Chowmahalla Palace is an architectural marvel with elaborate and ornately decorated features throughout its vast grounds. Upon stepping into the regal palace and its gardens, you will become immediately aware that this was once the official residence of a ruling family. The Nizams of Hyderabad entertained here from the 1800s. Said to be a replica of the Shah’s Palace in Iran, Chowmahalla Palace is home to 12 acres (5 hectares) of courtyards, halls, fountains and gardens.
Chowmahalla Palace is actually made up of four separate palaces that run off connecting courtyards. The English translation of the site’s name is literally “four palaces.” Encounter the four different buildings through the oldest part of the complex, the Southern Courtyard. Visit the European-styled Aftab Mahal, the largest of the four buildings.
Stroll along the Northern Courtyard, a stylish outdoor corridor lined with rooms. See temporary exhibitions displaying past relics and riches at the Council Hall and browse the Durbar Hall at the centre of the Chowmahalla Palace. Admire its marble columns, chandeliers and Belgian crystal. Don’t miss the Clock Tower, with its clock that has been ticking since the palace’s inception over 150 years ago, and the palace’s collection of classic cars from the early 20th century.
Head out onto the grounds to capture photos of the stunning building reflected in the lake. Relax among the trees, plants and ponds.
The palace is open from morning until late afternoon except Fridays and national holidays. There is a small admission fee. If you are lucky enough to be invited to a wedding or corporate event, you’ll find the delicious food and beautiful music are fitting match to the luxurious surroundings.
Chowmahalla Palace is in the city centre, just to the south of the Musi River. It is served by public transportation, including the Shah Ali Banda and Charminar buses. Explore the Laad Bazaar to the north of the palace and negotiate with locals to purchase traditional jewellery.