Those passing by the Hussain Sagar Lake of Hyderabad may well want to check out NTR Gardens as well. While this park is not among the larger ones in the city, it is nevertheless among the prettier ones, especially when the flowers begin to bloom. Its central location also renders it a perfect stopover if you are planning a day of sightseeing, as several of the major sights, like Lumbini Park, Necklace Road, and Hussein Sagar itself.
Before anything else, though, it may prove instructive to know first how NTR Gardens came to be. The park is actually named after the prominent Telugu actor and politician, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. The original memorial dedicated to Rama Rao was planned to cover only 20,000 square metres, but the state government continued to expand it as efforts became more and more popular to convert Hussein Sagar and its surroundings into a tourist spot. Eventually, the park expanded to cover not 20,000 square metres but 140,000 square metres, all of which are still considered part of the Gardens.
Since the park’s establishment at the turn of the 21st century, the Andhra Pradesh government has continued working on the expansion and improvement of this new attraction. Most tourists passing by the area actually agree that it is a gem of a place, for the government’s efforts to make the park as attractive as possible to sightseers are patent in the orderly beauty of the park. The landscaping is exquisite and the flora is a dream in itself: there are over 2,000 gorgeous trees and over 4,500 square metres of the area have been dedicated to flowerbeds. The result during springtime, therefore, is a picture of Hyderabad’s foliage in its prime, a magnificent and untrammelled display of colours and freshness that can ease tension away from those residing in the busier parts of the city.
The park holds more than plants, though, if you are wondering what else could be your reason for visiting this lovely attraction. For example, there are actually modern amenities for leisure and entertainment within the grounds, such as cafes for those itching to have a cup of tea or coffee, a bowling alley, and even some arcade-type game sets. And if your taste runs to the slightly eccentric, then why not spring for a lunch at the famous Fruit Restaurant, whose central space is actually inside a structure shaped to look like a gigantic pineapple. Another wing of the 2000-square-metre establishment looks like a huge slice of watermelon from without, and yet another wing is a bunch of bananas.
There is even more to find at the NTR Gardens besides these things, though, from waterfalls to toy trains. The park is definitely something you should see. Take note, however, that a modest entrance fee is requested, as a means of protecting the integrity of the gardens and the care that has gone into keeping them pristine. Ticket prices go up slightly based on whether or not you are bringing a camera or video-cam, and you should expect open hours to be from around 14:30 to 22:00 hrs each day.