Showing posts with label Hyderabad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hyderabad. Show all posts

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Falaknuma Palace: Gem of Hyderabad: --The Epitome of luxury Where Breath Will Stop.

Falaknuma Palace is the jewel in the crown of Hyderabad. Its shining glory, its very own signature luxury symbol is a heritage property dating back to 19th CE.


Quli Qutb Shah, established the city of Hyderabad in 1591. The Qutb Shahi dynasty ruled Hyderabad for nearly a century before it was captured by the Mughals.

It was in 1724 that Asif Jah, a Mughal viceroy, declared his sovereignty over Hyderabad and created his own dynasty which came to be known as the Nizams of Hyderabad.

Nizams constructed some of the historical buildings in different parts of Hyderabad city. One among them: A jewel among the clouds “Falaknuma Palace, spreading across 32 acres, this former palace of the Nizam, offers spectacular view of the Hyderabad skyline from each of its 60 luxurious rooms.


No photo and words can do justice to the beauty and charm of the palace, one has to visit the palace to feel this. The palace has been recognized by New York Times as among the 20 places in the world to visit once during one’s lifetime.

The Palace is famous for its various unique things, few among them are: --------

(1) The library at Falaknuma Palace is as majestic as Windsor Castle’s library in England. Modeled after Windsor Castle’s library, it treasures a large collection of rare manuscripts and books from the Nizam’s repertoire

(2) The 2 ton manually operated Piano in the ballroom. The Falaknuma Palace do have a very impressive collections of unique artifacts like Paintings, Furniture’s, Statues, Books and Manuscripts.

(3) The billiards table in the billiards room is one of the two pieces of its kind. The other is at the Buckingham Palace in London.
(4) In Falaknuma Palace, you will find a world’s unique jade collection which belongs to Nizam and his family

(5) The center of attraction is the colossal dining hall with the world’s longest table (108 feet) that can accommodate 100 people at a time.

(6) The Palace do have the amazing collection of Venetian Chandelier’s

(7) The Guest are welcomed in Nizam Style that means in a Buggy.

History of Falaknuma Palace
Sir Viqar ul-Umara, (1856–1902) was a dominant figure in Hyderabad and wanted a unique palace built for him, but building the palace almost bankrupted him. Rs. 40 lacs in 1893 was an astronomical sum even for kings.


He served as the Prime Minister of Hyderabad from 1893 to 1901 and Amir-e- Paigah 1881 to 1902.
Princess Esra and Mukarram Jah
History of Falaknuma Palace

Sir Viqar ul-Umara, (1856–1902) was a dominant figure in Hyderabad and wanted a unique palace built for him, but building the palace almost bankrupted him. Rs. 40 lacs in 1893 was an astronomical sum even for kings.

He served as the Prime Minister of Hyderabad from 1893 to 1901 and Amir-e- Paigah 1881 to 1902.


Viqar ul-Umara was the maternal grandson of the Nizam III Nawab Sikandar Jah. Viqar ul-Umara was married to older sister Princess Jahandarunnisa Begam Sahiba, older sister of Nizam VI Nawab Mir Mahbub Ali.

The Falaknuma Palace was so costly to build that even Sir Viqar-Ul-Umra had to borrow money to complete it and realized that he had gone beyond his means.
His very intelligent wife, Lady Viqar -ul -Umra, thought up a solution and advised her husband to invite Mehboob Ali Pasha Nizam VI to the palace.


As anticipated, the Nizam liked the palace so much that he extended his stay and this prompted Sir Viqar to offer that if his sovereign liked the palace he would be honoured to give it to him.

The Nizam liked the gesture but, being the grand man he was, he had his treasurer send the entire amount spent on the palace to Sir Viqar, thus easing his paigah noble from a financial crunch. 

The Nizam VI in 1897 used the palace as a royal guest house till his death in March 1911. After him, no Nizam ever stayed at the palace. as it had a commanding view of the entire city.

 The list of royal visitors included King George V, Queen Mary, Edward VIII and Tsar Nicholas II. The palace fell into disuse after the 1950's. The last important guest was the President of India, Rajendra Prasad, in 1951.
Falaknuma Palace turned into Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel


Palace remained unused and neglected. Finally, the current Nizam Prince Mukarram Jah’s divorced wife Princess Esra took charge.

