Friday, February 19, 2016

Walked the walk of royals @ Falaknuma





pic source :google images

Last  evening,  I walked  the  walk of royals at  one of the prestigious and royal addresses of the world, The Falaknuma palace. This had been on my bucket list ever since I saw a similar picture like the  above pic in a magazine when   it was thrown open to the public in 2010.   Yesterday, we were  guests at a wedding  fashion fiesta  organized by a leading  Indian designer (courtesy my daughter) on the lawns of the palace overlooking the northern façade, what  left me spellbound was not the show but the  allure of the bygone era.  I am yet to regain my senses and get back to this fast world. Try I will to recount what I saw for I am not sure some experiences can be written or told, they are simply felt.


The Falaknuma palace, handed down through generations  was once the royal residence of Nizam Mehboob Ali Khan. However, after being a  venue of  royal living and playing host to royalty and celebrities from all over the globe, the Falaknuma fell silent after the 1950s when the Nizam moved to his next abode. The last guest at Falaknuma was the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad in 1951. 

After a hiatus of 50 years and After 10 years of research, this palace has been sensitively restored to create a state of the art luxury hotel by fusing the old with the new. The restoration work and preservation of the priceless art and artefacts were carried under the guidance of Princess Esra who has brought back its original magnificience. The palace has since been leased to The Taj group since 2010.


It was to this palace located in old city   that we started in day light at 5  but it was twilight and the city lights came on when we were around Charminar at 6.30. The route to this area through Charminar although crowded with people and vehicles makes you feel that the place is suspended in the past. There are signs of decay on the buildings , the mildew, the weathered ornate wooden arches, windows on the buildings lends an  aura and throws you back into a  time travel of charming past.

5 Kms past Charminar, We drive up through “ kohitoor hill” for a few mintues  and we are stopped at the palace gates by security. After the security formalities, we are taken in a buggy to the western wing. I stood there thinking that this was not what I had seen in the picture  and slowly walked around to the left where there was a landing. From there I went to take a glimpse of the city down below and turned around … and  I went  Whoa!!  



Exactly what I had seen in the above picture…..What an architectural gem and definitely different from the palaces that I had seen which had domes.   The focus lights toggled adding more layers to this beauty. I  Simply stood there  soaking the beauty, after a while tried to capture the beauty through my hand phone lens, but failed miserably with a few attempts. Not wanting to waste the time as I had to attend the show in a few minutes time, I walked over to the end of the landing and what unfolded beneath me sent me into a trance. Absolutely stunning, the whole city spread before me like twinkling lights and the sky was sprawled with twinkling stars. As it was away from the city and the palace lighting was minimal, the stars were visible . It looked just like  a mirror image. Although the palace was named Falaknuma ( mirror in the sky) for another reason, this sight alone I felt befitted the name. Absolutely indescribable !!    My son looked up  to the balcony above the landing,  (perhaps the east wing, I am not sure) and said, The nizam must have had a view of the city from there daily. Not sure about that also, but it sure would have been a beautiful sight then too.

We came back to the landing again in front of the palace and looked down  at the lawns below, holding the railing. The venue of the fashion fiesta was all set to unfold and so after a mini party went to the lawns to watch the show. And when the show ended  with the show stopper and others showcasing the bridal wear, their assembly on stage with the backdrop of the palace truly transported me to a bygone era.


I walked the walk of the nixams, although I could not soak in the opulence of the interiors, This visit ticked one more off from my bucket list. 

Here are a few pictures  from my Phone, collaging the pictures will rob the beauty of the structure moreover my hand phone has not done justice,  so putting them individually.....











                                                    When the focus  lights toggled



                                                 City lights ( a shaken picture


  The venue of the show close up and see the city lights beyond.
                   A picture of the show venue  below from the landing in front of the palace above.
   one of the entrances to the left wing, don't miss the ornate wood work arching the doorways.

4 comments:

  1. Falaknuma is absolutely stunning. The way it has been faithfully restored is almost textbook.

    Did you do the tour of the inside ; they explain every element of history in the palace. It even has one of the first telephones in the country ! Very beautiful place.

    You should have stayed in the hotel for the night. A mere Rs 20 or Rs 30 K !!!

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    Replies
    1. on weekday there is no tour inside as it would be disturbing to the resident guests we were told, so did'nt try going in but maybe some weekend we will plan on this tour inside. I remember you mentioning that you have seen this place on my chowmahalla post. must have been a nice experience for you too.

      yes 38k onwards till 1.6k ....no :) my home is nice:)

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  2. Have heard a lot about the magnificence and grandeur of Falaknuma Palace. Hope to see its new look sometimes soon. Thanks for the virtual tour, Asha :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes shilpa, You must see atleast once.

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