Sunday, February 13, 2011



  • The Falaknuma palace has other unique things to its credit. It includes the largest collection of Venetian chandeliers. It is said that it took six months to clean a 138-arm Osler chandelier and the palace has 40 such chandeliers adorning the halls.

  •  The telephone and electrical system was introduced in 1883 by Osler and the palace has one of the largest electrical switchboards in India.

  • Since the palace was the private property of the Nizam family until recently, visitors weren't allowed. Occasionally, however, the venue is opened for public.



  • One of the highlight's of the palace is the state reception room, whose ceiling is decorated with frescoes and gilded relief's. The ballroom contains a two-ton manually operated organ said to be the only one of its kind in the world.

  • The palace has as many as 220 lavishly decorated rooms and 22 spacious halls. It has some of the finest treasures collections of the Nizam. Falaknuma houses a large collection of rare treasures including paintings, statues, furniture, manuscripts and books.
  • The Jade collection of the Palace is considered to be unique in the world.The famed dining hall of the palace could seat 100 guests on its dining table. The furniture was very aesthetic. The chairs were made of carved rosewood with green leather upholstery. The tableware was made of gold and crystal to which fluted music was added.

  • The palace has a library with a walnut carved roof, a replica of the one at Windsor Castle. The library had one of the finest collections of the Quran in India.

  • The ground floor of the palace housed the living quarters. A marbled staircase leads to the upper floor. It has carved balustrades, which supports marble figurines with candelabra at intervals.

  • On the walls of the landing are excellent oil paintings of :
            (1) H.H The Nizam VI, Nawab Mir Mahaboob Ali Khan Bahadur.
            (2) H.E The Shams ul Umra II, Amir e Kabir I, Amir e Paigah II,     Prime Minister of Hyderabad(Grand Father of Sir Vicar ul Umra)
            (3) Nawab Shams ul Umra IV, Amir e Kabir III, Amir e Paigah,Nawab Rahiduddin Khan Bahadur (Father of Sir Vicar ul Umra).
            (4) H.E Nawab Mohammed Fazaluddin Khan,Iqbal ud Dowla, Sir Vicar ul Umra Bahadur (Vikar Ul Oomra,"VO"), Amir e Paigah(1881- 1902) Prime Minister of Hyderanad (1893-1901).
            (5) Nawab Sultan ul Mulk Bahadur, Amir e Paigah 1902-1949(Eldest son of Sir Vicar ul Umra Bahadur).
            (6) H.E Nawab Sir Salar Jung I Prime minister of Hyderabad 1853-1883.
            (7) Maharaja Narain Pershad Narainder Bahadur Raja e Rajayan, Peshkar and photographs of notable personages forming a very interesting historical picture gallery which adds greatly to the imposing effect of the staircase.






  • Amir e Paigah Sir Vicar Ul Umra(Prime minister of Hyderabad and Berar) used this Palace as his private residence till it changed owners and the palace was handed over to H.H.The 6th Nizam of Hyderabad in ~1897-1898.

  • Sir Vicar ul Umra or Sir Vikar UL Oomra apart from being the Prime Minister of Hyderabad was also the Amir of Paigah and was the meternal grandson of H.H. The Nizam III Nawab Sikandar Jah Bahadur. He was married to H.H Nizam VI Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan's older sister Princess Jahandarunnisa Begam Sahiba also known as Lady Vicar ul Umra.( The monograme VO, short form of Vikar ul Omra is seen on every part and the furniture of the palace.

  • The Falaknuma Palace was so costly to build, that even Sir Vicar Ul Umra had to borrow money to complete it and realized that he had gone beyond his means. His very intelligent wife, Lady Vicar ul umra, thought up of a solution and advised her husband to invite HEH Mehboob Ali Pasha Nizam VI to the Palace. As anticipated, the Nizam liked the palace so much that he extended his stay and this prompted Sir Viqar to offer that if his sovereign liked the palace he would be honoured to give it to him. The Nizam liked the gesture but being the grand man he was, he had his treasurer send the entire amount spent on the palace to Sir Viqar, thus easing his paigah noble from a financial crunch.( ref "The days of the Beloved" Berkley University Press.) The Nizam VI in 1897 used the palace as a royal guest house as it had a commanding view of the entire city.



  •  Falaknuma Palace is one of the finest palaces in Hyderabad, India belonging to the Paigahs but later owned by the Nizams.

  • It is located on a 32 acre, 19400 square meters area. It is located in Falaknuma, 5 km from Charminar was built by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, the then Prime Minister of Hyderabad ( He was also Uncle and Brother in law of H.H. The Nizam VI,Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Bahadur).Falak-numa literally means "Like the Sky" or "Mirror of the Sky" in Urdu.



  • An English architect designed this palace and the foundation for the construction was laid by H.E. Sir Vicar Ul Umra Bahadur on 3 March 1884. It took 9 years to complete the construction and furnishing the Palace(Sir Vicar moved into the Gol Bangla and Zanana Mahel of The Falaknuma Palace in December 1889 and closely monitored the finishing work at the Mardana Portion of Falaknuma).

  •  It was totally made with Italian marble and it covers a total area of 9,39,712-sq-metre.The palace is laid out in the shape of a scorpion with two stings spread out as wings on the north. The middle part is occupied by the main building and the kitchen Gol Bangla,Zenana mehal and harem quarters stretch to the south.

  • The Nawab being an avid traveller, various influences show on the palace architecture. The Falaknuma palace is a rare blend of Italian and Tudor architecture. Its glass stained windows throw a spectrum of colors into the rooms.




  •  The Paigah Nawab ensured that the once well-furnished villa was a perfect place to unwind for the nobles tired from hunting down animals, big and small that came their way. No wonder it was one of the favorite resorts of the Sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan. He never missed staying here, as the castle was strategically located enroute to Saroornagar and its surrounding areas, his chosen place for hunting big game.

  •   After a few stays, he liked the villa and Sir Asman Jah in true Paigah style, could never say no to the ruler who was also his brother-in-law. Thus from the Paigahs the palace passed on to the Nizams. The idyllic setting of the palace, perhaps made the Seventh Nizam, choose it for initially locating the Osmania University campus , much before the present site at what was a village, Adikmet.

  • The palace remained idle for a long time after the momentous political changes of the past century until the Birlas took over the building for locating the Birla Archaeological Museum and Research Centre.
  •  The Paigah noble is credited with ushering sweeping changes in the administration and revenue departments besides improving the financial condition of the State and giving a boost to indigenous industry. The Irrigation Board was set up and several new projects introduced for the benefit of farmers. He was among the few nobles from Hyderabad to represent the Nizam at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria.

  •   A high point of his visit to London, was the Queen pinning the Jubilee Medal on him and the reception he was given by the Prince of Wales. From London, he proceeded to other major cities of Europe. On the occasion of his receiving the knighthood, A.P. Powell, the then British Resident of Hyderabad, spoke in glowing terms about him.