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A White Temple Overlooking A Lake – Birla Mandir and Hussain Sagar Lake.

Buddha Statue closeup

I can’t believe I have not posted about the two popular attractions of Hyderabad: Birla mandir and Hussain Sagar lake.

Chances are you have seen the photos of a huge Buddha Statue rising above calm lake when you have searched for Hyderabad attractions. That lake is Hussain Sagar lake. Its an artificial lake built to solve the cities drinking water problem by Qtub Shah dynasty ( the ones now rest in Qtub Shah Tombs).

Along the lake on one side are gardens and parks known as Tank bund.  In the evenings, you will find young couples in love, families out for a stroll and friends making fun of each other and things around them all along the lake front. There are chaat-walas and ice-cream sellers. And a lot of traffic driving past noisily. Its quiet only after 10 pm or before 8 am; that’s when it makes for a pleasant walk ( if it isn’t smelly;))!

Hussain Sagar Lake

There are boat rides offered to the tall Buddha monument from Lumbini Park – a small urban park with laser and light show and musical fountains. We have not taken the ferry though I know my cousin is known to take the last boat ride fairly often. She mentioned its not as crowded then and it beautiful to watch the lights of necklace road (stretch of road between NTR gardens and Sanjeevaiah park) twinkle at night.

Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir is a beautiful white marble temple dedicated to Lord Balaji and is built on top of a hillock overlooking the Hussain sagar lake. Built by Birla foundation, it offers spectacular views of the lake, tank bund, various administrative buildings, flyovers and even Lumbini Park. It is a quiet place to contemplate life as the traffic goes by below.As with all Birla temples, security is tight, photography is restricted and even cellphones are not allowed inside.

Almost everyone visiting us wants to see both these places. Luckily they are very close to each other. A late afternoon temple visit, followed by a drive around the lake is perfect prelude to dinner in Ohri’s Tansen or at the Eat Street. I have seen folks go post dinner once the traffic has died down and then enjoy ice-cream at one of the many carts that are around.

Traffic along Tank Bund

If you have no other plans, why not visit Hussain Sagar this weekend?

Things To Do Around Hyderabad

A friend recently asked me for sight-seeing options in and around Hyderabad. She was wondering of there is something that is sorted by driving distance.

I didn’t know of one that exists as is so I shared my bucket list with her.This is not an exhaustive list, but list of places that I want to visit :)If you are visiting Hyderabad, you will find this handy in planning your trip.

In Hyderabad

  1. Charminar and surroundings  ( Lad Bazar, Mecca Masjid)
  2. Salarjung museum
  3. Chowmallah Palace
  4. Golkonda fort and Qutb shahi Tombs
  5. Hussain sagar lake and Necklace road
  6. Sanjeeviah Park
  7. Birla Temple
  8. Lumbini Park
  9. Taramati Baradari
  10. Paigah Tombs
  11. Sudha car museum
  12. Nehru Zoo
  13. Lotus Pond
  14. KBR Park
  15. Anand Buddha Vihar
  16. Falaknuma Palace
  17. Raymond Tomb
  18. Shilparamam

< 2 hours from Hyderabad ( < 100 kms)

  1. Ramoji film city
  2. Leonia resort
  3. Epithopala falls
  4. Kuntala and Pocharan falls
  5. Himayat sagar lake
  6. Chilkur Balaji temple
  7. Pochampally

2-4 hours drive

  1. Nagarjuna Sagar
  2. Raichur
  3. Bidar and Bhongir Fort
  4. Kurnool and Belum Caves

4 hours from Hyderabad / Weekend Trip

  1. Srisailam and Mallela Tirtham waterfalls
  2. Warrangal
  3. Vijaywada and Bhavani island
  4. Nagarjunsagar dam

Long weekend (3-4 days)

  1. Hampi
  2. Vaizag – Arraku valley and Borra caves
  3. Rajmundhry- Konaseema, Kakinada, Palakollu – East and West Godavari
  4. Bijapur – Fort, Palace, Temple
  5. Suryalanka Beach and Kotappa Konda

Golkonda Fort

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