Hyderabad, the 6th largest metropolis of India , is the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Also called as Bhagyanagar, it is known for its rich history and culture with monuments, mosques, temples, a rich and varied heritage in arts, crafts and dance. Hyderabad and Secunderabad are twin cities, separated by Hussain Sagar, an artificial lake constructed during the time of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah Wali in 1562.
The city is more than 400 years old and is noted for its natural beauty, temples, mosques and minarets, bazaars (markets) and bridges, hills and lakes. It is perched on the top of the Deccan plateau, 1776 ft (541 m), above sea level, and sprawls over an area of 100 mile² (260 km²).
A multitude of influences have shaped the character of the city. Its palaces and buildings, houses and tenements, gardens and streets have a history and an architectural individuality of their own, which makes Hyderabad a city of enchantment.
Hyderabad was founded on the River Musi five miles east of the fortess city of Golconda, in 1591-92 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. The Qutb Shahi dynasty were founders of the Kingdom of Golconda, one of the five kingdoms that emerged after the break up of the Bahmani Sultanate. All the seven rulers were patrons of learning and were great builders. They contributed to the growth and development of Indo-Persian and Indo-Islamic literature and culture in Hyderabad. During the Qutb Shahi reign Golconda became one of the leading markets in the world for diamonds, pearls, steel, arms, and also printed fabric.In the 16th century, the city grew spontaneously to accommodate the surplus population of Golconda, which was the capital of the Qutb Shahi rulers.
In 1687, the Golconda kingdom was conquered by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, and Hyderabad became part of the Mughal Empire. As the empire weakened in the eighteenth century, provincial officials gained greater autonomy. In 1724, Asif Jah, who had already been granted the title Nizam al Mukh by the Mughal emperor, defeated a rival official to take control of Hyderabad province, and declared his independence from the Mughals. His successors ruled as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The rule of the seven Nizams saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabadra, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar, and others were built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time.
When the British and the French spread their hold over the country, the Nizam won their friendship without bequeathing his power. The title "Faithful Ally of the British Government" was bestowed on Nizam VII. The British stationed a Resident at Hyderabad, but the state continued to be ruled by the Nizam. Hyderabad, under the Nizams, was the largest princely state in India, with an area larger than England and Scotland put together. The State had its own currency, mint, railways, and postal system. There was no income tax.
Soon after India gained independence, it forcefully annexed Hyderabad, which became an Indian state. On November 1, 1956, the map of India was redrawn into linguistic states, and Hyderabad state was broken up. Hyderabad and the surrounding area were added to Andhra Pradesh based on Telugu linguistic majority, and Hyderabad became the capital of the state.
In the late 1990s and the early years of the 21st century, the increasing numbers of software companies located here - both home-grown ones as well as offshoots of American companies - have led civic boosters to call their city "Cyberabad".
One of India's largest software companies Satyam is headquartered here. Infosys, Microsoft, Oracle, Wipro, Kanbay , GE, Dell, Deloitte, HSBC, Juno, Intergraph, Keane, Baan Tata Consultancy Services and Google are some of the prominent companies having development centres in the city.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, an emerging global pharmaceutical company listed on the NYSE, is headquartered here.
Hyderabad is a seat of learning - it has 8 Universities, professional colleges, more than 200 engineering colleges, IIIT Hyderabad, the Indian School of Business (ISB), the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) and the Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI), to name only a few.
Hyderabad is the city of pearls and pearl ornaments, silverware, saris; 'Nirmal' and 'Kalamkari' paintings and artefacts; unique 'Bidri' handicraft items; lacquer bangles studded with stones; and silk and cotton, handloom clothing materials.