Chowmahalla palace, Hyderabad

If you are in the city of Nizams, Hyderabad, you should not miss the Chowmahalla Palace. It is one of the prominent attractions in Hyderabad showcasing the legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad. It was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad.

The Construction of the Palace started in 1750 and was completed during the rule of the  of Afzal ad-Dawlah, Asaf Jah V between 1857 and 1869. Chowmahalla Palace is said to be modelled on the Shah of Iran’s palace in Tehran.

The palace consists of two courtyards ( Northern and Southern), the Grand Khilwat (Dharbar Hall), fountains and gardens.

Some interesting things to know:

  1. Chowmahalla literally means “Four Palaces” with “Chow” means four in Urdu and “Mahalat” which is the plural of “Mahal” meaning palaces.
  2. It took over 100 years to complete the Palace which explain the blend of Persian, Indo-Saracenic, Rajasthani and European style in the Palace architecture.
  3. Originally the palace coveredspanned over 45 acres, but only 14 acres remain today
  4. The clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace has been ticking away for around 250 years.

What not to miss:

  1. 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost car of the Nizam is on display in the sourthern courtyard. During its 26 years service of Nizams, it had run only 356 miles. The car is a 1912 make with chassis number 2117, a 40/50 HP engine capacity and gives a mileage of 8 miles per gallon. The luxurious Rolls Royce was originally ordered by Mehboob Ali Khan, the VI Nizam as a state limousine in 1911 but was delivered in 1912 to the Mir Osman Ali Khan, theVII Nizam after his father’s death. The car lying in neglect for long time was entrusted to Rana Manvendra Singh Barwani of Indore, the famous curator of vintage cars and was restored to it’s original glory after 99 years in 2011.100_3143100_3141
  2. Grand Khilwat (Darbar hall): The highlight of the palace is the Grand Khilwat.Here the Nizams held their durbar and other religious and symbolic ceremonies.It is sheer delight to see the 19 spectacular Chandeliers of Belgian crystal.
  3. Antique Chime Clock in the Tahniyat Mahal : This UK-made  early 19th century  clock was acquired by the sixth Nizam Mahboob Ali Pasha. The clock has a timekeeper which emerges every hour from an upper deck and strikes the gong.  The chiming clock strikes on the quarter hours too with a different tune playing out every 15 minutes. A king with a ‘hooka’ can be seen in the front. His head keeps bobbing up and down with every tick of second. He is flanked by two soldiers who keep fanning him. A small curtain goes up every hour and a toy band saunters in playing a ‘sarangi’.100_3132

Pictures of Palace Exteriors


Chowmahalla Palace entrance


Canon in front of  Chowmahalla Palace



Pictures of Grand Khilwat (Dharbar Hall):


Picture of Palace Interiors:



Pictures of weapons on display:



Pictures of Vintage cars on display:




1.Other historical places of interest in Hyderabad:

2. Best time to visit : Sept – February.

3. Do not miss the famous Hyderabadi Dum Biryani


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