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Located within the heart of old Hyderabad to the south west of Charminar and Mecca Masjid, the Chowmahalla Palace was the royal seat of the Asaf Jah rulers (1724 to 1948) for the most magnificent period of their reign.

Thisspectacular palace, among the finest royal edifices in India, served as the venue for most of the ceremonial functions of the Asaf Jahi dynasty where the Nizams held gala state receptions and entertained British Viceroys and imperial emissaries for nearly two centuries. This is the Palace where the banquets were held so lavish that it took the servants a month’s time to just clean the crockery & cutlery. This Palace stands out for its intrinsic grandeur and invincible power. It is the replica of Shah of Iran’s Palace and was compared by the historians as a ‘Palace of Arabian Nights’.

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The complex exhibits two distinct architectural styles – the Palladian Neo-Classicism of the mid 18th century royal palaces of the southern courtyard and the Islamic Revivalist style of the 19th century structures of the northern courtyard. The Palace Complex was clearly structured by the courtyards and the sequential progression through the courtyards was clearly reflective of the social hierarchy of the royal complex. ‘Chow’ is the Urdu word for four, and ‘Mahal’ means palace. Chow-Mahalla refers to the four palaces that comprise the complex. The Chowmahalla Palace spells ambience, elegance and opulence on an unparalleled scale. The four palaces – Aftab, Afzal, Mahtab and Tahniyat Mahals – are replete with elegant, formal courtyards, landscaped gardens, a fountain system that also serves as a reflecting pool, all capped by open, inviting spaces that are an aesthetic treat. The Chowmahalla palace is now a centre stage for top cultural events and performing arts and is much sought venue for social & cultural functions.

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Hyderabad in History:
Do you know who salvaged the unique frescoes of Ajanta Caves (near Aurangabad in Maharashtra) from decay and centuries long oblivion and restored to their present shape. It was Nawab Mir Osman Ali khan, Nizam the VII of Hyderabad. In 1913, the Nizam issued a farman approving: (1) The establishment of the Department of Archaeology for a period of three years with an annual expenditure of Rupees Nine thousand seven hundred and ninety five (2) Summoning a foreign expert and (3) Meeting the entire expenditure from Government funds.

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Professor Lorenzo Cecconi from Italy was brought in to repair the paintings on his conditions, namely: (1) Payment of remuneration of three thousand two hundred pounds for eight months (including two months for transit); (2) Payment of traveling allowance and boarding charges for the entire eight months; (3) The remuneration to be paid in eight installments; and (4) Payment of sea fare and boarding charges to an assistant who would accompany him.

Nizam the VII, the last Asaf Jahi monarch of Hyderabad, was a ruler with secular thinking. Historically the Ajanta Caves had nothing to do with Muslims or Islam. But still the Nizam left no stone unturned in taking care of the unique monumental relics. #KhabarLive