A brief history and geography lesson. It’ll be quick; I promise…
Hyderabad, one of India’s largest cities — and that’s saying something ’cause there’s a lot of cities with tons of people — is a state capital. It’s almost 500 years old; got its start in the 1500s as a fortress city built by a sultan. (The fort would be the site of a lot of battles, as dynasties duked it out over the centuries.)
One dynasty expanded the city. At that time, a sultan dedicated the place to his wife, and built a monument to give thanks that the new city wasn’t wiped out by a plague going around. That monument, known as the Charminar, is still the city icon and center of the Old City.
To greatly oversimplify, there were many more dynasties. One known as the Nizams was one of the richest in the world. Its legacy is Chowmahalla Palace — which is in fact four palaces. This copy of the Shah’s palace in Iran took roughly a century to build, and when finished in 1869, took up the size of many football fields.
Traditional bling: My new Bidri bangle. Hyderabad is also known for its Bidri, a centuries-old kind of metal art. I would’ve modeled it, but it’s a pain in the tuchas (as they don’t say in India) to take a decent picture of your own wrist.