I got an opportunity to go to Falaknuma palace in Hyderabad during one of my Photo-tours around Hyderabad for a guest from Switzerland. Being at close proximity to the Charminar (just 4 km) it is such a starking contrast - amazingly tranquil as compared to the crowded streets there.
About the Palace
Falaknuma Palace Taj (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.
History of Falaknuma Palace
Inspired by the European palaces, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad, Sir Viqar-ul-Umra decided to make something similar.
Designed by British architect - William Mard Marret, the construction started in 1884.
Sir Viqar invited the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad - Mir Mahbub Ali Khan to the palace to stay here for a few days. He loved the palace so much that Sir Viqar offered it to him. The Nizam graciously accepted the offer after paying an amount.
The 60 rooms and 22 halls some of the finest collections of the Nizam.
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.
I came to know from known sources how much efforts they had put to restore the palace to its original condition. They had ordered the furnishings and upholsteries from the same manufactures, most of them located in Europe.
What is Falaknuma Palace famous for?
The palace is famous for the largest dining table in the world. With a capacity to seat 101 guests, the table is 108 feet in length. The Nizam used this table to host dinner for his royal guests.
Falaknuma Palace Tour Entry Fee
There is nothing like an entry fee as such, but to have a tour in the palace, you have to come here for high tea or for dinner. The palace is open to public for high tea for for dinner or for weddings. The rates can be on the higher side for most.
Falaknuma Palace High Tea / Dinner Cost
The evening tea costs about Rs. 4500/- per person and the dinner about Rs.6500/- per person. Prior booking is required. You can book via your travel agent.
To check the latest rates, please visit the Taj Falaknuma Offcial Website
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.
Falaknuma Palace Photoshoot
Photography is not allowed for any visitor in the rooms inside. However, you can take pictures in the open spaces from outside. If you are staying there, of course, you can take pictures of your rooms.
Enjoy my Falaknuma Palace Images
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? Recently, this table was in news when Ivanka Trump came to India. She had dinner with Prime Minister Modi here.
It was time for us to leave but we managed a few shots of the palace from outside. Tripods are not allowed but I did these 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.
ThanksgivingThanks to Bernhard Zuest for choosing me to accompany him for his travels during his visit to India. I hope you enjoyed the trips.
All rights reserved. No copying without permission of the author Saurabh Chatterjee