Hyderabad, also known as the Istanbul of India, is a center of Islamic culture, and central India's answer to the Mughal grandeur of the northern cities of Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Consisting of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, it is the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad retains the old-world atmosphere, unlike other cities in South India. A unique feature of the city, is that it is the only city in the south, where the major language spoken is Urdu.
Hyderabad is the creation of the Qutab Shahi rulers. In 1589, Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah decided to shift his capital from Golconda to the banks of river Musi. Consequently, a city adorned with magnificent palaces and mosques,embodying a style of architecture that was unique to the place - the domes and minarets dressed with splendid stucco ornamentation - was born. It boasts of some fine examples of Qutab Shahi architecture - the Jami Masjid, the Mecca Masjid, Toli Masjid, and the impressive symbol of Hyderabad, the Charminar.
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