The city of pearls, Hyderabad is not just famous for its biryani and Charminar but also its history. The Chowmahalla Palace takes you on a beautiful ride into the Asaf Jahi dynasty popularly known as the Nizams and the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad while they ruled their state lives of the Nizams of Hyderabad.

The Chowmahalla Palace belonged to the Nizams of Hyderabad and was their official residence while they ruled their state.

In 1950, the construction of the Chowmahalla Palace was commissioned by Salabat Jung, the fourth Nizam of Hyderabad. It was Nizam Afzar-ud-Dawla Bahadur, the fifth Nizam of Hyderabad who oversaw its completion between 1857 and 1869.  The construction almost took more than 100 years to get completed.

The palace was opened to public visits in January 2005 and has been one of the top tourist places to visit in Hyderabad. On 15 March 2010, the UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation was presented to the Chowmahalla Palace.


Chowmahalla Palace is one of the most beautiful architectural sites in Hyderabad. The palace reflects various styles such as Persian, European, Indo-Saracenic, and Rajasthani into its architecture.

Chowmahalla Palace comprises of courtyards, prolific gardens, and elegant fountains. In Persian-Arabic, Chowmahalla Palace means ‘four palaces’. The Southern Courtyard comprises of four palaces, which led to the name of Chowmahalla. The four palaces are the Afzal Mahal, Aftab Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, and Tahniyat Mahal.

Inside Chowmahalla Palace

The Khilwat Mubarak or the Durbar Hall is said to be the heart of the Chowmahalla palace and one of the most beautiful palaces on the ground. It is said to be an elaborately pillared hall adorned by  Mughal domes and arches and many Persian elements like the ornate stucco work where the Nizams held their royal court. Nineteen mesmerizing Belgian Chandeliers were recently added to bring back some of the lost charms. The Nizams held their durbar and other religious symbolic ceremonies.

The clock above the main gate to Chowmahalla Palace is called the Khilwat Clock. It has been ticking away for approximately 250 years.  Every week, this clock is winded to keep it from not stopping. The people of the locality wait for its chimes and correct their watches by the accuracy of the Khilwat Clock’s timing.

Inside Chowmahalla Palace

The present Nizam Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah decided to restore the Chowmahalla Palace and open it to the public in January 2005. It almost took 5 years to document and restore the palace to its former glory and reputation.

The Council Hall at the Chowmahalla Palace holds a rare collection of manuscripts and invaluable books. The Nizam often met important officials and dignitaries here.

The palace boasts of a fleet of vintage cars that were used by the Nizams. The 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Buggee display is the main highlight for tourists visiting the palace.

One of the great witnesses of the glorious history of our country, do visit it while touring Hyderabad.