One of India’s finest palaces, Falaknuma Palace(“Mirror of Sky”), can be found in the Falaknuma area, Hyderabad, 5 kilometers from Charminar.
Why visit the Falaknuma Palace?
- If you’re looking for a truly unique and opulent experience, a visit to the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad is a must.
- This beautiful palace was built in the late 19th century by the Prime Minister of Hyderabad, Nawab Vikar-ul-Olmara and is now a luxurious hotel managed by Taj Hotels.
- The palace is situated on a hilltop and offers majestic views of the city.
- The interior is lavishly decorated with intricate artwork, chandeliers, and luxurious furnishings.
- A visit to Falaknuma Palace would be an unforgettable experience and one that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
History of Falaknuma Palace
The Faluknama Palace was built in 1893 by the then Prime Minister of Hyderabad, Nawab Vikar-ul-Olmara, who belonged to the Paigah family.
This palace was designed by English architect William Marret and the foundation was laid on 3rd March 1884. It took 9 years to complete the construction and is completely made of Italian marble.
The palace was later purchased by VI Nizam in 1897 and was used as a royal guesthouse. This palace has been built on a hill over an area of 32 acres, with the palace area itself at 1 million sq ft and has a commanding view of the entire city.
The palace resembles the shape of a scorpion with two stings spreading to the north, with 220 rooms and 22 spacious halls.
The Falaknuma Palace houses an extensive collection of historic and valuable items owned by the Nizam, including paintings, statues, manuscripts, and books, and the palace’s jade collection is supposed to be one of a kind in the world.
The palace has a reception room with ceilings decorated with gilded reliefs and frescoes; and a 2-ton manually operated organ in its ballroom. The cavernous dining room has the longest dining table in the world, 33 meters in length, and is made from teak and rosewood. This table can seat 100 guests and was laid with the Nizam’s gold cutlery once upon a time.
The palace also houses a library with a collection of more than 5,000 rare books, including copies of the Quran and first editions. You can see that the roof of the library has a monogrammed carved walnut roof.
Though the Nizam of Hyderabad owned the palace, you can still see the monogram of Sir Vikar-ul-Olmara -“VO” all over the place from dining chairs to the library ceiling to the stained glass.
The palace also has a billiards table designed by Burroughs and Watts from England, and supposedly there is another identical billiards table designed by the same company in Buckingham Palace.
Today this palace has been taken over by the Taj Group of Hotels from the Nizams and is a luxury hotel with 55 rooms open to the public.
Book a high tea or a room in this palace hotel, now known as the Taj Falaknuma Palace, to go around the place. It is totally worth it.
1. Try the high tea here or the curated dinner by the chef at Aadha.
2. Ask for the horse carriage to go around for a ride.
3. Take the palace tour/history walk at 5 pm each evening.
4. Don’t miss the Qawwali Musical at the hotel.
5. Check the view of the city at night from the palace grounds. It’s breathtaking.
What to do next?
Check out my article on 41 amazing places to visit in Hyderabad