Secunderabad or Sikandarabad popularly known as the twin city of Hyderabad is located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh north of Hyderabad. Named after Sikandar Jah, the third Nizam of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, Secunderabad was founded in 1806 AD as a British cantonment. Although Hyderabad and Secunderabad are together referred to as the twin cities, they have both different histories and cultures, with Secunderabad having developed directly under British rule until 1948 and Hyderabad as the capital of the Nizams' princely state.Geographically divided from Hyderabad by the Hussain Sagar, Secunderabad is no longer a separate municipal unit and has become part of Hyderabad. Both cities are collectively known as Hyderabad and together form the sixth largest metropolis in India. Being one of the largest cantonments in India, Secunderabad has a large army and air force presence.
Due to the presence of various communities such as Parsis, Anglo-Indians alongside British and native inhabitants, Secunderabad was historically a cosmopolitan city.Though the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are twins, they are different in the layout of buildings, the style of life and the very atmosphere.Secunderabad used to be referred to by the locals as Lashkar meaning the army and the city's culture reflected the same. Secunderabad was also a liberal city compared to Hyderabad due the presence of the British. Plaza cinema was the only theatre in India where viewers could sip beer while watching a movie. Sangeet was a popular cinema theatre that screened only western movies.Secunderabad has several restaurants and shopping centres.
Many outdoor events such as Republic Day parade and other fairs are held in the Gymkhana or Parade grounds within the city. Christmas is celebrated by the Christian resident of the city. An annual festival known as the Bonalu Jatara is celebrated by the Telangana Hindus of the region. It is usually held during the Ashada jathara which is at the start of the monsoon season in the region.[Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting is also observed with by the local Muslims. Nonetheless the culture of Secunderabad is distinctly different from that of Hyderabad's Nawabi culture.