Chowmahalla Palace

Have You Been to The Last Century’s Richest Man’s Residence – Chowmahalla Palace?

Chowmahalla Palace was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, rulers of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad, India. It is now converted into a private museum and venue for parties by the royal family.

Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad
Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad

This magnificent palace complex was once the residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad, one of the premier kingdoms in India. Nizams up-to the sixth Nizam, lived at  Chowmahalla Palace.

Osman Ali Khan (Last and VII th Nizam or Asaf Jah VII) lived here till the age of 11. He then moved outside of the Chowmahalla  palace complex to the newly constructed King Kothi Palace or Nazri Bagh Palace, at a distance of around 5 kilometers away. Even though he lived outside of Chowmahalla palace, his royal court meeting were held at Chowmahalla  Palace. He breathed his last here at the King Kothi Palace, on the 24th February 1967.

Chowmahalla PalaceRoyal Court Room (Royal seat can be seen on the left side) at Khilwat Mubarak, at Hyderabad, India.

Structures inside Chowmahalla Palace Complex

Khilwat Mubarak is the main building in the complex, where the king used  to hold his Durbar (the court of a ruler). There are 19 Belgian crystal chandeliers in the durbar hall. You are allowed to view the hall and not allowed to roam around, especially near Takht-e-Nishan, the royal seat.

Council Hall was used to store rare manuscripts and books. It was also used for meeting dignitaries and high ranking officials. It now showcases the treasures of the Palace Collection.

Roshan Bangla is the palace where the sixth Nizam lived, which is named after his mother, Roshan Begum.

There are four palaces in the Chowmahalla Palace complex. (‘Chow’ or ‘Char’ means four,  ‘Mahal’ means palace.) Mehtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, Afzal Mahal and Aftab Mahal are the Four palaces in the complex.

There is a Clock Tower in the complex.

There are two main courtyards; one on the southern side and one on the northern side. There is a beautiful pool and fountain the front of the palce. There are other buildings which were used as administrative office.

There is a Gallery for the Vintage royal cars and bikes.

Weddings, meetings, etc, are allowed to be hosted in the palace. Chowmahalla palace wedding costs Rs. 1,75,000 as rental charges, without catering. Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian foods are allowed. Both in-house as well as outside catering is allowed inside the palace. Alcoholic beverages can also be supplied.

Nizam of Hyderabad & The Erstwhile Princely  State of Hyderabad

The first Nizam of Hyderabad was a  viceroy of the Deccan region under the Mughal Dynasty, from 1713 to 1721.  He was the ruler of the Deccan area for a short period in 1707, upon  the demise of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In 1724, when the Mughals became week, he declared Hyderabad an independent state and became the first ruler of the newly formed state.

Princely  state of Hyderabad was the most prosperous state among the princely states in India. Golconda, where priceless Kohinoor Diamonds were mined, belonged to this princely state. It was the largest state among the princely states in India, spread over an area of 214,190 square kilometers or 2,6980 square miles.  The State had its own currency, army, railway network, airline, postal system,  telecommunication system  and radio broadcasting service.

Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last and seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, refused to accede to India, when India got Independence in 1947. Hence the Indian Army forced its way into Hyderabad and dethroned the Nizam in September 1948. The  operation is known as  Operation Polo. Nizams of Hyderabd reigned from 31 July 1724 to 17 September 1954.

Nizam of Hyderabad was awarded the maximum privy purse amount of 43 lacks rupees per year (approximately 8.5 per cent of his state’s annual revenue), by the Indian government, upon acceding his state to India. Privy Purse was abolished in 1971 by 26th Indian Constitutional Amendment Act. Some of the Rulers challenged this law in various courts. A few royals were able to get this pension resorted to them. There were a total of 555 rulers. 398 rulers were getting less than Rs. 50 K per  year.

Nizam of Hyderabad was  The Wealthiest Man in the World, until he died, aged 80, in 1967.

This eccentric Indian ruler was the world’s richest man. He had 86 mistresses, 100 illegitimate sons and employed 38 staff to dust palace chandeliers..

He disciplined himself to live on the equivalent of £1 a day and smoked the cheapest brand of cigarettes, relighting and smoking the discarded butts – he once took a cigarette from an adviser, cut it in half and offered the man half back.

In one of his many palaces he had a wardrobe half a mile long, bulging with exquisite silks, brocades, damasks and fine muslins.

Another palace had a mile-long banqueting hall.

How Do I Go to Chowmahalla Palace?

Chowmahalla Palace is situated at the heart of the Hyderabad city. It is located at around 850 meters from Charminar, one of the most recognized structures in India.

Hyderabad  is well connected by roads to the rest of the country. Hyderabad railway station  is a main railway station in the city Secunderabad railway station is another major railway station, at around 11 kilometers from this magnificent palace complex. There is an international airport on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Chowmahalla Palace Timings

Chow mahalla  Palace is open from 10 am to 5 pm and is closed on Fridays. The entry fee for Indians are Rs 50 and Rs 10, for adults and children respectively. Foreigners are charged Indian Rupees 200. There is a separate fee for Camera and Video recording devices.

Hotels near Chowmahalla Palace

There are many Hyderabad Hotels near the palace.

Have you been to the Last Century’s Richest Man’s Palace? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Falaknuma Palace – Heritage Hotel and Palace Hotel at Hyderabad

Falaknuma Palace is a Palace which was owned by Nizam of Hyderabad, which is now converted into a Heritage Hotel. It is situated at Hyderabad, India.

Taj Falaknuma Palace, HyderabadTaj Falaknuma Palace, a palace hotel at Hyderabad.

Falaknuma Palace is spread over 32 acres of land. It was opened in 1893 as a Palace and was converted to a Five Star hotel in 2010. This Palace is known as Taj Falaknuma Palace.

Taj Falaknuma Palace was constructed by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra. Nawab was the prime minister of the then princely state of Hyderabad. He was the uncle and brother-in-law of the Nizam VI.

There are 60 rooms and 22 halls inside the Palace. There is a large collection of the Nizam of Hyderabad’s treasures. These include furniture, paintings, statues, manuscript and books. There is also an extensive collection of jades here.

The Billiards table at the palace was designed by Burroughs and Watts of England. There are only two such identical tables in the world; one at Buckingham Palace and the other at Falaknuma Palace. Carved walnut roofed library is a replica of the library at Windsor Castle.

The Dinning hall can seat 101 guests. Chairs are made of carved rosewood with green leather upholstery.

The ballroom has a manually operated Organ, weighting around two Tons. It is the only one of its kind in the world.

How Do I Go to Falaknuma Palace?

Taj Falaknuma is situated at Falaknuma, in Hyderabad city. This Taj Palace Hotel is at around 5 kilometers distance from Charminar.

Hyderabad is well connected by roads to other parts of the country. Hyderabad railway station is a major station in India. There is an international airport at the outskirts of Hyderabad which is well connected to the rest of the world.