Nicknamed the City of Pearls, Hyderabad is the capital city of the Andhra Pradesh state of India. The 400 year-old city is known for its rich history and culture, and has a vast number of monuments, mosques, and temples. It has a varied heritage in arts, crafts and dance, combining the traditional with the modern, where both co-exist in perfect harmony. In recent years, it has evolved into a major center for pharmaceutical & biotech companies, which earned it the additional sobriquet of "Cyberabad".

Food

With a culinary history of more than 400 years, Hyderabadi cuisine is highly influenced by Irani food, where rice and spices are widely used. It is also influenced by the native Telugu food, bringing a unique taste to the dishes. Coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds are extensively used in many dishes and the key difference from the North Indian cuisine is the presence of dry coconut and tamarind. There is a saying in Hyderabad that patience is key in good cooking; therefore, slow-cooking is the hallmark of Hyderabadi cuisine.

Language

The official language of Hyderabad is Telugu but there are various other regional languages spoken by the people of the state of Andhra Pradesh. English is used for official and commercial purposes. Most people on the streets understand and converse in English. Other languages popular in Hyderabad are Urdu and Hindi.

Time Zone

India has a single time zone. It is 5.5 hours ahead of the GMT, 4.5 hours behind the Australian Eastern Standard time and 11.5 hours ahead of American Eastern Standard Time (winter).

Climate

Weather in Hyderabad is very pleasant, with temperature ranging from 11°C to 42°C. The best time to visit the city is after the monsoons, when the weather is the most pleasant. In December, at the time of the congress, the maximum temperature will be at a pleasant 22o - 25o Celsius; and in the evenings and mornings, the climate is generally cooler because of the city’s elevation.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz are generally used. Plugs are of the round two and three pin type. Adapters and voltage converters are necessary if planning to use electronic devices.

Visa

All foreigners except for nationals of Nepal and Bhutan need a visa to enter India. You should contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information or visa forms.

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