Background information on Hyderabad, cultural institutions and the state
24 August 2000

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The State
The City
Urdu Research Centre
The State
Andhra Pradesh is located in the southeastern part of India. The state is divided into three physical regions: a coastal plain from the Bay of Bengal inland; the mountain range (the Eastern Ghats); and a plateau to the west of the mountains. The capital city, Hyderabad, is located in the plateau region of the state.
Nearly nine-tenths of the 70 million people of Andhra Pradesh speak Telugu, and about one-twelfth speak Urdu, largely the language of the Muslim population. The remaining groups consist of people speaking border-area languages.
Almost three quarters of the state's population is involved in agriculture, accounting for half of the state's income. Andhra is a major rice producing state. Recently the state has become highly industrialized. The technology infrastructure is growing rapidly as the area around Hyderabad strives to compete the Bangalore as the silicon valley of India.
The City
Hyderabad is located on the Deccan Plateau and Musi River. The city was founded in 1591 by the Qutb Shahi sultans of Golconda. The city was built around a magnificent architectural structure, Charminar. The city was conquered by the Mughals in 1685 and in 1724 the Mughal viceroy in the Deccan declared independence. During the British period Secunderabad grew as a British cantonment, connected to Hyderabad by a mile-long bund (embankment) on the Husain Sagar Lake. In 1956 the current state boundaries were set.
Hyderabad has become a center of trade, commerce, and more recently of a center of technology. There are a number of important institutions of higher learning within the city: Osmania University, University of Hyderabad, Central University, the American Studies Research Centre and the German Institute of Oriental Research.
The city is home to numerous public and private cultural organizations Salar Jung museum has a unique collection of rare pieces, including jade, jewelry, paintings, and furniture.
Urdu Research Center
Urdu Research Centre is widely considered one of the world's finest for early Urdu periodicals and printed books. The collection was assembled by Mr. Abdus Samad Khan. Mr. Samad Khan's library is Holdings are well rounded across all areas of Urdu publishing. Most imprints date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and are unavailable at any U.S. library. There are over 26,000 monograph titles in the collection. The journals held are of great historical significance- the collection ranges from the 19th and 20th centuries and covers a vast array of disciplines. More information is available at
The Urdu Research Centre is housed at the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, also home to a very important Telugu collection. The building is a spacious modern structure housing the SVK Library, meeting halls, a theater, offices, and rooms for guests.

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