Hyderabad, the city of the Nizams has a couple of palaces intact that talks about the people with great architectural perceivance who walked these monuments of rich heritage. One such monument, though the restored one has great stories to tell us about its owners is the Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad. Located in the heart of the city, the palace gives an unforgettable magical experience.
This palace had been once the seat of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty. The name derives its origin from the Persian words ‘Chow’ meaning four and the Arabic word ‘Mahalat’ or Mahallah referring to palace. This had been the place for the official guests and royal visitors to the state and the Nizams.
The construction of the palace was initiated by Salabat Jung in 1750 but was later resumed by the 5th Nizam of Hyderabad, NizamAfzar-ud-Dawla Bahadur and completed in a span of 12 years in 1869. Covering an area of 45 acres, the premises of the mahal have now reduced do 14 acres only in today’s scenario. The architectural designs of the palace are inspired from the Shah of Iran’s palace in Tehran. The two courtyards, northern and the southern courtyard add to the beauty of the palace.
The northern courtyard displays great architecture skills of Persia and Mughals. There is the Bara Imam, the corridor facing the pool and the Shishe-Alat just opposite the Bara Imam. The Roshan Bangla also is a masterpiece in itself and had been an additional mahal created in the area. The clock tower better known as the Khilwat Clock is a sort of technological advancement even centuries ago. The clock was made to work some 250 years ago which is still ticking and giving the correct time to this day.
To add to the aristocratic style, the Council hall also gives an idea of the caliber of the architects in those times. The hall still contains the unique manuscripts and books from the Nizam’s own collection.
The sourthern courtyard is equally dominant in terms of the skills. The four mahals – Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and the Aftab Mahal had been the dream palaces of Salabat Jung. These also speak of the values given to designs, wall carvings and of course the skills given to art and culture. This part of the courtyard had been the first to be constructed in the palace. The Aftab mahal is still under renovation to get back the forgotten pride.
A tour inside the Chowmahalla Palace comes with a price. But the experience so earned is quite priceless. Now a days more facilities are available. One can organize small parties, receptions and conferences in the mahal. These small functions when organized are services with almost the same manner as would have been given to the official guests of the Nizams. A stay, though for a short period in the palace satisfies the princely dreams and aspirations of the person.
Chowmahalla Palace Timings: 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM. Closed on Fridays and National Holidays.
Chowmahalla Palace Entry Fee:
Rs 40/ for Indians and Rs 150/ for foreign tourists.
Rs 50/ still camera and Rs 100/ per Video Camera.
Khilwat, 20-4-236, Motigalli,
Hyderabad, Telangana – 500 002
Phone : +91 40 24522032