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Chowmahalla Palace


One of the most ancient heritage buildings of Hyderabad, the Chowmahalla Palace is a must-see. 'Chahar' or 'chow' means four, and mahal means palace; hence the name stands for "four palaces".

The building belonged to the Nizams of the state, and was used to host ceremonial functions such as accessions, receptions of the British generals, etc., during their reign. Historians reveal that it is an exact replica of the palace of the Shah of Iran in Tehran. In 2010 the Chowmahalla Palace was felicitated with the prestigious Asia Pacific Merit award for conservation of cultural heritage. The plaque was handed over to the current GPA holder, Princess Esra, the honorary wife of the Prince Mukharam Jah Bahadur.

History and Architecture

The palace construction was initiated by Salabat Jung Bahadur in 1750, and was completed during the rule of Afzal Asaf Jah in 1869. The architecture of this beautiful palace has the impact of the Persian, Rajasthani, and Indo Saracenic and European styles. Both the northern as well as southern courtyards are beautifully decorated with lavish gardens and cascading fountains. Interestingly, the southern part of the Palace is the oldest, with four palaces inside, namely the Aftab Mahal, Afzal Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and the Mahtab Mahal. The northern courtyard consists of the Bara Imam, which is an array of rooms starching across a long corridor which used to be the administrative wing once upon a time, and the central fountain with a pool. Just opposite the Bara Imam, one may find its mirror image or the Shishe Alat. The heart of the palace is the Khilwat Mubarak, which was the seat of the rulers during the Asaf Jahi Dynasty. The Durbar Hall has huge pillars and a marble platform, where the Takht-e-Nishan (The Royal Seat) was placed. The structure also has a wide collection of the rare books and historic manuscripts, which are kept in the Council Hall.


10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Since the palace was under the control of the Nizams who were mainly Muslims, Fridays are auspicious days for them. As a result, tourists are not allowed to enter the palace on Fridays. Otherwise, the doors of this royal legacy are open for all. However, national holidays must be avoided as the palace remains closed during those days as well.

Entry fee

  • Rs. 25 for Indian nationals, with Rs. 10 for children.
  • Rs. 150 for foreign nationals.
  • Rs. 100 extra for photography and video camera.


Chowmahalla Palace is centrally located in Hyderabad, and is easily accessible from all corners of the city. It is situated very close to Charminar, which is itself a well known tourist attraction in Hyderabad. One needs to simply look for the Khilwath Road of Moti Gali near the place. This central location was one of the prime reasons for the Nizams hold their durbars at the Chowmahalla Palace.

How to reach

Chowmahalla Palace´╗┐ is in one of the centrally located areas of the city. A little asking around will guide tourists to the place with ease. Charminar, the most famous tourist spot in Hyderabad, can be used as a landmark. One can take a bus or a cab or even local rickshaws to reach the palace. If someone wants to reach the palace from other states, interstate buses are readily available. Trains run on a regular basis to Hyderabad from all major cities of the country.

Last Updated on : 16/10/2013