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Chowmahallat Palace 01

“This place is so cool. I’ve been to Golconda and Salarjung museum, but this one is beauty! My aunt is the one, who brought us here; I thought it would be the same clichéd art gallery kinda place… wow! This is different from the places I’ve been in Hyderabad”, says Aria, a journalism student from USA, who is here in town for her summer vacation.

We are familiar with the famous places in Hyderabad like Charminar, Birla temple, but the Chowmohalla palace, which is relatively unknown is treat for visitors in and out of Hyderabad. It is called so in Urdu and it means four Mahals (chowmahal) . It was built by a Nizam, Asif Jahi and was his official residence as well. This place is away from the maddening crowd and the hustle in the city. This is in the same place, where Falaknuma Palace is situated, which is now being converted into a seven star hotel.

The khilawat mubarak. Credit: Namita

The Khilawat Mubarak. Credit: Namita

The first visit to this place is like magic, silence and enchantment. Like a magnet one is pulled towards it because the beauty lies on the inside too. “I never thought there was a such a magnificent place in Hyderabad. I didn’t want to go to the same old places, where we usually go. A few days back, my sis had visited the place with her friends. She urged me to go and see it because I love clicking pictures. Moreover this place is pretty far from my place so with my academics and photography classes, I never had the time. Thank god I could finally visit it!”, says Namita Afzulpurkar, a student, who believes that the place is enchantingly photogenic.

There is a courtyard built in a classic style and they are in two directions – North and South. It leads in to the main building, whose construction was started in late 17th century by Sabalat Jung and then completed in 1857 by the Nizam-V, Asaf Jha-V.

The Clock Tower. Credit: Namita

The Clock Tower. Credit: Namita

On the way to here, there is a water fountain and a clock tower to the right. It holds the clock, which has been watching this place since 250 years. This is undoubtedly Hyderabad’s Big Ben. An expert team looks after the maintenance of this heritage clock.

The main courtroom is called the Khilawat Mubarak, which is lit with the chandeliers that add to the beauty. After this, there is a room, which has a collection of pictures. Shaila says, “This woman called Niloufer, is a Turkish beauty but resembles our Madhubala – the actress. She is a speechless beauty. This gallery is recently added. Amazing craftsmanship”. Photography is prohibited in this particular room.

This room then leads into the second floor which has displays of crockery and cutlery used by the Nizam make one’s eyes pop-out in astonishment. There are tea cups from China and Japan with rich colour blends, mainly blue and green. A particular crockery, which was an instant head turner was a porcelain plate in leaf like pattern. Other crockery was from different parts of the world including Australia, Germany, etc.,

Weapons. Credit: Namita

Weapons. Credit: Namita

There are even exhibits   of beautiful and chic dresses, which are expensive is an instant eye catcher. One will go gaga over it! This one pretty much explains how the Nizam’s life style was. Then, on the other side, one can see the Roshan Bangla and rooms filled with weapons, vehicles and portraits that boost the passion and appreciation for art and architecture that the Nizam’s had for it and its majestic beauty, that will wind you back to past, Jodhaa-Akbar ishtyle.

This place is open to the public from 2005. The entrance fee is 25 rupees for Indians and 50 rupees for foreigners. Though it costs Rs. 50 extra for a camera, one should take it because it is totally worth it.

How to get there: Chowmahallat is accessible by MMTS train or RTC buses like 8M. One can comfortably commute using own transport too.  If it is by MMTS then one needs to take an auto from the station, that will cost around 30 rupees. MMTS, which go to Faluknama are plenty from Lingampally via Jamai Osmania; Secunderabad; Fatehnagar. Enjoy the enchanting trip.

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