Royal Elegance: Chowmahalla Palace

A beautiful chowmahalla backdrop for a wedding

Its been more than a week since we are in Mumbai and strangely I am missing my home in Hyderabad. I never thought that I would miss Hyderabad over Mumbai, ever. Yet, here I am flicking though pictures of us together playing in the garden, in the tent and going through routine day-to-day tasks such as reading books at night.

I came across these pictures of recent trip to Chowmahalla palace  with my cousins and realized that I have not blogged about it. A complex of four Nizam palaces, central courtyards, surrounding corridors and gardens; it depicts the elegance of those days through carvings on the walls, rich tapestries and huge vintage chandeliers. Very similar to Falaknuma Palace in general layout ( which is more ornate), Chowmahalla is an unexpected oasis of calm amidst the bustling Old Hyderabad. Open to public (unlike Falaknuma which you can only visit if you dine or stay at the Taj property), this is on my ‘don’t miss’ list for Hyderabad.

Map of Chowmahalla Palace

Corridors flanking central courtyard at Chowmahalla

The fountains in courtyard have a couple of ducks gently wading by.  One of the mahal’s acts as museum of heritage clothes, furniture , arts and crockery. A stones throw from Charminar, it has vintage cars and buggies. Swords, daggers, arrows , shields are displayed in a very modern classical manner. Trees with century old canopies and pigeons add to the old world charm of this palace. This place has something for everyone. Kids, art lovers, architecture buffs, lovers, romantics at heart, vintage car lovers, textile designers, landscape designers, photographers…I am sure you will be inspired and will love this place just as much as I did.

Central courtyards with fountains

It easily takes a couple of hours to wander through its corridors and wings. The furniture and crockery are reminiscent of Salar Jung museum. There is also a vintage clock which chimes every hour (similar to the cuckoo clock in Salar Jung). In fact if you are strapped for time or not into museums, skip Salar Jung museum and visit this palace to get a taste of arts and lifestyle in that era.

Intricately carved window at Chowmahalla

Elegance at Chowmahalla

Royal durbar

Royal durbar with its massive chandeliers

Chandelier at Chowmahalla Palace closeup

As you exit the royal durbar palace, you will find arrangements for some function or the other. The grounds are rented for ceremonies and corporate functions. Wouldn’t it be lovely to exchange vows or get engaged against this gorgeous backdrop?

Chowmahalla Palace

The lawns beyond lead to the vintage clothes, cars , buggies and the royal living room where the royal guests used to be entertained.

Living room at chowmahalla palace

Arms collection at Chowmahalla Palace

Vintage buggies at Chowmahalla Palace

Vintage clothes at Chowmahalla Palace

Varun loved running around in the corridors and looking out through the large windows. He identified elephants, horses and tigers in the paintings and carvings. But he was most fascinated by the huge canons with carved dragons kept in the courtyard. One of us was constantly chasing him – such is travelling with a toddler.


Turret Tower

Sunset and closing time loomed on us. Pigeons swarmed together in the fading sun light. We walked by giant clock tower which is still maintained admiring the architecture, lemon and orange trees on the grounds; with a promise to come again – this time with more time to spare.

Clock Tower at Chowmahalla Palace

About rutujak

A travel addict, self confessed foodie and a mom trying to make SFO my home after a decade in Seattle and a stint in Hyderabad, India.

Posted on January 11, 2013, in Around Hyderabad, India, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Sorry for the late reply.

    Wonderful trip through the Nizam dynasty land mark and life style as presented here. I am ashamed to confess that having lived in Hyderabad for so long, didn’t get to live it. Thanks to the technology and generosity (taking time to visit, write, upload to share) such glory and pompous from the era – late 1700’s. Also, the fact that Khilwat Clock, the long hanging ceiling fans that still run till this day is a testimony to the people & perseverance managing the land mark Palace..

    Did you have an official guide escort you and family through the Palace ?

    Next time we are in Hyderabad, your posts will become a wonderful guide, that will serve as a guide to cover the missed gems.



    • I would be in the same boat wrt Mumbai ….haven’t really paid as much attention growing up. I don’t think Mumbai has as much architecture as Hyderabad. Let me know when you are in Hyderabad. We would love to meet you 🙂

  2. Hi R,V and V:
    Our 5yr. old Bhargavi will be excited to meet Varun, next time we are in Bharat. On a similar note, Chicago is welcoming any time of the year (See pictures below). Please remember, we are one email/tweet away. Here are destinations you’d like captured by my I-phone.

    Our visit to Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam (1st time), when my BIL hosted us in 2012 May. This can be a wonderful tourist destination. Enjoy Kailashgiri hill and Lord Shiva’s abode of Botanical wonder from Visakhapatnam.


    Sorry for the inclusion of our family pictures that are embedded. However, my presumption is you have not covered either of the above tourist destinations yet !!

    Good evening

  1. Pingback: Things To Do Around Hyderabad | Living Large on Tiny Lot

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