In 2000 Taj Hotels Group entered into an agreement with Esra Birgen and the royal family. The main brief to restorers was to ‘preserve as much as possible’.
Princess Esra
After a long and tedious renovation and many hiccups the palace finally opened up as a luxury hotel in 2010. New name was Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel and Resort.


Nightly rates in the hotel begin at Rs. 32,000 and can go as high as Rs. 380,000. The royal rooms, the grand architectures and the top-notch services do justify these rates.
Itinerary of Falaknuma Palace (with /without high Tea), Chowmahallah Palace & Golconda Fort Sound and Light Show.  

A tour of Falaknuma Palace, a dream of every travelers to Hyderabad, is managed by “Telangana state tourism Development Corporation”. 

This tour with optional high tea is included in the half-day Nizam Palaces Tour, on Saturdays and Sundays. Chowmahalla Palace and the Golconda Fort Sound and Light Show are the other attractions on the itinerary.

With-out High Tea Package
Rs.2000/- per Adult
Rs.1850/- per Child

With High Tea Package
Rs.3100/- per Adult
Rs.2950/- per Child

Inclusions:
A/C transportation with tour escort services
Entry tickets for Falaknuma Palace, Chowmahallah Palace & Golconda Fort Sound and Light Show
High-tea at Falaknuma Palace

Itinerary of Telangana Tourism Nizam Palace Tour
01.00 pm - Departure from Tourism Plaza, Begumpet.
01.20 pm - Departure from Hotel Taj Krishna.
01.45 pm - Departure from Hotel Golkonda (Masab Tank).
02.30 pm - Arrival: Chowmahalla Palace.
02.30 pm to 03.30 pm - Visit of Chowmahalla Palace.
04.00 pm to 05.30 pm - Visit and Hi-tea at Falaknuma Palace.

06.45 pm to 08.00 pm - Golconda Sound & Light Show.
09.00 pm - Drop at respective pick-up points.

This blog has been compiled with different materials available on net and photos are from sources with thanks



Sunday, 3 June 2018

Exploring Hyderabad on Foot:From Koti to Moazzam Jahi Market

I firmly believe the best way to explore a city is on foot.It’s cheap, easy, and gives opportunity to see and experience the city all along the way.As a traveler, you can’t experience these things from behind the windows of a bus or a car.

What’s the best way to do all that? Lace up your best walking shoes and explore on your own two feet. Exploring a new city on foot is a great way to get a feel for a new place, discover great restaurants and hidden gems, architecture, culture, road side foods, how the locals behave, and more over you get the opportunity to interact with the locals’ .In this way you will be soaked in the atmosphere of the place to your full enjoyment.
Moazzam Jahi Market-Hyderabad
So one fine morning, I decided to explore Hyderabad on foot.This travelling covered from Koti to Moazzam jahi Market.I left city bus (public transport) at Koti stop.It is special to mention that one can get public transport for any part of Hyderabad city from Koti bus stop. 
Koti Market
So be ready to walk with me from Koti. One of the oldest shopping regions in Hyderabad-with an existential pedigree of about 200 years, Koti Sultan Bazaar is the one-stop heaven for the latest trends in women’s fashion, though that’s not the only thing that you’d find here.
Koti  Market-Hyderabad
The area's name comes from the word Koti Residency, kothi meaning a mansion. This was later converted (1805) to house the British resident James Achilles Kirkpatrick and which was, in 1949, converted into the campus of the Osmania University College for Women.
Women Fruit vendor at Koti Market-Hyderabad

Here I found many big book shops.Book vendors were selling books lining along the road. Soon realized that since educational institutes surround the area only textbooks are sold here. One point, Koti used to be the go-to place for textbooks, and the weekends would be packed with, medical and engineering students in search for second-hand versions of their expensive reference books.
Building of Zonal Andhara Bank at x-sing of Koti Chauraha -Hyderabad
A huge and grand building of Zonal office of Andhara Bank is on a prime location of koti sultan Bazaar. Fruit vendors, most of them are women, sell fresh fruits sitting in a line along road facing Andhra Bank.
Koti Osmania University  Women’s College
At a stone’s throw away from the crowded Koti Bus stop there is situated The Osmania University College for Women which is a prestigious educational institution of Hyderabad.
Koti--University College of Women--Hyderabad
The building of Koti Womens College was at once the embassy of the East India Company to the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the residence of James Kirkpatrick, the British Resident. Within its compound there were several quarters, including a zenana (women's quarters) where Khair-un-Nissa lived the love and wife of James Kirkpatrick. Khair un-Nissa was great niece of the Prime Minister of Hyderabad.After independence, this Residency building was converted into a women's college in Osmania University College for Women in 1949.
Koti Sultan Bazar

