Nizam's palace likely to have new owner soon

According to information here, Mukarram Jah, the  grandson of Osman Ali Khan, is negotiating with well-known builders to sell the palace which is one of the notified heritage structures of the city.

Seventy-six-year-old Mukarram Jah who lives in Istanbul, Turkey, was reportedly in Hyderabad last week to finalise negotiations to sell the palace which is part of the sprawling palace complex known as King  Kothi Palace. Three builders have been reportedly shortlisted and held negotiations but no deal has been struck as yet, it is learnt.

Since the palace is a notified heritage structure, it cannot be either demolished or changed drastically. It can be only be repaired maintaining its architectural character and put to use. The most famous of Hyderabad’s palaces, Falaknuma Palace is being turned into a hotel, while Chowmohalla Palace has been turned into a tourist destination after being repaired and restored at the cost of several crores in association with the state Tourism Department.

According to informed sources here, the Nazri Bagh Palace, that stands on five acres of land, can fetch Rs 100-150 crore.

No sense
However, heritage experts point out that land value according to the prevailing market rate makes no sense since land use around the structure is restricted and the structure cannot be tampered with much less demolished. Besides, the restoration costs are exorbitantly high.

The King Kothi Palace complex that houses Nazri Bagh palace has three main buildings. The eastern half of the palace that was used by the Nizam for ceremonial purposes was taken over by the government in lieu of taxes and now houses a hospital. The third building, Usman Mansion was demolished in the early 80s and in its place a new hospital building is constructed by the state government.

The western half comprises the main residential building, that is Nazri Bagh or Mubarak and still belongs to the Nizam’s private estate. The main entrance to Nazri Bagh always had a curtain draped across it. When Nizam went out of the palace, the purdah was lifted up which indicated that the king was not at home. The last Nizam ruled till 1948 when the Hyderabad kingdom was acceded to Indian Union. He died in this building in 1967 and is buried in the mosque opposite to the Nazri Bagh.

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