Moving to Hyderabad
The fourth most populous city in India, Hyderabad, long a centre of trade due to its proximity to precious gemstone mines, is bursting onto the 21st century scene with traffic in an altogether different kind of commodity: knowledge.
The bustling metropolis of nearly 7 million inhabitants is not only located roughly at the centre of the Indian subcontinent but is also at the centre of India’s technological revolution. The government’s project to attract foreign investment and create a high-tech economy has been tremendously successful.
The city is home to extensive biopharmaceutical manufacturing and research facilities, lending it the nickname ‘Genome Valley’. It also hosts as over 1,300 IT companies including Microsoft, Google, IBM, Dell, Yahoo! and Facebook, which gives it its other nickname: Cyberabad.
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But work isn’t the only reason to want to jump in an auto-rickshaw to navigate the congested streets of Hyderabad. The city, famously situated at the meeting point of Muslim and Hindu, is positively bursting with culture. Mosques and temples sit side by side, both Hindu and Muslim festivals are observed and the local cuisine is a mouth watering blend of northern and southern Indian styles.
The vibrancy, energy and momentum of Hyderabad as it charges headlong into the global future cannot but invigorate all who choose to make it a home.
Moving to Hyderabad from the UK
The first thing that will strike those moving to Hyderabad from the UK is the sheer number of people packed into the city. A population density nearly four times that of London can take a bit of getting used to if you’re not accustomed to big city life. Slums, which are home to around a quarter of the city’s population, are found not just at the outskirts but juxtaposed with wealthy neighbourhoods.
Getting to grips with the local languages should be less troublesome. While Telugu and Urdu are the official languages, and other languages used include Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali and Kannada, English is widely spoken, used on almost all signs and is ubiquitous in the white collar workplace.
Hyderabad is huge and sprawls into its twin city of Secunderabad to the North of the Hussein Sagar lake. Choosing where to live is therefore a big decision and it’s recommended to rent short term or stay in a hotel while you get your bearings.
There are many international schools and neighbourhoods popular with expats which, along with commute times, could affect your decision making process.
For those staying medium term, you can rent a three bedroom apartment in the expat popular Banjara Hills for around INR 13,000 (£156) per month.
If you’re in for the long haul you can buy a three bedroom property in the same area for as little as 31 lakh, or INR 3,100,000 (about £37,000).
Comparing Hyderabad vs London
The hottest months in Hyderabad are between March and June where average high temperatures are in the mid to high thirties. Average lows in December and January are around 14 °C. June to October is the monsoon season, which sees most of Hyderabad’s average annual rainfall of 813mm.
The cost of living in Hyderabad is a mere fraction of that in London. Property and rents are much lower as are prices for groceries, restaurants, utilities, consumer goods and transportation.
Hyderabadis report themselves, on average, as feeling safer than Londoners and as experiencing a better standard of healthcare. They also however report more pollution and salaries are , on average, much lower.
Hyderabad’s chief attractions are the Chowmahalla Palace - the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty - the Charminar Mosque - built in the 16th century - and Golkonda Fort - the ruined city of the Qutb Shahi.
Cricket and equestrianism are popular sports in Hyderabad- the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium and the Hyderabad Race Club foremost among its sporting venues.