I got an opportunity to go to Taj Falaknuma Palace during one of my Photo-tours around Hyderabad for a guest from Switzerland. Being at close proximity from the Charminar (just 4 kms) it is such a starking contrast – amazingly tranquil as compared to the crowded streets there.
About the Palace –
Falaknuma Palace (literally – ‘mirror of the sky’) is undoubtedly one of the finest palaces in Hyderabad. Located at a height of 2000 feet, it is built in 32 acres of land it is in the shape of a scorpion.
Designed by British architect – William Mard Marret, this palace was initially used by Sir Vicar (prime minister of Hyderabad and Berar) as a private residence and later used by the Nizam of Hyderabad as a royal guest house.
The palace has 60 lavishly decorated rooms and 22 spacious halls. It has some of the finest collections of the Nizam treasure. Falaknuma houses a large collection of rare treasures including paintings, statues, furniture, manuscripts and books.
The palace was closed from the early 50s to 2000. It was then leased to Taj Hotels for 30 years by the Nizam Prince Mukkaram Jah Bahadur when it underwent massive restoration work. Princess Esra Jah spearheaded the restoration work to its original shape.
We booked for evening tea which is the economical way to witness the grandeur of the place. A golf cart took us to the main entrance.
If you want to live a life like a king for a couple of days, this is the place to be. The in-house guests are carried to the promenade of the palace and this must be an unforgettable experience.
Tea with veg and non-veg snacks was served to us. I spent some time sipping tea but I was getting a bit restless get started to click the beauty of the palace – our purpose of being there.
The view of the city from here is just amazing.
As the sun sets down, the view gets better.
In the evening, local musicians perform Quawwali – a form of Sufi devotional music.
The lights illuminated the palace to make it look even more exquisite.
The palace rooms were beyond imagination.
This 33 meter dining table is one of the highlights of the palace. Can you imagine, 101 guests having dinner in gold plates?
It was time for us to leave but we managed a few shot of the palace from outside. Tripods are not allowed but I did this pictures in my usual way – placing the camera on the ground and using the timer.
Tips for Photographers:
1. If you are going mainly to take pictures, don’t go with groups, go with your best photographer friend.
2. Photography is not allowed in these rooms, but we could manage a few from outside.
3. No tripod is allowed
4. Advance booking is compulsory, plan you trip ahead.
Taj Falaknuma Palace Website
Address: Engine Bowli, Falaknuma, Hyderabad-500054, Andhra Pradesh India
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. You can read more about my experiences in my blog here.
Thanks to Bernhard Zuest for choosing me to accompany him for his travels during his visit to India. I hope you enjoyed the trips.
This is a video which will provide you a glimpse of the palace –
This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.