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|Location||Hyderabad, Telangana, India|
|Awards and prizes||National Tourism Award (Best Maintained and Differently abled Friendly Monument), 2017|
|Original use||Seat of the Nizam of Hyderabad|
|Restored by||Princess Esra|
Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallat (from chār mahallāt, lit. 'Four Palaces' in Dakhini Urdu) is the palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad State in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. 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 was built by Nizam Salabat Jung and remains the property of the Nizam. Some members of the Hyderabadi Nizam family have wed here.
The word chār or chahār, and its variation chow, means "four" and the word mahal means "palace" in Urdu, Hindi and Persian. All ceremonial functions including the accession of the Nizams and receptions for the Governor-general were held at this palace.
The UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation was presented to Chowmahalla Palace on 15 March 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.
The palace is unique for its style and elegance. Construction of the palace began in the late 18th century and over the decades a synthesis of many architectural styles and influences emerged. The palace consists of two courtyards as well as the grand Khilwat (the Dharbar Hall), fountains and gardens. The palace originally covered 45 acres (180,000 m2), but only 12 acres (49,000 m2) remain today.
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.
This part has Bara Imam, a long corridor of rooms on the east side facing the central fountain and pool that once housed the administrative wing and Shishe-Alat, meaning mirror image.
Opposite 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.
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 Belgium crystal recently reinstalled to recreate the lost splendor of this regal hall.
The clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace is affectionately called Khilwat Clock. It has been ticking away since 251 years. An expert family of horologists winds the mechanical clock every week.
This building housed a rare collection of manuscripts and priceless books. The Nizam often met important officials and dignitaries here. Today it is a venue for temporary exhibitions from the treasures of the Chowmahalla Palace Collection of the bygone era.
The Sixth Nizam, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, is believed to have lived here and the building was named after his mother Roshan Begum.
The present Nizam (Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah) 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. The palace also has a collection of vintage cars, including the Rolls-Royce, which were used by the Nizam Kings.
- Nizam of Hyderabad
- Purani Haveli
- Falaknuma Palace
- King Kothi
- Chiran Palace
- Jewels of the Nizams
- Jacob Diamond
- Basheer Bagh Palace
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