Posts Tagged 'Pictures'

Chowmahalla Palace

Recently I visited the Chowmahalla Palace and left wondering how come I had never seen this place in my 9 years in Hyderabad. At walking distance from Charminar it is a must see. It still is a home to Nizams whenever they are visiting Hyderabad, and I could only gape at the grandeur that they live in.

With entry tickets priced at Rs. 25 per person, it is a steal. And since my camera had to pay double the money for its entry I’ll let it do majority of the talking :)

Chowmahalla Palace

The view as soon as we entered the grounds. At first I thought this was the main palace, but later on saw that it was akin to servant quarters with small rooms dotting the courtyard.

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Cannon

Many defunct (hopefully) cannons guarded the palace, and three fountains adorned the palace gardens.

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Doors

Door to infinity.

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Chowmahalla Palace

As I crossed the infinite doors, and the cannons and the lush green garden, I reached Khilwat, or the Durbar of the Nizams.

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Chandelier

As soon as you enter the Durbar, the first thing you would notice is the abundance of the Chandeliers. The chandeliers are lighted only when parties are held there (yeah it also is available on rent as party grounds!), but I was able to light up this chandelier with the sunlight :)

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Throne thrown among the Chandeliers

Once you get a neck pain from staring at the chandeliers, and you attempt to ease the pain by looking down you can see the throne of Nizam.

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Intricate Nakkashi

But inevitably, the gaze gets attracted by the chandeliers again, and this time on concentrating long enough you happen to see the most intricate of carvings on the walls and roof.

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There are many rooms dotted through this and other buildings which house multiple exhibitions of the Nizam life.

Row of Chandeliers

Clicked this from the first floor where another room had been converted in to a mini-museum.

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Framed

A view of the grounds behind Khilwat from another window in another mini-museum :)

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When I reached these beautiful gardens, I thought that I’ve seen the whole palace. I did not realize that I had just seen half of the place.

The Minaret with AttitudeAs I started to capture the other half of the palace, this minaret captured my attention. It looked to me (and till now looks) like a person standing with hands on hips displaying a haughty demeanour.

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Secure SilhouetteAnother huge garden adorned this half too and as I attempted to get closer for a better shot, many whistles pierced the calm, the security guards beckoned me back on the track around the garden. Security was really tight, and all the guards were extra helpful once you started talking with them.

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Ready to take FlightThe whistles had not only brought me back on track, but had also raised the pigeons from their siesta. Hundreds of pigeons were living in the Chowmahalla Palace.

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Surveying the KingdomAnd he seems to be the King of the pigeons. As it s(h)at on the fountain/minaret, it surveyed the grounds and its subjects disdainfully.

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Not on my Head pleaseAnd this was the pond in the huge garden that had attracted my attention in the first place. The pigeons don’t seem to like the uni-colour statues terming them as drab, and proceeded to add various shades to the statues.

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Silver Ghost There also was an entourage of Vintage Cars belonging to the Nizams. This one, a 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, was the only one I could photograph properly as all the cars were behind glasses, and the reflections kept ruining the shots.

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Overall it was a very satisfying way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Of course this palace is very small, it does not even hold a candle to the Mysore Palace in terms of size, but in terms of grandeur it can hold its own quite comfortably.

Time to ListenHow can I write about a monument in the the old city and not have the time to post a shot of the most famous landmark there – the Charminar.

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CharminarReaching to the sky

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Trip to Srisailam

It all started with as usual a lot of planning for over two months, and as it the destiny of such trips a hasty cancellation followed. So instead of a long 4 day holiday to Kerala that we were planning we settled for a short two day drive to Srisailam and back.

Day-1, morning 6:30 am. Even after 3 alarms, it took Adi’s phone call to wake us up and spur into action for the 230 km drive. Four of us got into Adi’s spanking i10, and we were away. We had been already told that the destination is ok, but the journey to the place is awesome. Considering this we were all ready to have as many pit stops as we would want. First pit-stop was for refueling, not for the car, but for its occupants. After that we stopped at a small hillock surrounded by fields on all sides, next stop was the Dindy Reservoir, and in the intermediate drive I touched the max speed I have ever driven at – 120 kmph.

Mallelatheertham Waterfalls Next stop was the best part of the trip – Mallelatheertham Waterfalls. These falls are about 50-60 kms before Srisailam and only a board announces that you need to take a left and drive for around 8-9 kms on a kachcha road to reach the Mallela Theertham Waterfalls. The back-breaking 8 km drive and the ~350 steps descent is totally worth the effort. Without a doubt these are one of the best falls I’ve seen in a long time, and the best part is that if you want, you can easily go underneath the waterfalls, and enjoy the cold stinging water :)

We spent 2-3 hours here and then resumed the journey. By this time, we were famished and there were no dhabas in sight. We almost reached Srisailam before we found an okayish place to eat. Srisailam greeted us and so did around 100 more cars. I have always hated religious places, and with reason. They are always crowded, and I am a big misfit generally at those places. People would be wearing Dhoti, Kurta Pajama, would have applied tilak on their foreheads, and there would be me – clad in a T-shirt and short, with generally unkempt hair and you can spot the odd man out from a mile away. Anyway for me Srisailam was only the night stop, so the evening was well spent with a game of Poker.

Next day morning we thought that at least we should roam around in Srisailam and check if there is anything of interest. Big mistake! We had heard a lot about a ropeway to Patalganga. Going till there was no big issue, the coming back resulted in waiting in a line for around 45 minutes, lots of pushing, and a small fight. The place was getting hotter by the minute and there was nothing that would keep us back, so we left the place back for Hyderabad.

My colleague who had already visited the place had told me about a Jungle Safari in the Nallamala Forests that we need to cross to reach Srisailam. We made optimal use of the time we had and went for the safari. Now this was just a 20 km, and an hour long drive. So I was not expecting to spot anything apart from a Cheetal or two, that too would have been difficult as it was a hilly terrain. Bears Well we managed to spot a pair of Cheetal, but the most shocking part was that we were able to spot a Bear and its cub walking on the road. In my many wildlife excursions, I have spotted even tigers, but a bear had always eluded me. I had just had a glimpse of about 2-3 seconds once before in Kanha. So this sighting made my trip!

Only a short stop for lunch, and one for tea and we were back in Hyderabad. All in all, a good short trip with the highlights being Mallelatheertham Waterfalls, and the jungle safari – they take you to a viewpoint that had been attacked by Naxals 4 years back, but is now considered safe – Farhabad view point.


Meet the Blogger…

I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

July 2014
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