Monday, February 21, 2011

Nizam's and Nawab's

The Nizam's of Hyderabad owned half a dozen palace and were among the richest people of their time. They were known for the luxurious lifestyle that they sported. I visited few palaces of the Nizam's. Three of such palace's are now converted into museums.

Its a good time for people like me who like museums and are interested to know their glorious history. Few weeks earlier, I had posted about Salarjung Palace now known as Salarjung National Museum. Today, I am all set to post about Purani Haveli and Chowmahala Palace.

Both these palace are located in half a km of perimeter to the Charminar. Well Charminar is very famous and people who visit Hyderabad for the first time would definitely make their way to Charminar, but as such Charminar is nothing but a gate. And Charminar is not very huge like the India gate in Delhi. However, the place is famous for the ladd bazar and its famous Hyderabadi bangle market.

When I started my journey in search of Purani haveli, it was a disappointment as the shopkeepers informed me that its a broken palace which has been converted to market place. Few people indicated me to a four way road saying this is Purani haveli. Thanks to one fellow pedestrian who directed me to visit the place near Princess Durru Shevar Women and children hospital. On my way in search of the hospital, I could see a green colour board showing H.E.H Nizam Museum.

When we went to the place we could see a junior college being run in the premises and the guard told us that the Museum is in 1st floor and the ticket would be Rs 70/- per person. As this is one of the oldest palace of Nizam's the premises was not very well kept. You can find a few cannons pointing towards the gate. The garden is not maintained and a very lonely place in itself.

When we went up in the stair case, the first entrance was to the longest wardrobe that the VIth Nizam sported. He was known for wearing a cloth once. The wardrobe itself is divided into two stairs and the upper stair is used to keep clothes. When he choose one he used to come down where there are many changing rooms. He used to change and in case he did not like he used to throw the clothes. He never wore one piece of cloth twice.  The next major attraction is the wooden manual lift that was used by Nizam to visit his wardrobe. Below you can see the picture of this wardrobe where the ground floor is visible clearly.

The next consecutive rooms were filled with photos and memorandums that the Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan received on the inaugural function of 25th Silver Jubilee. If you take a closer look, the letters and cards that he received were kept inside showcases that were made of gold and silver. There are many such showcases that barely weighes 3 to 4 kg of gold. There are many hand sticks that were made up of ivory studded with rubies and pearls. The pearls were not just from India but were taken from Arab. The photos depict the luxurious life of Nizam. It shows there way of celebrating birthday to their marriage ceremony. In one such rooms, it is filled with models of all the places that Nizam had built.

The Nizam VIIth got many gold and silver Mason's tool on the inaugural function and first stone that he led to construct Osmania university, hospitals, bridges and market places.

The last but not the least attraction in this Museum is the throne that was used by Nizam VII on 25th Silver Jubilee celebration and there is a model of the same throne in the Jubilee Hall where actually is was residing. The model is made of eight to nine kg of gold. The throne also has gold plating over wood work.


Chowmahalla Palace was the palace used by the Nizams after they shifted from Purani Haveli. The Palace has a beautiful water fountain in its entrance. The Palace is much larger and beautiful than Purani Haveli. This is well kept and decorated. The main entrance to this palace starts with the family tree of Asaf Jahi Dynasty. The palace has photos taken at that time of not only the Nizam's but their family. Most importantly the women of Asaf Jahi Dynasty. The coronation of the Last Nizam of Hyderabad took place in this Palace. Mukkaram Jah the 8th Nizam was chosen as the heir by his grandfather Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan.

The room contains many photos of the Last Nizam,his early childhood and the coronation to the throne. The adjoining room is the Darbar of Nizam (called grand Khilwat) with the small throne. This place has many exotic glass lights hanging from the ceiling. This can be seen in the picture below.

The next room again has paintings and photos of Nizam's and buildings they constructed. The following room contains the arms and ammunition.  The palace is divided into four major parts, thus giving it the name Chowmahalla Palace. The other parts are called Tanhiyat mahal, Afzal Mahal, Aftab Mahal and Mahtab mahal. The Aftab Mahal is the grandest of it all and displays the exotic dress materials and dupattas used by Nizam and his Family. The Tanhiyat Mahal has the throne used by Nizam for coronation and furniture's used by them. The Afzal Mahal has photos of children and ladies of the Palace. It has photos of Princess Durru Shevar and Princess Nilofar who married the son's of Mir Osman Ali Khan. Their beauty attracts each and everyone. Their splendid lifestyle is remarkable to be noticed in each picture.

The Palace also sports old vintage cars.You can also see many horse cart and hand carts used by Nizam.

 The Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan was not only famous for the development of Hyderabad and setting up of educational schools and colleges, but also became popular with the many lawsuits against him for more than 200 illegitimate children that he had with more than 80 mistresses.


  1. Thanks,this was really a lovely blog ..

  2. Is it? Thanks.... keep posting your valuable comments...


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