5 km from Char Minar, Engine Bowli, Falaknuma
Best time to visit
October to February
One of the finest palaces of India, Falaknuma Palace is a popular luxury heritage hotel of Hyderabad. Spread in an area of 32 acres, this palace originally belonged to Paigah Hyderabad State and then came to one of Hyderabad’s Nizam, Mohammed Abeed. This wonderful structure was commissioned by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, Hyderabad’s prime minister as well as the uncle and brother-in-law of the Nizam VI, Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Bahadur. Placed 2000 feet above the city, the palace is the former residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. The grandeur and the magnificence of Falaknuma take you back into the days of Nizams and Begums.
Spread in an area of 32 acres, the palace was constructed by Sir Nawab Vikar-Ul Umra, a nobleman from the Paigah family. In the olden times, even the Hyderabadi noblemen were allowed to make their own palaces. Particularly this architectural gem caught the eye of Mehboob Ali Pasha, the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad and the then owner Sir Vikar who was also his prime minister had the only option of giving away the Palace as a gift.
The construction of the palace began in the year 1984 and the completion took 10 years. Falaknuma palace’s cost was around 4 million rupees. This beautiful structure was designed by British architect William Mard Marret and was finally owned by PM of the Hyderabad State, Sir Vicar-Ul-Umra. In 1895 Mehboob Ali Pasha, the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad took the Palace as his fancy and till 1911, Falaknuma was the residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Thereafter, it became a guesthouse for the Nizam’s royal guests and other dignitaries.
In 2000, Prince Nizam Mukkaram Jah Bahadur leased out the palace to the Taj hotels for renovation and converted it into a luxury heritage hotel of Hyderabad. The restoration process was looked after by Princess Esra Jah, the first wife of the VII Nizam. She also built a small palace for herself close to the old building.
Architecture of Falaknuma Palace
The foundation of Falaknuma Palace was laid on 3rd March 1884. The Mardana and Zenana section of the palace are done in Italian Marble. The Mardana portion spreads in an area of 93, 971 m. Built in the shape of a scorpion, the palace has 2 wings that are spread out in the north. While the main building is the middle part, the Southern portion has Gol Bangla, harem quarters, Zenana Mahal and the kitchen. The royal taste of the Nizams is pretty evident in the architecture and the décor. An extraordinary mix of Tudor and Italian architectural style, the palace has stained glass windows that exude colorful lights in the rooms. One of India’s largest switchboards is here inside the palace.
The ballroom here is huge. The state reception room with its decorated ceiling, gilded reliefs and frescos is one of the highlights here. Stunning 22 halls and 60 rooms are absolutely luxurious and are storehouses of striking collection of artifacts by the Nizam. The lavish interiors of the palace consist of books, statues, rare paintings, manuscripts and furniture. The palace’s jade collection is a priceless possession and one of the finest in the world.
The dining hall can accommodate 100 guests at one time on its huge table with chairs that are festooned with rosewood carvings and have green leather upholstery. The table is gigantic- 2.7 feet in height, 108 feet in length and 5.7 feet in breadth. The cutlery is in crystal and gold.
The library of Falaknuma Palace is modeled on the library of UK’s Windsor Castle and has carved walnut roof. It houses a fine collection of Quran in India. On the palace’s ground floor is the living quarters and a marble stairway leads you to the first floor. The stairway is a decorated one with marble figurines and carved balustrades. For the billiards room of the palace England’s popular brand Burroughs and Watts designed 2 identical tables. One of the tables today is in the palace and the other one is in UK’s Buckingham Palace.
The largest collection of Venetian chandeliers, rippling fountains, antique furniture, stained glass windows, magnificent marble stairways, priceless statues and decorative prices, murals, portraits, a collection of crystal and Japanese, Rajasthani and Mughal styled gardens are possessions of Falaknuma Palace.
Renovation into a luxury hotel
In the year 2000, the Taj Group of Hotels Resorts and Palaces began the process of renovation and restoration of Falaknuma Palace. After renovation, Falaknuma Palace Hotel was opened for the guests in November 2010. Special care was taken so that after adding new decorations, the old-world charm of the times of the Nizams does not vanish away. Guests can admire handpicked tapestries, ornate furniture, use of special brocade from France, delicate frescos, huge chandeliers from Venetian in the interiors and special statues and paintings in the outdoor terraces. The Durbar hall is decorated with parquet flooring, carved ceilings, handcrafted mirrors and walnut furniture.
Falaknuma Palace hotel
One of the most popular heritage luxury hotels of Hyderabad, Falaknuma Palace Hotel is a place where the guest experience the popular grand hospitality of the Nizams clubbed with world-class modern comforts. The hotel has 60 spacious, airy and well-equipped guest rooms and suites that boast of comfortable furniture, plush furnishings, lavish bathrooms and all the special comforts. While the taste of the Nizams has been kept as it is it, contemporary facilities and services have been such as several dining venues serving sumptuous Indian and World fares, Jiva Spa, business and wedding spaces, fitness center, and more.