India had been under the influence of many rulers and these rulers have widely contributed to the structures that decorate various parts of the country. Hyderabad too was under a number of rulers and as a result, their tastes are still reflected in the magnificent palaces built by them. If you are interested in history or architecture, you must visit these palaces when in Hyderabad. The structures and the stories will definitely not disappoint you.
1. Falaknuma Palace
The Falaknuma Palace was formally owned by the Paigah family of Hyderabad, followed by the Nizams ruling the city. Falaknuma is an Urdu word meaning “mirror of sky” or “like the sky”. The palace is beautiful and one can easily say that it was designed by an English architect. The architectural style used here is also a unique blend of the Tudor and Italian styles. The palace looks like a giant scorpion with the two stings penetrating out as north wings. The windows of this beautiful palace are tainted with color. When light falls on these glasses, they throw a spectrum of colors within the palace. The palace has innumerable Venetian chandeliers and the main highlight is the billiards table made by Burroughs and Watts. In the year 2000, the palace went under renovation and opened as a luxury hotel by the Taj Group. This hotel is one of Hyderabad’s best hotels now.
2. King Kothi Palace
King Kothi palace was quite a favorite of Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad. The palace was originally built by Kamal Khan but was sold to the Nizam when he showed keen interest in the monument. The Nizam lived in this palace since he hit his teens. He liked it so much that even when he was declared the Nizam formally, he did not move in with his father. When Kamal Khan had the palace constructed, he had intended to use it as his residence and therefore the initials “K. K.” can be seen engraved in many of the places. Having someone else’s initials on his residence was not something the Nizam’s pride could swallow. So he passed a ‘farman’ declaring that the “K. K.” stands for King’s Kothi which means King’s mansion. The palace consists of three buildings and is divided into two different groups. A huge library also adds to the beauty of the palace.
3. Chowmahalla Palace
The Chowmahalla palace is also known as the Chowmahallatuu. Chowmahallatuu means 4 palaces. This palace was the place from where the rulers of Hyderabad ruled over the city. There is no particular style that is followed in the designing of this palace. The constructions had begun in the last 18th century and it went on for decades. Because the construction process went on for so long, it came under the influence of a number of trending architectural styles. Each style contributed something or the other to the overall look of the palace. As a result, a very unique monument emerged out of this weird blend over time. With two courtyards, gardens and fountains, the palace stands out as an excellent example of architecture of the old times. A clock tower, a council hall and the Roshan bangla complete the Chowmahalla palace.
Hyderabad was ruled by the Nizams for a very long time. These Nizams built great monuments during their rules for their own convenience and today they stand as excellent examples of architecture. All these monuments have a number of stories to tell. People having a keen interest in stories, legends and history will find Hyderabad a great place to explore.
The best time to visit Hyderabad is between the months of October and February when the weather is pleasant and makes it easy to go about the city.