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 πŸ™‚

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.



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



Door to infinity.


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.



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 πŸ™‚


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.


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.


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.



A view of the grounds behind Khilwat from another window in another mini-museum πŸ™‚


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


CharminarReaching to the sky



32 Responses to “Chowmahalla Palace”

  1. 1 Sangfroid January 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Class Act!
    That ‘haughty’ minaret seems to me, a massive trophy

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hyderabad is after all not that bad for weekend activities πŸ˜›

  2. 3 sandeep January 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    seriously man…i m surprised we havent seen it before..good pics

    • 4 Kunal January 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      somewhere I heard that this opened to public quite recently (last 4-5 years or so), although not sure about the authenticity of the news. maybe that is the reason we never heard about it earlier..

  3. 5 Viral Sachde January 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Nice post, photos are awesome.

  4. 7 Sunil January 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    The last pic looks very good. Nice idea!

  5. 9 Chittaranjan January 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Yeah, its a steeped-in-history Palace. I’d been there around an year ago but didn’t take my cam in 😦

    Had managed to slyly snap a pic of the front facade tho πŸ˜›

    Chowmohalla Palace

  6. 11 mythalez January 21, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Oh .. I might be going there on Saturday .. infact will be showing it and rest of Hyd to a ‘phoren’ girl πŸ˜›

  7. 13 mummyjaan January 23, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Fantastic photos!

    When I went there (about 10 years ago, methinks), they wouldn’t allow cameras in at all.

    • 14 Kunal January 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      thanks πŸ™‚

      I did not know it was even open 10 years back!

      • 15 mummyjaan January 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm

        There was a year (I’m not sure now whether it was 97 or 98 thereabouts) when Falaknuma, Chowmahalla and Purani Haveli were all opened to the public for a few weeks in the summer. I believe it was the first time that these places were open to all. They weren’t as well restored as they seem to be now judging from your pictures. But it was a memorable trip, nevertheless. We’d bunked college for a day, a group of friends and I, to go and see the places.

  8. 17 Kuldip Patel January 29, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Nice shots man!

    Yours are better than the ones I took when I visited.

    Gar ki murgi daal barabar. I am from Gujarat, visited Ahmedabad many-a-times but saw Gandhi Ashram sometime back only.
    Now, I have decided to catch the city-tour bus of any damn city I visit. They mostly cover the historical places.

    PS: twitted/FB-ed your post, hope you wont mind πŸ™‚
    PS2: you can join some enthu folks are screening Kurosawa’s Ran on Saturday in Tankbund.


    • 18 Kunal February 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Kuldip πŸ™‚ and yeah I completely agree, ghar ki murgi is indeed dal barabar. Hope I catch the other beautiful places of Hyderabad that I’ve been missing.

      And why would I mind if you are sharing my post πŸ™‚

  9. 19 Meena January 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Oh man! That was awesome!! I dont think words can describe what you have so effectively captured in the camera!

  10. 21 Pranesh Sarangi February 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Very beautiful pictures indeed. I have been meaning to go see it during the day for a long time. Just that living in Hitech City, it is really far but your pictures make me want to make that trip.

    I had an opportunity to attend a Ghulam Ali concert held at the newly renovated Chowmohalla palace in December of 2006. Ghulam Ali was really inspired by the ambience of the palace, the beautiful chandelier all lighted up and commented on its beauty. I am more interested in pure Classical forms like Khayal and Dhrupad than Ghazals. However, that evening Ghulam Ali sang his heart out. His singing was very satisfying and it was a very memorable evening for me.

    Thanks for reviving my memories.

    • 22 Kunal February 5, 2010 at 11:53 am

      Weird you mention that you’d like to see it during day.
      As I was roaming around Chowmahalla Palace, I kept asking the guards when do they turn on the chandeliers and all the lights. I felt the palace would look way better in the night πŸ™‚

  11. 23 Shashank February 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Beautiful Pics.

  12. 24 Dave Krunal March 2, 2010 at 10:19 am


    The photography here is best of yours I believe. You’ve got right sense of cropped photography. Awesome!

  13. 25 sonalika August 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    its awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! u should see it for sure. i went for a field trip with my rocks!!!!!!!

    • 26 preethi August 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      me to i have also gone for a school field trip but they took us on evening so it was more beautiful !!!! πŸ™‚

  14. 27 Chandana N September 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Brilliant work Kunal! You’ve very well captured the beauty of the palace… really liked the pics!!

  15. 28 Pummy November 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Very captivating..the pictures and the descriptions! I’m very soon planning a trip to this place.

  16. 29 Manisha February 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Kunal
    Lovely pics.
    Would like to point out a few points that you mentioned in your description.
    Firstly the Asaf Jah (Nizam) family don’t stay here when they visit Hyderabad..this palace is under the Chowmahalla Trust solely for the purpose of public display, so the museum.
    Secondly, it opened to public in 2005.
    More: The intricate carvings inside the Khilwat are not carvings at all, but stucco work in lime plaster with gold paint.
    The servant rooms like rooms along the corridors leading to the Khilwat were administrative offices…don’t forget it was the court/darbar for the Asaf Jahi dynasty.
    And they don’t turn on the chandeliers during the day…only for hired out occasions. It takes a huge amount of electricity to illuminate the palace…:)
    I am glad my city and its history intrigues you.

  17. 30 Saleem August 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Pics were awesome…will definitely visit it sometime.

  18. 31 Mujeeb Khan January 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Yes Kunal ! That was awesome!! I dont think words can describe what you have so effectively captured in the camera and really I appreciate Your Feelings,
    Dear Next time If you vist Please see the Exterior of this Palace, The main entrance that is closed now but the Big Gate is there go there and capture the view of exterior in ur Cam. How people are Damage this Palace Passing Urine, workshops Il-Ligal small shops, Next to the main gate windows are slightly break one window is completely Demolish, Even Maintenance Of Palace are also not care this things,

  1. 1 Hyderabad « Something about Nothing Trackback on January 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm
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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.

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