Visit Chowmahalla Palace to get an inside glimpse into the life of the Nizams of Hyderabad, one of the richest families, on planet earth.
Why visit the Chowmahalla Palace?
- The Chowmahalla Palace is a beautiful piece of Hyderabad’s history and culture. It is a must-see for anyone interested in the city’s rich past.
- This unique and fascinating palace was the former home of the Nizams of Hyderabad, and it is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture.
- The palace complex is made up of two main courtyards, and it is surrounded by gardens and fountains.
- Visitors can see the grandeur of the palace and learn about the history of the Nizams of Hyderabad.
- The palace is also home to a museum, which has a collection of interesting artifacts and artwork belonging to the Nizams.
History of Chowmahalla Palace
Chowmahalla Palace, meaning “Four Palaces”, was the official residence of the Nizams while they were ruling Hyderabad.
Salabat Jung, the IV Nizam started the construction of the Chowmahalla Palace in 1750. However, it was completed by Afzar-ud-Daulah, Asaf Jav, the Vth Nizam, between 1857 and 1869.
You can see glimpses of Persian, Indo-Saracenic, Rajasthani & European styles in its architecture. It is believed that the palace has been modelled on the Shah of Iran’s Palace in Tehran.
The Chowmahalla Palace originally covered about 45 acres, extending all the way from Aspan Chowk Road on the south to Laad Bazaar on the north. Currently, it covers about 12 acres.
This palace has two courtyards—the northern courtyard and the southern courtyard. The southern courtyard has four palaces – Afzal Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, and Aftab Mahal.
The northern courtyard has Bara Imam, which was once the administrative wing. This is a long corridor with rooms on the eastern side facing the pool.
Just opposite the Bara Imam is the Shishe-Alat meaning “Mirror Image.” This building is a mirror image of the Bara Imam and was used to receive guests and public figures.
The grand pillared Durbar Hall, known as Khilwat Mubarak, is breathtaking. In the Durbar Hall, you will see a platform made of marble upon which the royal seat, Takht-e-Nishan, was placed.
There is a clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace called Khilwat Clock, a mechanical clock doing its job for the past 250 years.
Don’t miss seeing the intricate domes, the striking arches, and the beautiful chandeliers in the Durbar hall.
Things to see and do at the place:
- Admire the fleet of vintage cars and buggies owned by the Nizams and the collection of weapons & armours
- Get yourself clicked in the attire of the Nizam.
- Get a memento from the gift shop. They have a beautiful selection of handmade products.
- Walk the manicured grounds first before you go for the tour inside.
- Visit the Khilawat last because it is always crowded.
- You would need at least 2-3 hours to do justice to this place.
- Visit the Charminar, Mecca Masjid and Laad Bazaar which are nearby. These places in Hyderabad are not to be missed.
1. Rs 50 per person for Indians
2. Rs 200 per person for foreigners
3. Rs 50 to carry a camera
4.10 am to 5 pm on all days except Fridays and national holidays.
What to do next?
Check out my article on 41 amazing places to visit in Hyderabad