Chowmahalla Palace

Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallat (4 Palaces), was a palace belonging to the Nizams of Hyderabad state. It was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and was the official residence of the Nizam. In Urdu, Chow means four and Mahalat (plural of Mahel) means palaces, hence the name Chowmahallat/four palaces. All ceremonial functions including the accession of the Nizams and receptions for the Governor-General were held at this palace.

History
While Salabat Jung initiated its construction in 1750, it was completed by the period of Afzal ad-Dawlah, Asaf Jah V, the V Nizam ensured its completion between 1857 and 1869. It is believed to be modelled on Shah of Iran's palace in Tehran. The palace is unique for its style and elegance. Building of the palace began in the late 18th century and over the decades a synthesis of many architectural styles and influences emerged. This palace consists of two courtyards, southern courtyard and northern courtyard. They have elegant palaces, the grand Khilwat (the Durbar Hall), fountains and gardens. The palace originally covered 45 acres (180,000 m 2), but only 14 acres (57,000 m 2) remain today.

Southern courtyard
This is the oldest part of the palace, and has four palaces Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal. It was build in the neo-classical style

Northern courtyard
This part has Bara Imam, A long corridor of rooms on the east side face the central fountain and pool that, once housed the administrative wing. and Shishe-Alat meaning mirror image. 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. As you enter it you will see historic buildings around the central pool. Opposite to the Bara Imam is a building that is its shishe or mirror image. The rooms were once the used as guest rooms for officials accompanying visiting dignitaries.

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

Clock Tower
The clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace is affectionately called as Khilwat Clock. It has been ticking away for around 250 years. An expert family of clock repairers winds the mechanical clock every week. The name of the clock repairer is Mohammed Khasim and his shop is located in Lad Bazaar. Now his son, Mohammed Hussain, is the proprietor and the people of the locality wait for its chime.

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 from the treasures of the Chowmahalla Palace Collection that offer a glimpse of a bygone era.

Roshan Bangla
The sixth Nizam is believed to have lived here and the building was named after his mother Roshan Begum. The present Nizam ( Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, Pretender) and his family decided to restore the Chowmahalla Palace and open it to the public in January 2005. It took over 5 years to document and restore the palaces of the first courtyard to its former glory.
 

Building Activity

  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov updated
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • mark datta
    mark datta updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • Francis Ho
    Francis Ho updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com