Hyderabad/Old City

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The Old City of Hyderabad is the historic centre of the city. Established by Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591, successive rulers of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and subsequently the Nizams ruled their domains from here. They built many iconic monuments that, for many travellers, form the primary reason for visiting Hyderabad. Most prominent among these is the Char Minar. The monuments are not the only reminders of the past though. In the crowded bylanes of the old city, you will find a distinct culture that came about when the Islamic rulers interacted with their Hindu subjects. Dakhini, the dialect of Hindi/Urdu that is spoken in the Deccan, is the street language here. The shops around the Char Minar sell chooris (glass bangles) and henna as they have for centuries, and hoardings advertising schools that promise to teach children English but keep them in tune with their Islamic heritage represent the city's struggles to navigate the modernity that is closing in on it without losing its soul.

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