, of which Telangana receives its fair share. The state remains warm throughout the year, but graciously gives way to the milder winds of the winter.
This makes the period between October to March, the ideal time to visit Telangana. Temperatures range between 13 to 25 degrees Celsius and January ranks as the coldest month of the year.
From mid-June to October, rain replaces the unrelenting heat of the summer months. The rain is as generous as the sun, so be careful if you choose to venture outside, during the monsoons, to explore the city.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport lies 8 kilometres from Hyderabad’s centre, and is easily accessible through buses, autos and cabs. All major carriers ply to Hyderabad, and the airport is connected to most cities in the country. You’ll also be able to catch International flights to many Middle Eastern countries, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.
Branching out from Hyderabad (the capital city) are a variety of roads that connect to cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hampi, Tirupati and Aurangabad. Travellers can opt for comfortable AC Volvo buses, sleepers and deluxe buses (run by private or public operators).
Telangana is well connected to the rest of the country, via the railways, because of its capital – Hyderabad. This well-connected city has two main railway stations – Hyderabad Railway Station and Secundarabad Railway Station. Trains that pass through these stations connect to all major cities and the Telangana Express takes the long, winding route from the state to the National Capital – Delhi.
The region known as Telangana witnessed many rules during antiquity and the Middle Ages, including the Cholas, Mauryas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, the Delhi Sultanate, Bahmani Sultanate and the Golconda Sultanate.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Mughals reigned supreme. However, in the 18th century and during the British Raj, the seat of power moved to the Nizam of Hyderabad. In 1823, the British annexed large parts of the region, including considerable areas of the coastline. Suddenly, the state was locked tightly by British owned lands on all sides.
After the British Raj, in 1948, the Hyderabad state joined the Union of India after a military intervention. In 1956, Telangana was merged with the Telugu-speaking state of Andhra Pradesh. After 6 decades of protests by the people of Telangana, it was finally awarded separated statehood on 2nd June 2014. And so, the 29th state of India was born.
Telangana’s history – wedded and divorced from Andhra Pradesh, ruled by powerful Hindu empires and regal Nizams and now a part of modern India – are all reflected in the palaces, cities and streets of the state. Take a walk through the Telangana of today and see the stories of the past that linger in every corner.
Indian Rupee (INR)