I had always wanted to visit Chowmahalla Palace but never had a chance to visit this architectural beauty. Staying away from Hyderabad, I did not get a chance to visit the tourist spots because of my short visits to see my family. Now that I am back to India and Hyderabad for good, it gives me a chance to visit the places I always wanted to. My visit to Chowmahalla Palace was an unplanned one.
I left home early for some important work and had left really early to complete it. I was dejected when I realized that I had forgotten an important document without which I could not complete this work. That is when I decided to make my day fruitful by making myself happy. So I boarded an auto for Chowmahalla Palace, which is located in old city. The auto driver dropped me at the gate. I was short of change and was not sure how to pay the driver. Just then a man sitting in a clothing store understood our situation and called the driver to hand over the change. I thanked him and the driver and looked for the entrance to the Palace. Two men who were not at all connected with the palace showed me the way and I felt so much like a tourist in my own city. I entered the palace and bought the entrance ticket for Rs. 100 and camera ticket for Rs 50.
In most Indian tourist places, if you want to use your camera, you are charged. You should keep both the tickets safely until you exit the spot as it may be checked after the main entrance check too.
I entered the palace and saw two corridors on either side of the palace and a fountain in the center. I walked into the left corridor and explored a photo studio where you can dress up as one of the queens of the ancient era and get clicked for Rs 200. The studio provides the clothing and accessories. I decided to come back here later with my friends as I felt it is more fun to do such activities with friends.
I entered the main palace and was greeted with beautiful and huge chandeliers. I clicked pictures from all angles but pictures couldn’t justify what I see with my eyes. There are doors on both sides and I entered the door on the left which led to a gallery. The gallery had pictures of the Nizams, handwritten letters written by and to the Nizams and other artifacts.
After exiting the gallery, a flight of stairs takes you to the upper chamber where you can find the crockery and other things used by the Nizams. This crockery collection was from all over the world. It was interesting to notice the difference in design, shape, and art on the crockery based on the countries they came from.
I came down to enter another gallery full of weaponry used during the Nizam’s time. I liked the way it was displayed on the wall. A printed guide on the weapons is also displayed on the wall.
I left the main palace to enter another hall where the Nizams clothing was on display. I loved the display and the green chandeliers. It was a quiet place and I saw few men cleaning the glasses. It was nice to see that the palace was well maintained and people working there were doing a good job apart from welcoming people warmly.
Once you exit this hall, you can enter another area of the palace, the interiors of which is grand. It somehow reminded me of our famous Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat. The entry to this area is restricted.
The next spot was the area, where old vehicles were on display. It looked grand and royal. We do spot such vehicles on Hyderabad roads sometimes, especially near Nizam college.
It was now time to go back home. You have to walk all the way back to the main entrance to exit. Though it gives a chance to see the palace again, I thought it would have been great if there was another exit especially for people who have children or any ailments and cannot walk back after touring the Palace.
I reached the exit and before I decided what to do next a hoard of auto drivers surrounded me and asked, “Madam, kahan jaana aapko”?. I selected the auto driver who had helped me get the change in the morning. I was not aware at that time that he was also an auto driver. He was courteous and did not pressurize me to board his auto. Goodness always pays; in this case, I returned the driver’s goodness by choosing him over other drivers.
- If you are new to India and decide to board an auto, make sure you decide on the fare beforehand. Most drivers always say that their meters are not working. Apart from autos, you can also book a taxi using Ola or Uber apps. If you are the adventurous sorts, Hyderabad also boasts of a great public transport system, which connects the city very well. You can take a one day bus pass and travel as you like too!
- There are many other tourists spot around Chowmahalla Palace such as Charminar, Lad Bazar, Mecca Masjid. So plan your trip such that you can combine two or more spots.