Seat of the Asif Jahi dynasty – Chowmahalla Palace

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The Chowmahalla Palace is the erstwhile opulent 18th and 19th century palace of the Nizams. They used to entertain official guests and royal visitors here. White walls, ornate decorations, sprawling gardens, fountains, trees laden with sweet smelling flowers welcome you as you step into the northern courtyard. Khilwat mahal or the Royal Durbar welcomes you.

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It was where the Nizams used to hold court. The picture gallery inside will show you scenes of the coronation of the VIII Nizam that was held here. The facade is beautiful but it does not prepare you for the opulence of the darbar hall inside.

As you enter the main hall your eyes are drawn upwards towards the ornate ceiling and the huge chandeliers that are hanging there. But before you move that way you must first enter the room on your right. The history of the dynasty of the Asafia is displayed there.

 

The 19 enormous chandeliers made of Belgian crystals are magnificent. You can imagine them lit and glowing during the ceremonies. The Takht-e-nishan holds the centre stage.

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The other rooms in the palace have been turned into a museum. The galleries hold old pictures, the ceramic crockery gifted to the Nizams from the world over, the weapons used back then and much more.

As the name suggests there are Four/Char (chow) Palaces (mahal) in the complex. The four palaces are Afzal mahal, Tahniyat mahal, Mahtab maha and Aftab mahal. It is said that in its heyday the Palace used to house 700 people of the retinue of the Nizam. It was opened to the public in 2005. A must visit if you got to Hyderabad.

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