Vintage markets, royal monuments, and vibrant arts districts – the versatility of the city of pearls makes for intriguing snapshots. If you enjoy street photography, we’ve put together a list of the best spots in Hyderabad to head to.
An unmistakable yesteryear spirit, laidback lifestyle, and mouth-watering traditional cuisine (haleem, anyone?) underline Hyderabad. This lends the city a certain charm that few other places in the country can lay claim to. You could spend hours hopping from its modern breweries to vintage monuments, exploring everything guide books list out in elaborate itineraries.
However, if you’re in the market for something a bit more personal and atypical, we’ve curated a list of the best street photography spots in Hyderabad. Head to them to get acquainted with, and capture the myriad of moods that underline every bylane and locale here. From touristy destinations to local haunts – these will ensure your visit to the city is one to remember.
Best street photography spots in Hyderabad
We’re starting this list out with, perhaps, the most iconic destination in the city. Over 400-years-old, the four-tower monument is a must-visit, not just for its architectural beauty but the market, mosques, and food stops that surround it. Not to mention, it’s got a flurry of activity around it every day, which goes on well into the night. Locals head here to shop for a host of things, including bangles, shoes, traditional perfume (attar), metal sling bags and more! Walk further and you might stumble upon a few colourful houses worth capturing.
You’ll also find plenty of people catching up over a meal at the many Irani restaurants here. Expect to drown in a sea of people come evening and gear up to capture starry-eyed tourists, instances of bargaining, and heartwarming laughter over cups of chai. At night, you could experiment with light photography or explore all the little ice-cream stores that line the area. For the most exciting shots, head here during Eid or Ramzan. That aside, there’s no better place than the old city to explore the royal (Nizami) lineage of Hyderabad.
Maqta Art District
Few tourists have explored this part of Hyderabad, although locals rave about it to anyone who’d listen. And for good reason! A quaint street in Khairatabad, this spot boasts colourful street murals that burst out of narrow alleyways and are splattered across towering buildings. These magical spaces are courtesy of the largest street art foundation in India, St+Art India, which transforms parts of different cities into works of art.
Vibrant and thriving, this spot makes for the most exciting canvas for your street photography stories. You’ll find plenty of influencers getting in their next viral shot, children playing cricket, and fellow explorers taking in this part of the city. Walk by the entrance, marked by a black-and-white signage and explore the celebration of colours that greets you – from the green walls to the blue square. You’re bound to be thrilled by the payoff.
Gudimalkapur Flower Market
Every street photographer’s delight, a flower market is a perfect space to capture the rush of street animals and cows, the dew settling on petals, and the myriad of emotions that flicker across the faces of locals and vendors alike as they arrive at a bargain. This particular one offers all that and more.
The market presents every possible flower – from roses to daisies – imaginable up for sale, with some vendors carrying them for as far as 50 kilometres. These then head to mosques, temples, funerals, and other spots in the city. Stay to capture the vendors refreshing their produce with water and stringing several flowers together to make garlands. And to really amp up the energy of your shots, head here on occasions like Diwali, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day when the crowd is at its most packed.
Right next door to the celebration of flowers is this flea market which has been around for over 80 years and opens up every Thursday like clockwork. Come dawn, the streets of the area between Muslim Jung bridge and Purana bridge (purana pul) are packed with a range of hawkers and vendors offering everything from safety pins to bicycles.
Capture these being sold and set up for purchase, explore the bylanes to find interesting trinkets and stories, and find time to interact with vendors (and a few customers), many of whom come from different parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to set up shop.
Another popular spot in Hyderabad, street photography here would entail capturing locals perched on park benches, lounging in restaurants, and walking hand in hand along the Hussain Sagar lake. Many also pop by this spot for their morning jog, plan picnics around the parks here, or drive down for ice cream by the water late at night. Balloon vendors and street-side stalls are a common feature here as well.
This is where the more metropolitan energy of Hyderabad lies, despite there being an unmistakable nostalgic charm attached to the place. You could go park hopping across NTR Gardens, Lumbini Park, and Sanjeevaiah Park or capture vendors going about their day, closer to the lake. At night, the glittering horizon with the silhouettes of buildings in the distance is worth capturing.
As are the people enjoying boat rides, the lit-up Buddha statue, and the flurry of people heading back after a long day. Once you’ve had your fill of this, you could head to eat street to get up close and personal with the food being served up in snack-sized portions and capture every detail. Stick around for the sunset if you head here early, it’s one of the best spots for it in the city.
This arts and crafts village in Madhapur is frequented by locals for handicrafts, jewellery, sarees, picturesque bowls, and other unique trinkets. It was first created to preserve traditional crafts and now hosts a series of festivals and other events throughout the year. Head here for a vibrant backdrop for your snaps as you capture people shopping or haggling over wooden horses and terracotta cups. Some people even stop by to have their fortune told or their hands inked with henna. And with a small entry fee, there’s no reason not to take a quick walk through of this place. Head here on a weekend, when it’s crowded, to find more intriguing subjects.
Rounding out this list is another thriving market, this time with primarily fruits and vegetables on display. A throng of locals head here for fresh produce and great bargains, especially palm fruit and water chestnuts. And as you experience its hustle, you’ll discover plenty to capture – from the fruit itself to the energy of the vendors. Walk a little further and you’ll find plenty of perfume shops selling fragrant attar in colourful glass bottles as well. Not to mention, the surrounding lanes boast of old-world houses that go as far back as 80 years and are colourful and full of character. Head here early in the morning to watch light play along the stack of potatoes and tomatoes.
Featured and hero image: Courtesy @nanifangirl/Instagram