What a surprise we had when we landed in Hyderabad - a brand-spankin' new airport with manicured lawns awaited us - we were so impressed we took photos on the taxi ride out :) The airport restrooms were as clean as those in Hong Kong and much cleaner than most in the US! (We cannot say the same about most train and bus station restrooms - but let's see how that changes in the next 10 or so years maybe.)
Chris's friend from university, John, connected us with the Dasari family who were our gracious and generous hosts during our stay in this hi-tech laden, forward-moving, prosperous city. As we drove among the rolling hills and passed by their bustling and shady walking trail, we couldn't help but compare the city to Austin. In fact, it was more like Austin than any other city we have been to on this trip.
The old city was properly old and a little exotic. Hyderabad has a high number of Muslims, and we saw many fully-covered (in black) ladies, which prompted Chris to wonder if that was in fact their traditional dress, or if they had more recently taken up that style. We also heard from several sources that Hyderabad's prosperity is at least in part due to its current political leader - attracting investment and spending tax money on infrastructure. Seriously, it was so different from most other places we've seen in India. Driving by local IT businesses as well as foreign/multinationals. We saw monster.com among others having offices here.
We were also here on Sunday, and as our hosts were Christian, we went with them to their church - an English-speaking protestant one of about 5,000 members, contemporary worship style, not so unlike some we've been to in the US (except no A/C in the hot weather).