Magnificent palaces, Extravagant chandeliers, Wonderful fountains, Spectacular wardrobes, Bejeweled clothing, Treasuries that brimmed with spotless pearls, flawless diamonds and precious stones. This was a glimpse of the Histrionic Vicinity of Hyderabad.
Hyderabad is a city with a history so good that it reads like a novel and a past that will rendezvous with you forever.
When you say Hyderabad the only place that people think of is Charminar but it’s way beyond that. Let’s head down memory lane reminiscing the glorious history and testifying to its cultural heritage.
The Chowmahalla Palace
Chowmahalla means four palaces, it was the official residents of the Nizams of Hyderabad while they ruled the state. As the name suggests it comprises of four palaces Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal. The palace was restored meticulously obtaining the prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific award for conservation of cultural heritage.
It is a replica of the Shah’s palace in Iran. The palace institutes two courtyards, northern and southern. The southern part is the oldest comprising of the four mahals, of all the four the Aftab Mahal is the grandest. Chowmahalla was the very first example of European neo classical architecture in Hyderabad. The heart of chowmahalla is Khilwat Mubarak; it hoisted the seat of Asaf Jahi dynasty with the grand pillared durbar hall made of pure white marble where the Nizams held most ceremonies. The clock above the main gate is called the Khilwat clock that’s been ticking away since 250 years.
You have to go out there to witness the restored splendor of this speechless marvel.
The Taj group of Hotels took the project of bringing Falaknuma back to its pristine glory, they spent ten years completing this “Mirror in the Sky”.
The palace had its own telephone, a petrol pump and a power generator. There is a marble staircase that connects the first and second floor without any supporting pillars.
It also hosts the world’s longest dining table that can accommodate 101 guests at a time. The acoustic system is spectacular; even a soft whisper by someone at one corner can be clearly heard till the other end of the table. It has a timeless collection of precious gems and artifacts including Victorian style hand painted ceilings and Belgian cut-glass chandeliers. The two tonne manually operated musical organ is one of a kind in the world. Adding to this, a palace library with a ceiling of ornate teak and rosewood containing 5900 books. Burroughes and Watts, London created the billiards table for the Nizam.
Purani Haveli is the birthplace of Mir Osman Ali Khan. A portion of Purani Haveli has been converted into an exclusive museum devoted to the innumerable precious gifts that the Nizam received during his near four-decade reign. The presentation of gifts was made protocol to avoid unnecessary audience. It was his wish that they be displayed in an exclusive museum and that dream has been realized.
Mir Osman Ali Khan inherited from his father, Nizam VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, a unique and spectacular wardrobe with 155 cupboards. The Nizam VI, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, was known for his style he never repeated his clothes and his wardrobe may be the largest in the world. It is made of Burma teak measuring 240 ft length and is over two floors high. A one of its kind manually operated wooden elevator is the star attraction,it was built about 125 years ago by R. Way Good Company Limited Engineers, London. It uses wheels and ropes and surprisingly it is still in good condition.
These palaces house an incredible amount of art and architecture. The personal collection of the Nizams silently testifies the glory of this city.