Hyderabad is one of subcontinent’s grandest cities and home to an unrivalled array of palaces, tombs, mosques and forts – the quality of which is exceptional. Established in 1589 by the fifth Sultan of Golconda, Hyderabad was ultimately ruled by a succession of Muslim Nizams from the early 1700s when Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah seized power from the Mughal Empire. The Nizams who ruled Hyderabad were some of the richest men in the world. They were great patrons of literature, art and architecture and used their wealth to champion the city’s development and finance nearly all of the city’s impressive monuments. Hyderabad’s architectural gems include the Char Minar, Mecca Masjid Mosque which can accommodate 10,000 at prayer, British Residency and Chowmahalla Palace which was used by the Nizams to entertain royal visitors and official guests. The cavernous Lad Bazaar and 800 year old Golconda Fort are fascinating diversions.