Hyderabad is a historic city noted for its many monuments, temples, churches, masjids, and bazaars. A multitude of influences has shaped the character of the city in the last 400 years. The city is forming its role and outlook as part of the booming service industry revolution, and is trying to preserve and popularize its history.
In 1589, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the ruler of Qutb Shahi dynasty, selected the present site of the city and named it “Bhaganagar” or “Bhāgnagar” after Bhāgmathi, a local nautch (dancing) girl with whom he had fallen in love. She converted to Islam and adopted the title Hyder Mahal. The city was renamed Hyderabad in her honour. According to another source, the city was named after Haidar, the son of Quli Qutb Shah. Andrew Petersen, a scholar of Islamic architecture, says the city was originally called Baghnagar (city of gardens).
Asaf Jah’s successors ruled as Nizams of Hyderabad. The rule of the seven Nizams saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Hyderabad became the formal capital of the kingdom and Golconda, the former capital, was all but abandoned. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time.