Chowmahalla Palace

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Chowmahalla Palace bhawan
Magnificent Chowmahalla Palace.jpg
General information
Type Royal Palace
Architectural style Modelled on Shah of Iran's palace
Location Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Completed 1880s
Panoramic view in two parts of the Chaumhalla Palace at Hyderabad, photographed by Deen Dayal in the 1880s

Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallat (4 Palaces), is a palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad state. It was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad while they ruled their state. The palace remains the property of Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, heir of the Nizams.

Details of a typical window ornate with intricate stucco work

In Persian, Chahar means four and in Arabic Mahalat (plural of Mahal) means palaces, hence the name Chowmahallat/four palaces, or four

All ceremonial functions including the accession of the Nizams and receptions for the Governor-General were held at this palace.

The prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation was presented to Chowmahalla Palace on March 15, 2010. UNESCO representative Takahiko Makino formally handed over the plaque and certificate to Princess Esra, former wife and GPA holder of Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur.[1][2]

History[edit]

Drawing Room of Chowmahela Palace

While Salabat Jung initiated its construction in 1750,[3] it was completed by the period of Afzal ad-Dawlah, Asaf Jah V, the V Nizam ensured its completion between 1857 and 1869.

It is believed to be modelled on Shah of Iran's palace in Tehran.

The palace is unique for its style and elegance. Building of the palace began in the late 18th century and over the decades a synthesis of many architectural styles and influences emerged.

This palace consists of two courtyards, southern courtyard and northern courtyard. They have elegant palaces, the grand Khilwat (the Dharbar Hall), fountains and gardens.

The palace originally covered 45 acres (180,000 m2), but only 14 acres (57,000 m2) remain today.

Southern courtyard[edit]

This is the oldest part of the palace, and has four palaces Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal.

It was built in the neo-classical style

Northern courtyard[edit]

This part has Bara Imam, A long corridor of rooms on the east side face the central fountain and pool that, once housed the administrative wing. and Shishe-Alat meaning mirror image.

It has Mughal domes and arches and many Persian elements like the ornate stucco work that adorn the Khilwat Mubarak. These were characteristic of buildings built in Hyderabad at the time.

The Chandelier

Opposite to the Bara Imam is a building that is its shishe or mirror image. The rooms were once used as guest rooms for officials accompanying visiting dignitaries.

Khilwat Mubarak[edit]

Khilwat Mubarak

This is heart of Chowmahalla Palace. It is held in high esteem by the people of Hyderabad, as it was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The grand pillared Durbar Hall has a pure marble platform on which the Takht-e-Nishan or the royal seat was laid. Here the Nizams held their durbar and other religious and symbolic ceremonies. The 19 spectacular Chandeliers of Belgian crystal recently reinstalled to recreate the lost splendor of this regal hall.

Chowmahalla Palace Interior
Chowmahalla Palace Interior with Chandeliers

Clock Tower[edit]

The clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace is affectionately called as Khilwat Clock. It has been ticking away for around 250 years. An expert family of clock repairers winds the mechanical clock every week.

Council Hall[edit]

This building housed a rare collection of manuscripts and priceless books.The Nizam often met important officials and dignitaries here.Today it is venue for temporary exhibitions from the treasures of the Chowmahalla Palace Collection that of a bygone era.

Roshan Bangla[edit]

The sixth Nizam is believed to have lived here and the building was named after his mother Roshan Begum.

The present Nizam (Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, Pretender) and his family decided to restore the Chowmahalla Palace and open it to the public in January 2005. It took over 5 years to document and restore the palaces of the first courtyard to its former glory.

View of Chowmahalla from Aftab Mahal
The chandeliers
Watch Tower gate of Chowmahalla palace
1911 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost of Mir Osman Ali Khan at Chowmahalla palace

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°21′28″N 78°28′18″E / 17.357725°N 78.471705°E / 17.357725; 78.471705

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ forgeten. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  • Travel guide issued by Authority: The Administrator, H.E.H The Nizam's Private Estate