Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It occupies 650 square kilometres (250 sq mi) on the banks of the Musi River on the Deccan Plateau in southern India. The population of the city is 6.8 million, and its metropolitan area includes 7.75 million people, making it India's fourth most populous city and sixth most populous urban agglomeration. The Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was expanded in 2007 to form the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Hyderabad experiences substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.
Situated at the crossroads of North and South India, Hyderabad is noted for its unique culture. As the former capital of the largest and richest princely state, and with the patronage of the Nizams, Hyderabad established local traditions in art, literature, architecture and cuisine. The city is a tourist destination and has many places of interest, including Chowmahalla Palace, Charminar and Golkonda Fort. It has several museums, bazaars, galleries, libraries, sports venues and other cultural institutions. Hyderabad has emerged as a global hub for the information technology, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It is home to the Telugu film industry and a major centre for higher education and research, with 13 universities and business schools.
Hyderabad is known as the "City of Pearls" on account of its role in the pearl trade. Until the 18th century the city was the only global trading centre for large diamonds. Many traditional and historical bazaars are located in the city. The Laad Bazaar and nearby markets have shops that sell pearls, diamonds and other traditional ware and cultural antiques. Hyderabad's commercial markets are divided into four sectors: central business districts, sub-central business centres, neighbourhood business centres and local business centres. Several central business districts are spread across the city. According to a survey by Cushman & Wakefield, Hyderabad's retail industry and traditional markets were growing in 2007.
Music, performing arts and films:
The Kuchipudi and Kathakali styles of dance were popular in the Deccan region, and continued during the Qutb Shahi period. North Indian music and dance was introduced in the Deccan under the Mughals and later the Asif Jahi rulers. It became a tradition among the nobility in the princely state of Hyderabad to keep courtesans and to learn singing, poetry and classical dance from them. This gave rise to certain styles of court music, dance and poetry. Taramati in the 17th century and Mah Laqa Bai in the 18th and 19th centuries were among the popular courtesans who popularised dance and poetry in the region.
Besides western and Indian popular music genres such as filmi music, the residents of Hyderabad play city-based marfa music, especially at weddings, festivals and other celebratory events. The state government organises the Golconda Music and Dance Festival, the Taramati Music Festival and the Premavathi Dance Festival. Though the city is not particularly noted for theatre and drama, the state government promotes theatre with multiple programmes and festivals. The Ravindra Bharati, Shilpakala Vedika and Lalithakala Thoranam are auditoria for theatre and performing arts in the city. Numaish is a popular annual exhibition of local and national consumer products.
The city is home to the Telugu film industry, popularly known as Tollywood. As of 2012, Tollywood is second only to Bollywood in producing the most films in India. Since 2005, films in local Hyderabadi dialect have gained in popularity. The city hosts the annual International Children's Film Festival and the Hyderabad International Film Festival. In 2005, Guinness World Records declared Ramoji Film City to be the world's largest film studio.
Cricket and association football are the most popular sports in Hyderabad. The city has hosted national and international sports events such as the 2002 National Games of India, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 2004 AP Tourism Hyderabad Open women's tennis tournament, the 2007 Military World Games, the 2009 World Badminton Championships and the 2009 IBSF World Snooker Championship. The Swarnandhra Pradesh Sports Complex is a venue for field hockey, and the G.M.C. Balayogi Stadium in Gachibowli serves as a venue for athletics and football.