India is celebrating summers and with a renewed energy we present to you another exciting edition which takes you through the royal city of Hyderabad. Also showcasing is a gorgeous palatial hotel of this Nizami city, a lesser-known festival and a dessert that’s synonym to India.
Hope you would enjoy reading this edition. Please do keep writing to us your feedback and suggestions, we love to hear from you.
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Taj Falaknuma Palace Resort
Experience Nizami grandeur at Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad’s piece de resistance that epitomises 19th-century magnificence. The former residence of the Nizam has been lovingly restored, and presents you the most spectacular city view.
The elegant rooms feature Colonial-style furniture and marble floors, plus flat-screens, DVD players and limited free Wi-Fi. Upgraded rooms have canopied beds; stately suites add separate seating and/or dining areas. Room service is offered 24/7.
Free breakfast is served in an ornate, open-air bungalow, and there are 2 gourmet restaurants. Tea is served on the terrace, and there's a hookah lounge. Other amenities include a spa, an outdoor pool and a 24-hour gym.
This luxe hotel is 2 km from Falaknuma train station and 4 km from the landmark 16th-century Charminar mosque.
Painkuni Festival, Kerala
The capital city of Thiruvananthapuram in the southern end of Kerala plays host to the ten-day Painkuni Festival at the historic Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The festival celebrates the Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata, with its highlight being the massive fibreglass sculptures of the five princes that are placed along the temple entrance. The intricately designed sculptures are put up to appease the rain god Indra. For ten days, the festival attracts huge crowds to make their offerings and witness the massive sculptures. Even the royal family of Travancore participates, performing a ‘royal hunt’ ritual on the ninth day.
When:: April every year Where:Thiruvananthapuram
The city of smiles, of lights, of a thousand faces, endearingly called the Pearl City, Hyderabad offers a variety of tourist attractions ranging from Heritage monuments, Lakes and Parks, Gardens and Resorts, Museums to delectable cuisine and a delightful shopping experience. To the traveller, Hyderabad offers a fascinating panorama of the past, with a richly mixed cultural and historical tradition spanning 400 colourful years.
The Charminar is the signature of Hyderabad. Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, built Charminar in 1591 at the center of the original city layout.
A two hundred yards southwest of the Charminar is the Mecca Masjid, so named because the bricks were brought from Mecca to build the central arch.
This is famous, colourful shopping centre of the old city, tucked away in one of the streets leading off from Charminar. Bridal wear, Pearls and the traditional Hyderabadi glass and stone studded bangles are sold here.
Originally a mud fort, Golconda is one of the famous forts of India and its glorious past is narrated effectively with matchless Sound and Light show that takes you right back in time.
Museums & National Parks
The city boasts of a few state of art museums– Salar Jung Museum; AP State Archaeological Museum; & The Nizam‘S Silver Jubilee Museum. You can also explore some lush green Zoological and Botanicals Parks in the city vicinity.
Excavated in 1562 A.D. by Hussain Shah Wali, the lake has a promenade that is a busy thoroughfare today. One of the World’s tallest monolithic statues of the Buddha stands on the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, in the middle of the lake. Cruises and boating options on the lake are also available with star-lit dinner and parties on board.
From the Kitchen...
Kheer (Rice Pudding)
Kheer is traditional Indian dessert and prepared all across India in different styles. While North Indians call it kheer, south Indian add vermicilli to it and call it Payasam. Here is a quick recipe for you to try in your kitchen.
Basmati rice 1/2 cup
Milk 1 litre
Sugar 3/4 cup
Green cardamom powder 1/4 teaspoon
Saffron (kesar) 5-6
Wash and soak the rice in one cup of water for 15 minutes.
Drain, remove on an absorbent paper and pat dry using a muslin cloth. Grind it to a coarse powder. Blanch almonds and pistachios in one cup of hot water for five minutes. Drain, peel and cut them into slivers. Soak raisins in one-fourth cup water for 10-15 mins and drain.
Heat the milk in a thick-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil.
Add the rice powder and sugar and cook on low heat till the rice is half done.
Add the green cardamom powder, saffron, nuts and allow to simmer on low heat till the rice is cooked and the mixture is thick. Remove from heat. Stir in the raisins and transfer into small bowls. Serve it chilled.