An amalgam of tradition and modernity, Hyderabad is the capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Along with Secunderabad it forms a twin city, separated by Hussain Sagar, an artificial lake. Hyderabad has an area of 260 sq km with a population of around 2 million.
Hyderabad was founded on the
Musi River by the
Qutub Shahi dynasty and its Indo-Persian culture finds roots in this dynasty. A part of the mighty
Vijayanagar Empire and then a vassal state of
Mughal Empire ruled by Nizams, the culture of Hyderabad shows traits of both Hindu and Islamic traditions. The Mughal rule has left marks of Islamic architecture, a rarity in South India. With the decline of the Mughal Empire, Hyderabad became an independent kingdom in 1724, under the
Asaf Jahi dynasty. Islam flourished under the Nizams and the huge deposits of minerals and rare gems catered the Nizams' coffers. Hyderabad declined to join the Indian Union after independence and finally the Nizams had to bow before the Indian military.
Hyderabad is host to several trades, fairs and festivals. An Industrial Exhibition, held annually during January-February along with a colorful fair, displays textiles, machinery, handicrafts, and household utensils. Cultural performances are featured during the Deccan Festival of February. Mrigasira Festival, unique with a feast to cure asthma, is held during June-July. The Buddhist heritage of Andhra Pradesh comes to limelight in the Lumbini Festival celebrated in December.