The cream-gold and beige Chowmahalla Palace was found a ten minute drive away from Charminar. But the news was actually delightful because the invaders are an army of pigeons!
As you enter this very stunning palace which looks like it has been dressed up by Vogue in very simple, gold and milk white tints, you are first greeted by the invaders - pigeons adorned in their own shimmer of blue-grey, white, biscuit and cream and sitting around the amazing hall (Khilwat Mubarak) of 19 chandeliers like they own it!
In every ledge and window sill, dome and arch of splendor, sit pigeons companionably, in pairs, snoozing or watching the visitors gawking at the chandelier magnificence.
The pigeons are also on the roof of this palace, adding their blue-grey and white calm and innocence to it, reminding us that Hyderabad is the pigeon loving city and ornaments its windows and doors and all public places with this soothing bird's grace.
It takes some time to get used to drinking in awesome chandeliers with 100's of pigeons noting every move! And then you are finally wooed by the feathered, gentle, grey-blue princesses who are holding this palace captive!
And not even one chandelier has been harmed by the birds while some very naughty boys trying to grab at the treasures around had to be restrained by the staff.
The palace has many beautiful paintings and vintage cars, ancient treasures like a watch that tells the time for visitors, kitchen ware, glorious walls and windows etc. but you are only held captive by the pigeons roosting over a palace that seems to hide inside its golden and white peace and its family of chandeliers having stolen the peacock green, silver-gold pages off the leaves of the best Rex Begonias in the Universe.
The 19 awesome chandeliers live in the Khilwat Mubarak, the heart of the palace, with pure marble platforms where the Nizams held their darbars!
Chowmahalla Palace (4 palaces) was the home of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, the official residence of the Nizams. It is supposed to imitate the Shal of Iran’s palace in Tehran.
The cost of the visit is a paltry Rs. 25 for Indians and Rs. 150 for foreigners, and another Rs. 25 if you want to photograph the palace and its dove grey princesses: the safe and solemn body guards of the Nawab’s treasures!