Hyderabad is India’s fourth largest city. It is rich in history and home to the Qutb Shahi tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But the city’s biggest claim to fame might be its biryani.
The city is filled with restaurants large and small that serve this dish, as well as vendors selling the rice, meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices that go into it. But many of these places, until recently, were lacking reviews and photos on Google Maps. That’s why, in August, a group of Local Guides set out on a biryani adventure. We filmed this super-fun meet-up, and we’re thrilled to show you the final videos today.
Caption: Video titled Local Guides Meet-Up: Shopping for Biryani Ingredients in Hyderabad
The group’s first stop wasMir Alam Mandi, a market in Old City, the historic walled portion of the city that was built more than 400 years ago. “These places are very crowded and it is difficult to capture them and take pictures,” says Naren, explaining why the group wanted to concentrate on this area.
For Naren, this was part of a sustained effort to map Old City. He says that he and other Hyderabadi Local Guides, like Aslam Mohammed (@AslamMohammed), have added more than 150 places in the neighborhood on Google Maps. “Bigger businesses know how to put themselves online,” Aslam says, “but smaller businesses don’t even know what putting yourself on the map means.” He says many of the shops are known only by word of mouth, and that means some smaller biryani joints get overlooked.
On day 2 of their meet-up, the Hyderabadi Local Guides learned how to make biryani, then sat down to a delicious lunch. Again, our video team tagged along to document the action.
Caption: Video titled Local Guides Meet-Up: Where to Eat Biryani in Hyderabad
Aslam and Naren want people to know that biryani is not all the city has to offer. “Our city is more than 400 years old,” says Aslam. “There are so many places that people are not aware of.” He hopes to document the city’s walking and cultural trails so that visitors can follow them on Maps and explore the city for themselves.
And for food-loving visitors looking to expand beyond biryani, Naren recommends another local favorite: shawarma.