India - Hyderabad - Hussain Sagar and NTR Gardens

We stopped at a Mughlai restaurant recommended by our driver.  This is not usually a good move as drivers typically have deals with certain establishments that bring them a nice commission for delivering business.  In this case, even with any mark-up due to commission, this place was very reasonably priced.  Dishes cost 50-90 rupees each ($1-$2).  The restaurant at our hotel cost over 10 times as much.
We finally tried Hyderabadi biryani.  In this case, we opted for the vegetarian version of the spicy rice dish sticking to our plan to guard against Delhi Belly.
After lunch, we visited Hussain Sagar, a lake with Buddha centerpiece in Hyderabad.  We paid a modest entrance fee of about 10 rupees per person. For once, the cost to enter was the same for both locals and tourists.  We discovered that there was at least a 10x difference at most attractions between what locals and foreign visitors pay.
We watched local children frolic in the fountain.
We bought another ticket and boarded a slow ferry to the Buddha statue.  The ride took about 15 minutes each way.
The Buddha statue began to loom in the distance.
We were protected from the mid-day sun with a colorful canopy.
We arrived on the island and did a quick once-around.
There were some delightful water features but none were active at the time we visited.
We hopped back on the ferry and rode it back to the park.
I was puzzled by this sign:  Don't waste water. Don't wash dishes, etc. From a hygiene perspective that doesn't sound advisable.
We saw signs with explicit instructions not to smoke, spit, or litter in both English and Hindi.
We decided to walk along a rare sidewalk sandwiched between the busy road and the lake.  Sadly, quite a bit of litter and debris had built up along the water's edge.
Along the road, we were approached by (a) a large group of school girls that wanted to shake our hands and say hello to us in English (b) college aged men interested in getting their picture taken with us (c) rickshaw drivers incredulous that we were walking when there was perfectly good (and cheap!) transportation available (d) a guy that wanted to clean out my husband's ear wax with a long metal pin. It's a common trade here in India but there was no way I was letting anyone put anything blunt or sharp in my husband's ear!

Walking along, we discovered NTR Garden. We caught a glimpse of whimsical sculptures inside so decided to pay the <30 rupee entry fee for a quick look.
The garden was an oasis of green, profusion of colored flowers, and splashing fountains.
We caught a glimpse of a topless dome in the distance.
We even saw a tree house that seemed to appeal to adults and kids alike.
In one section of the park there was a life-sized fruit salad.
Enormous grasshoppers and praying mantises guarded their territory on the lawn.
This bug was considerably more creepy. Is that a cockroach?!
We completed our quick tour of the gardens before rendezvousing with our driver back at Hussain Sagar.



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Sidewalk Safari: India - Hyderabad - Hussain Sagar and NTR Gardens
India - Hyderabad - Hussain Sagar and NTR Gardens
Sidewalk Safari
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