The Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad was once the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, the construction of the palace was ordered by the fourth Nizam, Salabat Jung in 1750. However, the project was completed under the supervision of Nizam Afzar-ud- Dawla Bahadur in 1869. The name Chowmahalla means four palaces (chow being a variation of chār or chahār, meaning four; and mahala meaning palace). The erstwhile home of the Nizams of Hyderabad underwent restoration and repair over a period of five years from 2005 to 2010 (under the patronage of Princess Esra), in order to make it more engaging for public viewing. The palace, which mirrors the architecture of Shah’s Palace in Tehran, was also recognised by UNESCO in 2010 for being exceptional in cultural heritage conservation. It is still owned by the heirs of the Nizams, and is currently the property of Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah.

The complex consists of 4 palaces as part of the southern courtyard, Aftab Mahal, Afzal Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Mahtab Mahal, arranged around a central fountain and pool. The northern courtyard consists of the Bara Imam, a long corridor of rooms on the east side facing the central fountain and pool that once housed the administrative wing. Opposite the Bara Imam lies the Shishe-Alat, meaning mirror image, of the Bara Imam.

The heart of the Chowmahalla Palace is the Khilwat Mubarak. It is particularly famous for the ornate work on its walls and ceilings, a mechanical clock that has been functioning for over 250 years, the 19 chandeliers of Belgian crystal in the Durbar Hall and the marble platform on which the Takht-e-Nishan (royal seat) was placed. It was in the Durbar Hall that the Nizams held their durbar (court) and other religious and symbolic ceremonies.

The Council Hall has been converted into a museum with a rare collection of manuscripts and priceless books on display. The Nizam often met important officials and dignitaries here. Today it is a venue for temporary exhibitions from the treasures of the Chowmahalla Palace collection. The museum also has paintings, photographs, textiles, books, religious objects, maps and arms on display for public viewing. The Buggie Khaana houses the collection of the various Nizams’ vintage cars and is open to the public.

Quick Facts

20-4-236, Motigalli, Khilwat, Hyderabad, Telangana - 500002

Visiting Time:

Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Entry Fees:

Adults: Rs.50/-
Children: Rs 10/- (for children below 12 years)
Foreign Tourists: Rs. 200/-