Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, India, and is one of the largest metropolitan cities in the country with an area of 650 square kilometres (250 sq mi). The city has a population of 6,809,970 with a further 7,749,334 living in the metropolitan area, making Hyderabad the fourth most populous city and the sixth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. However, there has been public criticism that the figure is an undercount, and that the population of the Greater Hyderabad area would be about 10,000,000. The city is often known by the sobriquet The City of Pearls.
Hyderabad was established in 1591 AD on the banks of the Musi River located at the crossroads of North and South India on the tip of the Deccan Plateau, leading it to develop a unique culture. The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad come under the ambit of a single municipal unit, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.
Hyderabad was once a global center of the diamond and pearls trade, and, during late 20th and early 21st century, the city emerged as a major global center for the information technology (IT) industry, and biopharmaceutical industry. The city is home to the Telugu Film Industry, known popularly as Tollywood.
Hyderabad is home to many historical sites, including the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage site of Chowmahalla Palace. The city is a regular tourist hotspot and carries many places of interest.
Secunderabad until recently had its own municipality and city government. Secunderabad was the area in Hyderabad which was under the direct control of the British.
Secunderabad was founded as a British cantonment after the Hyderabad Nizam Asaf Jah II was defeated at the hands of the British East India Company and was forced to sign the Treaty of Subsidiary Alliance in the year 1798 AD. He had to sign the subsidiary alliance treaty in order to gain the support of the British troops parked in tents in the open areas of the maidan of the village Ulwul, north-east of Hussain Sagar, the lake that separates Secunderabad from its twin city Hyderabad. Later, in 1803, Nizam Sikandar Jah, the third Nizam of Hyderabad, renamed Ulwul as Secunderabad after himself. The city was formed in 1806, after the order was signed by the Nizam alloting the land north of Hussain Sagar to setup the British Cantonment. The twin cities are separated by the man-made Hussain Sagar lake, which was built during the reign of the Qutb Shahi dynasty in the 16th century. Unlike Hyderabad, the official language of Secunderabad was English.