About Hussain Sagar LakeHussain Sagar Lake spreads across an area of 5.7 kilometers and is situated across a tributary of River Musi. The lake separates Hyderabad from Secunderabad. A gigantic statue of Lord Buddha sits in the middle of the lake. This exquisitely carved, monolithic statue stands on Gibraltar Rock and was erected in 1992. The maximum depth of this man-made lake is 32 feet.
The artificial lake was built in 1562 by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali, as a token of gratitude for the then emperor of Andhra Pradesh. The attraction also features a 3 kilometer long dam, known as the Tank Bund, built across the lake. The Tank Bund is one of the most popular waterside promenades in Telangana. Named after its maker, Hussain Sagar is the biggest artificial lake in all of Asia
Hussain Sagar was declared as the Heart of the World, by UNWTO in September 2012, for its shape. Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation inaugurated the logo for the “Heart of the World” for Hussain Sagar Lake, in the year 2013, in Madrid.
According to the United Nations, Hussain Sagar is the most 'wonderful’ Heart Shaped lake in the world. It is in fact the largest heart shaped landmark among the 78 heart shaped lakes and 9 similar shaped islands that have been marked elsewhere over the globe.
Flanked by landscaped parks on three sides, namely the Lumbini Park, Indira Park and Sanjeevaiah Park, the Lake provides a unique tourist attraction. Hussain Sagar is also a very popular go to spot for water sport activities in Telangana, offering boating, yachting, and sailing opportunities.
How to Reach Hussain Sagar Lake
Hussain Sagar Lake is well connected to all parts of the city by road. Hyderabad Bus Stand is only a 20 minute drive away from the Lake. From here, one can reach the lake with the help of auto-rickshaws, buses, taxis or any other local transport.
Best Time to Visit Hussain Sagar Lake
The best time to visit the lake would be during the winter months, between November and February, when the weather is pleasant and not humid. During this time, the temperature remains relatively low, and showers are minimal, if not rare.
However, the best time of the day to visit the lake would be during the sunset hours, between 05.00PM to 07.00PM. During this time, one can see the sky changing colours as the sun sets. It is also advisable to take a boat ride during this time, as the weather remains cool.
What Not to Miss at Hussain Sagar Lake
Attractions in and near Hussain Sagar Lake
1. Tank Bund: The Tank Bund dam runs across Hussain Sagar lake, and is one of Hyderabad’s most picturesque promenades. The dam is lined with thirty three statues of famous personalities hailing from both Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Every Sunday evening, cultural programmes are conducted here by the Department of Culture. The Bund is one of the most popular areas in Hyderabad for morning and evening strolls.
2. Lumbini Park: Located in the heart of Hyderabad, Lumbini Park is a small public park spread across 3 hectares. Constructed in 1994, the park is maintained by the Buddha Purnima Project Authority. India’s first multimedia fountain show can be found in the park. The show combines video, theatrics, sound effects and laser animation to recreate events from the history of Hyderabad’s past. The park also has boating facilities and musical fountains.
3. Buddha Statue: Standing proud on the Rock of Gibraltar in the middle of Hussain Sagar, the Buddha Statue is the tallest monolithic statue of Gautama Buddha in India. The fifteen meter tall statue was installed by NT Rama Rao, the then Prime Minister of Andhra Pradesh, in the year 1985. Rao was inspired by the Statue of Liberty in America, and wanted to achieve a similar feat back home. The statue, located at the smack in the middle of the lake, can only be reached by boat from Lumbini Park.
4. Birla Mandir: Built on the high hillock of Naubat Pahad, Birla Mandir is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. Sprawling across a plot of 13 acres, the construction of the temple took over 10 years and was finally inaugurated in 1976 by Swami Raganathananda of Ramakrishna Mission.
The temple, made entirely of white marble is known for its splendid architecture. The style of the temple blends both South Indian and North Indian architectural designs. The flagstaff on top of the temple is made entirely of brass, and extends to a height of 42 feet. Scenes from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana are carved on the ceiling and the walls of the temple.
Things to do at Hussain Sagar
1. Boating: Boating at Hussain Sagar starts from Lumbini Park, which is adjacent to the lake. One can choose a number of boats to suit their own convenience.
2. Speed Boats: Equipped with life jackets and buoys, the thrill of criss-crossing across the lake on a speedboat is a unique experience. The ride becomes all the more enthralling during high tide, and the riders are provided with a boating expert to guide them through the ride.
3. Regular Boats: Paddle boats and diesel powered motorboats are preferred by most people choosing to boat at the lake, which allows the rider to explore every corner of the lake at their own leisure and enjoy the scenic surroundings. The joy of experiencing a sunset at the lake on a boat is an unparalleled experience.
4. Launch: Offered by the Department of Tourism, the launch ride is a perfect way to enjoy a picnic or a party on a boat in the Hussain Sagar. The cruise can also be booked for corporate bookings, weddings and other public events. The 48 seater launch offers dinner and lunch facilities as well.
5. Jet Skis and the Rajahamsa Boat Ride: Jet skis and Rajahmsa boat rides are also available from the Lumbini Park, but these rides do not provide alighting facilities at the Buddha Statue.
6. Enjoy Parasailing opportunities: Hussain Sagar is the perfect sport to enjoy a number of watersport opportunities, including parasailing. Participants in the activity are trained before the activity begins and are provided with adequate safety equipment. Parasailing costs Rs. 400 per person.
