4.4 / 5

Chowmahalla Palace
📍 Chowmahalla Palace, TelanganaView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:October to March

⏰ Open Hours:10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, closed on Fridays and public holidays

🎫 Budget:INR 50 for Indians, INR 200 for Foreign Nationals

🧳 Traveller Types:History enthusiasts, Photographers, Families

🔍 Known For:Nizam's residence, Architecture, Vintage car display

📍 Distances:20 km from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, 4 km from Hyderabad Deccan Railway Station

📌 Things To Do:Explore the palace, Visit the museum, Photography

📸 Photography:Allowed, no extra charge for camera

🏛 Architecture:Mixture of Persian, Rajasthani, Indo-Saracenic and European styles

🏰 Unique Feature:Khilwat Mubarak, a grand Durbar hall with 19 chandeliers of Belgian crystal

🌐 Languages Spoken:English, Hindi, Telugu

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Chowmahalla Palace: A Majestic Heritage Site in Hyderabad

Do you want to experience the royal splendor of the Nizams of Hyderabad? Do you want to witness the exquisite architecture and craftsmanship of a bygone era? Do you want to explore a palace that has been awarded the UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation? If yes, then you should visit Chowmahalla Palace, a majestic heritage site in Hyderabad that will leave you spellbound.

Chowmahalla Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hyderabad that attracts visitors from all over the world. It is a complex of four palaces that was built by the Nizams of Hyderabad, who ruled the region for over two centuries. The palace is a testament to the rich history and culture of Hyderabad and its rulers, who were known for their patronage of arts, literature, and science.

In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of Chowmahalla Palace and tell you everything you need to know about its history, architecture, and events. We will also give you some tips on how to plan your visit and make the most of your experience. So, let’s get started!

History of Chowmahalla Palace

The history of Chowmahalla Palace dates back to the 18th century, when the first Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah I, decided to build his official residence near the Charminar. He commissioned his prime minister, Khan-e-Dauran Khan Bahadur, to design and construct the palace complex. The construction began in 1750 and was completed in 1869 by the seventh and last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan.

The palace complex consists of two courtyards: the northern courtyard and the southern courtyard. The northern courtyard contains four palaces: Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, and Aftab Mahal. The southern courtyard contains the grand Khilwat (Durbar Hall), where the Nizams held their ceremonies and receptions. The palace also has a clock tower, a council hall, a library, and several gardens and fountains.

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The palace was the seat of power and authority of the Nizams until 1948, when Hyderabad became part of India. After that, the palace was neglected and fell into disrepair. In 2005, Princess Esra, the first wife of the eighth Nizam, initiated a restoration project to revive the glory of the palace. The project was completed in 2010 and the palace was opened to the public.

The palace has been awarded the UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2010 for its remarkable restoration work. The palace has also been featured in several movies and documentaries, such as Jodhaa Akbar, The Last Nizam, and The Lost World of Hyderabad.

Architecture of Chowmahalla Palace

The architecture of Chowmahalla Palace is a blend of Persian, Mughal, European, and Indian styles. The palace reflects the eclectic tastes and preferences of the Nizams, who were influenced by various cultures and regions. The palace showcases the finest examples of craftsmanship and artistry of different eras and genres. Some of the architectural highlights of the palace are:

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The Khilwat (Durbar Hall):

This is the most impressive and magnificent structure in the palace complex. It is a large hall with a high ceiling that is adorned with 19 crystal chandeliers that sparkle like stars. The hall has a marble platform where the Nizams sat on their throne and addressed their subjects. The hall also has a collection of portraits, weapons, costumes, and furniture that belonged to the Nizams.

The Bara Imam:

This is a long corridor that connects the Khilwat with the northern courtyard. It has a series of arches and columns that create a stunning visual effect. The corridor was used as a guest house for dignitaries and visitors who came to meet the Nizams.

The Shishe-Alat:

This is a mirror hall that is opposite to the Bara Imam. It has a beautiful mirror work that reflects light and creates an illusion of space. The hall was used as a dressing room for the Nizams and their family members.

The Roshan Bangla:

This is a small palace that was built by the sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, for his mother, Roshan Begum. It has a distinctive European style with sloping roofs and wooden windows. The palace has a collection of rare photographs and memorabilia that depict the life and times of the Nizams.

The Vintage Car Museum:

This is a recent addition to the palace complex that showcases the vintage cars and carriages that were used by the Nizams and their guests. The museum has some of the most exquisite and rare vehicles, such as a 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, a 1930 Rolls Royce Phantom II, a 1937 Buick Convertible, and a 1911 Yellow Bus.

Also check out: Chowmahalla Palace – A Showcase of Grandeur Lifestyle of Nizams

Events at Chowmahalla Palace

Chowmahalla Palace is not only a historical and cultural attraction, but also a vibrant and lively venue for various events and activities. The palace hosts several cultural programs, exhibitions, festivals, and workshops throughout the year that celebrate and promote the heritage and culture of Hyderabad and its rulers.

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Some of the events that take place at the palace are:

The Chowmahalla Music and Dance Festival:

This is an annual festival that showcases the classical music and dance forms of India, such as Carnatic, Hindustani, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, etc. The festival features some of the renowned artists and performers from across the country who perform in the backdrop of the Khilwat.

The Chowmahalla Art Festival:

This is an annual festival that showcases the contemporary art and craft forms of India, such as painting, sculpture, pottery, photography, etc. The festival features some of the emerging and established artists and craftsmen from across the country who display their works in the palace grounds.

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The Chowmahalla Heritage Walk:

This is a guided tour that takes visitors on a walk through the palace complex and its surroundings. The tour covers the history, architecture, and culture of the palace and its neighborhood. The tour also includes a visit to some of the nearby attractions, such as the Charminar, the Mecca Masjid, the Laad Bazaar, etc.

