Overview

  • Features: Palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad
  • Opening Times: 10am to 5pm, (Sat-Thurs)
  • Best Time to Visit: All year
  • Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • Travelled By: Bus
  • Cost: Indian/foreigner Rs 30/150
  • Address: Khilwat, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Type: Palace

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Summary

Located southeast of Laad Bazar, Chowmahalla Palace is one of the top attractions in Hyderabad and a must-see for anyone visiting the city. If you’re reading this article chances are that you’re already considering a visit to Chowmahalla Palace. In that case, read on for some interesting facts about Chowmahalla Palace and other relevant information you will need to know to plan your visit there.

Chowmahalla Palace Hyderabad

 

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Located southeast of Laad Bazar, Chowmahalla Palace is one of the top attractions in Hyderabad and a must-see for anyone visiting the city. If you’re reading this article chances are that you’re already considering a visit to Chowmahalla Palace. In that case, read on for some interesting facts about Chowmahalla Palace and other relevant information you will need to know to plan your visit here.

 

10 Interesting Facts About Chowmahalla Palace

  • In Persian-Arabic, Chowmahalla Palace means ‘four palaces’ – four (char), palaces (mahallat is plural of mahal)
  • The palace belongs to the Nizams of Hyderabad and was their official residence while they ruled their state
  • Chowmahalla Palace is said to be modelled on the Shah of Iran’s palace in Tehran
  • Over the 100 years of its expansion it has absorbed Persian, Indo-Saracenic, Rajasthani and European styles into its architecture
  • Originally the palace covered 45 acres, but only 14 acres remain today
  • The two courtyards of Chowmahalla Palace contain elegant palaces, fountains and gardens
  • The palaces have been converted into museums displaying interesting exhibits
  • A 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost car of the Nizam is on display in the sourthern courtyard
  • The Khilwat Mubarak is the heart of Chowmahalla Palace and is the most beautiful palace on the grounds
  • The clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace has been ticking away for around 250 years. The people of the locality wait for its chimes and correct their own watches by the accuracy of this clock’s timing

 

Chowmahalla Palace History

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

Begun in 1750 by Salabat Jung, it was completed between 1857 and 1869 by the period of Afzal ad-Dawlah, Asaf Jah V, the V Nizam. It is said to be modelled on the Shah of Iran’s palace in Tehran.

The palace is unique for its style and elegance. Over the 100 years of its expansion it has absorbed Persian, Indo-Saracenic, Rajasthani and European styles into its architecture. Originally the palace covered 45 acres, but only 14 acres remain today.

Chowmahalla Palace consists of two courtyards, a southern courtyard and a northern courtyard. They have elegant palaces, the grand Khilwat (Durbar Hall), fountains and gardens.

 

Southern Courtyard of Chowmahalla Palace

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Built in the neo-classical style, the southern courtyard is the oldest part of the palace, and has four palaces – Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal. One mahal has period rooms that have been reconstructed with the nizams’ over-the-top furniture; another mahal with an exhibit on life in the zenana (women’s quarters); antique cars; and curiosities like elephant seats, and a Remington Urdu typewriter.

 

1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

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The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost car of the Nizam was made to order in 1911 with many special features. The original body was painted in rich canary yellow with gold mountings and later re-bodied to reflect a 1930’s style. All the body hardware, lights and roof dome with its fleur-de-lys pattern were finished in silver.

This car was sparingly used for ceremonial occassions and in the last 100 years it has done just 356 miles. It is a priceless car and represents the very important part of Indian Automotive Heritage.

It participated in the Cartier Travel with Style Concour-de-Elegance held at Delhi in 2011 and won “Best of Class” in the Rolls Royce category as well as “Best of Show the Concour de Elegance”.

 

Northern Courtyard of Chowmahalla Palace

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In the northern courtyard is the Khilwat Mubarak, a magnificent durbar hall which houses exhibitions of photos, arms and clothing. This part of the palace has Bara Imam, a long corridor of rooms on the east side facing the central fountain and pool that once housed the administrative wing. Opposite to the Bara Imam is Shishe-Alat, a building that is its ‘shishe’ or mirror image. The rooms were once used as guest rooms for officials accompanying visiting dignitaries. 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.

 

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Khilwat Mubarak

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The Khilwat Mubarak is the 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 were recently reinstalled to recreate the lost splendor of this regal hall.

 

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Clock Tower

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The clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace is affectionately called the Khilwat Clock. It has been ticking away for around 250 years. An expert family of clock repairers winds the mechanical clock every week. The people of the locality wait for its chimes and correct their own watches by the accuracy of this clock’s timing.

 

Council Hall

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 such as the treasures of the Chowmahalla Palace Collection.

 

Roshan Bangla

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

The stuccoed, domed Durbar Hall, courtyards and gardens of Chowmahalla Palace have been carefully restored at the behest of Princess Esra, the eighth Nizam’s wife and was opened to the public in January 2005. It took over five years to document and restore the palaces of the first courtyard to its former glory.

 

Where is Chowmahalla Palace?

Chowmahalla Palace is located in the Old City so there are numerous transportation options to get here.

The most affordable way is to take a bus from Abids or another area of Hyderabad to the Old City. There are several buses that leave regularly from the main bus station in the Abids area.

Alternatively, you can hop into an auto rickshaw or taxi with a meter which can drop you right in front of Chowmahalla Palace.

Of course, you can also hire a private car with chauffeur who will wait for you in the parking area in the palace complex. When booking your private car always ensure you are using a reputable hotel or travel agency.

 

Chowmahalla Palace Timings

Chowmahalla Palace is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday to Thursday; it is closed on Friday.

 

Chowmahalla Palace Tickets

Tickets to Chowmahalla Palace can be bought at the entrance gate to the palace. Ticket prices are Rs 30 for Indians and Rs 150 for foreigners. There are no extra fees for camera or video usage inside the palace.

 

Chowmahalla Palace Address

204-236 Motigalli

Khilwat

Hyderabad

Andhra Pradesh

India