7. Dine at the Eat Street: If you are a foodie, then this is the perfect spot for you. Overlooking the calm waters of Hussain Sagar, Eat Street is a popular landmark in Hyderabad for its various eateries. The street is lined with a number of fast food joints, and also has a number of street food vendors selling the best of Hyderabadi street snacks.
Other Essential Information About Hussain Sagar Lake
Location: Tank Bund Road, Hyderabad, Telangana, 500004, India
Timings: The Lake remains open between 08.00AM and 10.00PM on all days of the week.
Entry fee: There is no entry fee required to visit the lake. However, hiring a boat would require a fee, depending on the type of boat hired.
Visitor's Facility: There are pay and use washrooms available in the adjacent parks to the lake.
Parking Facility: There are no parking facilities at the lake premises, but one may park their cars in the adjoining roads.
Distance from Hyderabad bus stand: Hussain Sagar is located 7.9 kilometers away from the Hyderabad Bus Stand, and it takes around 17 minutes to cover the distance in between.
History of Hussain Sagar
The lake was built in 1563 AD by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali, for Emperor Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah, as a token of Wali’s gratitude towards the latter, for helping him recover during the time of illness. The water body was originally built over a bund or a dam, that has now come to be known as the Tank Bund.
The main purpose of building the lake was to use its water for irrigation purposes, and to meet other water related needs. It was used as a drinking water source by the locals of Hyderabad and Secunderabad between the years of 1860 and 1930.
Places to Eat near Hussain Sagar
1. Ohri’s 70 mm: Built as a tribute to the Indian cinema, this Bollywood themed restaurant prides in its offer of Indian and Asian Cuisine. To stay true to its theme, the restaurant requires diners to purchase an ‘entry ticket’ for its buffet style dining. The restaurant stays open till pretty late at night, and has plenty of vegetarian options as well.
2. Kaficko: Initially started as an Italian restaurant, Kaficko is one of the most popular cafes in Hyderabad now. The café boasts of its French, Italian, European and international menu. The café provides indoor as well as outdoor seating options, and provides parking facilities for its diners. Kaficko is strictly non-alcoholic, and does not sell any alcoholic beverages or mocktails.
3. The WaterFront: Overlooking the Hussain Sagar Lake is The WaterFront, an airy, upscale restaurant offering global cuisine to its diners. This deck-view restaurants prides in its menu of Indian, Chinese and International delicacies. The beverage menu of Water Front is also extremely accommodating, offering a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
4. Tansen: Another venture of the Ohri’s group, this fine dining restaurant delights in its Mughlai delicacies. Served in a mesmerizing Mughal-styled interior setting, the Awadhi and North Indian delights at Tansen are an absolute must try.
Hussain Sagar Light and Sound Show.
Laser ShowLocated near the Hussain Sagar Lake is the Lumbini Park, which is the venue for the biggest light and sound show in Hyderabad. The 3D laser show, set against the backdrop of the Hussain Sagar lake, incorporates multimedia effect to create a spectacular presentation. In a captivating display of lights, sound and laser animation, the show recreates episodes from Hyderabad’s past, capturing the city’s glorious heritage. The laser shows are held at the park throughout the week.
The timings for the shows are
Weekdays (Tuesday-Friday): 07.15 PM
Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): Two shows are held on weekends, one at 07.15PM and one at 08.10PM.
The ticket fee to watch the light and sound show is Rs. 50 per person, while an entry fee of Rs. 10 is charged at the park gate. The park remains closed on Mondays.
Musical Fountain ShowThe park also hosts a musical fountain show, where the cascading waters of the Lumbini fountains use visual effects to recreate event of Hyderabad’s past. There is no fee charged for the musical fountain show. The show takes place twice on all days of the week, once at 06.30PM and once at 08.30PM.
Watersports at Hussain Sagar Lake
1. Sailing: Hussain Sagar lake is the most popular hub for watersports in Hyderabad. Sailing is one of the most active clubs hosted here. Joint Regattas have been held at the lake since as early as 1971, by the EME Sailing Association and the Secunderabad Sailing Club. The Hyderabad Sailing Week is also hosted as the lake since the year 1984.
2. Yachting: Since 2016, the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation have commenced two catamaran yacht rides at the Hussain Sagar Lake. The yacht rides begins from the adjacent Lumbini Park. Procured from the US, the catamaran boats can accommodate 12 to 15 persons per trip, and the rides are priced at Rs. 100 per person.
3. Boating: Boating facilities at the Hussain Sagar Lake commences from the adjacent Lumbini Park. Visitors can hire boats of multiple sizes and types to suit their own convenience. The boats rides are fairly cheap, and do not cost more than Rs.200. There are several different types of boats available, such as speed boats, paddle boats, motor boats and jet skis among others.
Structure of Hussain Sagar Lake
Sprawling across a vast 5.7 kilometers, Hussain Sagar Lake was artificially constructed over the Musi River. Owing to its heart shaped structure, the Lake was dubbed as the Heart of The World by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The 3 kilometer long Tank Bund, which separates the two cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, forms a part of the premises as well.
At the center of the lake is an elevated structure, known as the Rock of Gibraltar. On the rock is a 16 kilometer long monolithic statue of Lord Buddha, made entirely of white marble, which is the tallest monolithic statue of Buddha in the world.
Things to keep in mind before visiting Hussain Sagar:
1. The boating, yachting and other watersports conducted at the lake starts from the adjacent Lumbini Park. The park remains closed on Mondays.
2. Do not litter or throw any plastic on the lake.
3. Be careful to properly put on the safety equipment before participating in any extreme sport activity.
4. One must not miss the opportunity to take a stroll along the Tank Bund during sunset.