You may also like to check out: Chowmohalla Palace: Glimpse into a royal past

How to Plan Your Visit to Chowmahalla Palace

If you are planning to visit Chowmahalla Palace, here are some tips and information that will help you make the most of your experience:

- The palace is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Fridays and public holidays.

- The entry fee is Rs. 80 for Indians and Rs. 200 for foreigners. There is an additional fee of Rs. 50 for camera and Rs. 100 for video camera.

- The palace is located in Khilwat, near Charminar, in Hyderabad. It is easily accessible by public transport, such as buses, autos, taxis, etc.

- The palace has a cafeteria that serves snacks and beverages. There are also several restaurants and eateries nearby that offer a variety of cuisines.

- The palace has a souvenir shop that sells books, postcards, magnets, keychains, etc. that are related to the palace and its history.

- The palace has a website that provides more information and updates about the palace and its events.

We hope you enjoyed this article about Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below.

If you have visited or plan to visit Chowmahalla Palace, please share your experience with us. And if you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family who might be interested in visiting this majestic heritage site in Hyderabad.

Chowmahalla Palace Reviews

The Chowmahalla Palace is a glorious place, take time to walk around and see the displays. Its a fine peek into the lives of the Asaf Jahi kings. Don't miss the collection of vintage automobiles at the back, especially the royal Rolls Royce. It will be lunch time by the time you come out of Chowmahalla. If Biriyani is what you are craving for, then head to Shah Ghouse. Its advisable to take an autorickshaw to get there. In case you want vegetarian food or just anything non-Biriyani, head to Hotel Shadaab. Sometimes on Saturday and Sunday mornings there is a heritage walk conducted around this place. It is always better to be guided by someone who can tell you the history of the place.The next place to visit after lunch is the Salarjung Museum. The time you are going to spend at Salarjung Museum depends on your interests. The must see displays are Ivory gallery, Western Paintings, Walking Sticks Gallery and the Veiled Rebecca. You can decide your next stop based on how long you've spent in the museum and how tired you are. If you are early and fresh, I suggest make a trip to Paigah tombs. Take an autorickshaw and ask locals for directions. It isn't a place frequented by tourists; but if you love ancient architecture, you'll find this place quite intriguing.
After Charminar, the place to hit next was Chowmahalla Palace. It was the official residence of the Nizams'. It is said that Nizams' were considered to be one of the richest people of their time. Evidently, you can witness their life in this palace. The Calmness of the place will soothe your mind. There is a Ticket counter, a cloakroom to keep your stuff and a small cafeteria inside. You can have a royal feeling in the main durbar. It has huge yet beautiful chandeliers, the pigeons roaming will just give you the feeling of being in that era. Starting from Cutleries to clothes, from shoes to coins, everything is kept. But sadly, the maintenance is not up to the mark. The best part about this place is the Vintage Car Museum. Nizams' did have a fancy car collection. 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost,A spectacular Fiat limousine, A Napier, 1952 Packard 200 Deluxe Touring Sedan (others I do not even remember) and several carriages, it is just mind blowing. The mind-boggling fact is The seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan used this Ford Tourer just for the purpose of going to the mosque at Public Gardens on a Friday. Yes, we are talking about the Nizams' who used a Rolls Royce to clean garbage over the city.
Grandeur of rulers, glory of its past, glimpse of their enigmatic way of living, are still alive in the form of palaces like Chowmahalla Palace, a place worth visiting when on a Hyderabad tour. The literal meaning of this place is “Four Palaces” with “Chow” means four in Urdu and “Mahalat” which is the plural of “Mahalel” meaning palaces. Chowmahalla palace is said to resemble Shah Palace of Tehran in Iran. One can reach the palace by hiring a cab. Buses are also available frequently to Charminar which is situated approximately 750m from Chowmahalla palace. One can come by mmts and get down at dabirpura and then hire an auto to the palace. Entry fee is 50 for adults and 50 for taking photos in mobile or still camera. Dslr, slr are not allowed. Time to cover is 3-4 hours. A huge water fountain in front of the palace, with artistically carved pillars is the first thing to offer a peek into the architectural excellence of this Chowmahalla palace.
We started our journey from Tolichowki (Hyderabad) to Charminar Road and parked our bike inside Chowmahalla parking lot. There is ticket counter to buy ticket, cloak room to keep your belongings and a cafeteria to have snacks. Chowmahalla Palaceor Nizam's Residence was official residence of Nizam family. It has four palaces and is worth visiting. It is said that Nizams were considered to be the richest people on earth during their time. Once you visit the palace you will find that all the furnitures, cutleries, chandeliers, vintage cars like Rolls Royce, fountain, arms and weapons, Chariots, libraries, dresses and paintings are very well preserved. The main durbar has huge Chandeliers and other rooms have colourful chandeliers. It just felt like Nizams were fond of chandeliers and created a palace full of chandeliers. Two to three hour is good enough to explore the whole palace. There is a watch tower which will help you find this place from a distance.
We ate the famous Hyderabad biriyani from the famous restaurant located there which has also dined many celebrities including Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil dev and many more. Then we forged on to the well known Chowmahalla palace. It is well know for its articulation of antiques and historical installments. The palace is never boring instead more than interesting since it not only concentrates on one artifacts. It includes the ancient language scripts, the culinary and weapons of times, the religious and spiritual transcripts and museum of vintage cars and photographs and drawings and much more. There is also installation of different chandeliers in the palace and statues. In short, if you visit Hyderabad you should visit Chowmahalla palace.
Photos of Chowmahalla Palace
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