Pearls are a major draw in Hyderabad -- it is said that 9 out of 10 pearls in the world travel through Hyderabad for piercing and stringing -- the craftsmanship is unsurpassed here. But do be careful: There are a lot of fakes out there. Kedarnathji Motiwale (near Bata, Pathergatti; tel. 040/2456-6667; www.kedarnathji.com) has been supplying authentic pearls and jewelry since 1908; hardly surprising then that a number of impersonators sporting the same name have cropped up -- make sure you're in the shop with the photograph of the president of India giving an award to the owners. Meena Jewellers (Babukhan Estate; tel. 040/2329-9509; http://meenajewellers.com) is also recommended, particularly if you're after exotic-looking pieces typical of Indian bridalwear. Catering to the wealthy is Krishna Pearls & Jewellers (www.krishnapearls.com), with branches in several of the upmarket hotels, including Taj Krishna (tel. 040/2339-5015), Taj Banjara (tel. 040/6656-4833), and the ITC Kakatiya Sheraton & Towers (tel. 040/2340-0811 or 040/5556-4844); the main city showroom is at 22-6-209 Pathergatti Rd. (tel. 040/2441-7881). Another well-known and reliable name is Jagdamba Jewellers (Gupta Estate, Basheerbagh Circle; 040/2323-6486; www.jagdamba.com). Besides high-quality Hyderabadi pearls, these jewelers also design and manufacture gold jewelry and various traditional handicrafts.
For high-quality traditional Indian garments, visit Kalanjali, a Hyderabadi institution, with four floors of air-conditioned shopping under one roof (opposite Public Gardens, 5-10-194 Hill Fort Rd., Saifabad; tel. 040/2342-3440; www.kalanjali.com). And to absorb the scents and colors of one of India's most evocative bazaars, spend some time in Laad Bazaar near Charminar.
As in any of India's growing and constantly changing cities, Hyderabad too has its share of malls -- Hyderabad Central (Panjagutta Cross rds.; tel. 040/6643-0000) draws the maximum crowd and is a hangout for the young; Lifestyle (tel. 040/2341-0013; www.lifestylestores.com) and Shopper's Stop (tel. 040/2776-1084; www.shoppersstop.com), both at Begumpet, are other popular malls with a variety of branded stores. Hyderabad's version of the Dilli Haat in Delhi is called Shilparamam (tel. 040/2310-0455; www.shilparamamhyd.org; entry Rs 20) -- artisans and craftsmen from all parts of India gather and demonstrate, create, and sell their craftwork and handlooms here. The annual crafts fair is held here in December.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.