An Indian Wedding, Part 2 – Hyderabad Tourism

So, Hyderabad India. We got in late at night. It was dark. All of us squeezed into a van, luggage tied to the roof. My first experience of Indian traffic coming from the airport was… well, terrifying. I had flashbacks to work trips in South America. But then, coming over the horizon, we saw two red eye looking things glowing. As we got closer, it turned out to be a building. In the shape of a fish. I got to see this building a lot on my trip and goddamn if it wasn’t the best. Believe it or not, it’s for the National Fisheries Development Board. Yep. And we thought our government spending was insane.

Nabil’s wedding took up a fair chunk of the trip. But we managed to squeeze in a few touristy things on the way. Which was nice, as I had never been to India before. Or really ever harboured the idea of going there at all outside of a hiking trip one day.

I took along my Canon 3000 film SLR with the 40mm pancake lens and Ilford 400 B+W film to try and capture some classic street photography. The problem was I wanted more immediate photos that I knew worked out. So, I tended to double up with lots of street shots, or from the moving car, of the juxtaposition that is Hyderabad. Some amazingly beautiful buildings, right next to tents, falling down buildings, or rubbish, sometimes even on a dirt road.

On the first day Nick and I just stood in the top of the shopping mall (after passing numerous bomb checks) watching the traffic and the people in absolute fascination. Definitely took me out of my comfort zone.

So, what did we do touristy wise? First off we did some shopping at the Laad Baazar. I even managed to pick up my mum some pearls for her birthday when I wasn’t being accosted by all the beggars.

We visited the Charminar, a mosque built in the 16th century to celebrate the ending of the plague. I may have accidentally walked into an Islamic service in my confused white traveller state. As I was wearing shorts it wasn’t taken too well. It was here we discovered Hyderabad’s tourism dirty secret. Foreigners have to pay much, much higher prices (it’s even written on the signs) and extra for cameras!

The view from the top was amazing though, over the bazaar and the rest of old-town Hyderabad.

Also I took one of my favourite photos of the trip from here:

We visited the Chowmahalla, one of the numerous palaces of Hyderabad.

It was so much fun travelling as a group, with friends I haven’t seen in years, some who now reside overseas.

As I mentioned Hyderabad was constantly in a state of half torn down, or half constructed. It was hard to tell the difference.

We visited the Taj Falaknuma, an absolutely gorgeous palace that Nabil’s family had some serious connections with.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but after a champagne, some tea and a good talking to by Errol, the ban was lifted! Probably helped that we had to pay through the nose for the food and drink.

After the wedding, Sanya showed us around parts of Hyderabad we would have missed as idiotic tourists. Places that her and her friends go. This included embracing her love of sheesha. Which I definitely did.

And on the last day I even got to see a camel!

I took thousands of pictures in just the few hours we did touristy stuff on the trip. But there was just so much I wanted to take a photo of! And a lot I was too scared to do.

I send a lot of postcards when travelling, but the one thing I discovered about Hyderabad was that I could not buy any postcards anywhere. Not even in the airport. So as you can see from the first photo in this blog, I made my own during my Singapore layover.

Full gallery of pictures here (at least until I get my films developed). If anyone wants high-res pics for printing, contact me.


  1. Farah Alikhan
    Posted May 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm | #

    falaknuma was built by my Great grsnd father .
    Sir Vicar ul umrah

  2. Zehra shervani
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 8:33 am | #

    Good job…luv the pics …thanks for sharing

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