Koti Sultan Bazaar lies between the commercial areas of Abids and Koti. During the British rule in India, Koti Sultan Bazar was called Residency Market. This market has a long 200 years of history. Koti Sultan Bazar is famous for the latest fashion when it comes to women’s clothing. 
Koti- Sultan Bazar-Hyderabad
From silver junk jewelry to rare pieces, this market is a one-stop-shop for shopping in Hyderabad for all you ladies out there. From stylish Indian salwar kameez sets to churidars and dazzling footwear.

The variety on offer is mind boggling and the amazing deals you can get here will surely confuse you. Street shopping in Hyderabad at its best!
Osmania Medical College is one of the oldest medical colleges in India (1847 A.D.)Seventh and the last Nizam of Hyderabad Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan established Osmania University in 1919 A.D. and in the following year the Hyderabad Medical College.
Osmania Medical College-Hyderabad
The story behind the opening of the Hyderabad Medical School 
The Fourth Nizam of Hyderabad Nawab Nasirud-Dauwlah fell ill (Probably he was suffering with Diabetes) in 1842/43 A.D. and he did not recover for quite sometime under the treatment of Unani Hakeems, as all the people in Hyderabad had belief in Unani Medicine and no one practiced Allopathic Medicine here before 1846 A.D.
Mr. Fraser the then British Resident in Hyderabad recommended treatment of the ailing Nizam by the Residency surgeon Dr. William Campbell Maclean He treated the Nizam by adjustment in his daily diet, without any medicine, as the Nizam wanted that, he must be cured without having to eat or drink any Allopathic Drug.
 The King followed the diet schedule as prescribed by Dr. Maclean and recovered within a period of three months. The western system of medicine thus appears to have gone high in his estimate and so, he ordered for the establishment of the medical school in Hyderabad. But, for one year no student came forward.
GOKUL CHAt
While roaming in Koti, you can’t miss the tempting spicy Rajasthani Chats. This age-old eatery is the go-to place for the most mouth-watering chaat in the city of Hyderabad. Few years ago, Gokul chat shop faced a terrorist attack and since then entry is allowed after a security check. They have removed the sitting arrangements, eat standing. 


Gokul Chat Shop in Koti--Hyderbad
Here I charged my energy enough to walk on foot by dahi puri, hot mirchi bajji, pav bhaji, and ended with a cooling sweet Kulfi.


pav BHAJI AND DAHI PURI AT GOKUL CHAT SHOP IN KOTI-HYDERABAD

PIGEON PARk
pigeon house -KOTI-HYDERABAD
There is small PIGEON park behind the gokul chat that is a marked place for pigeons and belongs to pigeon welfare association with a colorful pigeon house towering in the middle. there were thousand of pigeons in this small park.i entered in the park and fed the pigeons and clicked them. this was a beautiful part and experience of this walk.
Pigeons at pigeon Park in Koti-hyderabad
Behind this PIGEON park was another market full of chaos, with vendors all around and customers pushing around. In this street there was a Shvetambar Jain temple, a typical structure in white marble. Hyderabad Metro work was on progress, this construction turned this market over crowded. Sometimes it was difficult to breath Fresh air.Flower vendors were selling Flowers on road for devotees of this temple.
Shawetanber jain temple behind pigeon park koti-hyderabad
FLOWER SELLER  OUT SIDE  shawetamber jain temple in koti-HYDERABAD

Abids, a shopper’s paradise

One of the oldest markets in Hyderabad is ABIDS,which may be called as “Abids, a shopper’s paradise”.Both sides of the Abids road is dotted with hawkers selling a variety of merchandise at a price most find reasonable and light on wallets. What also appeals to shoppers is indulging in the artful haggling over prices that is a common sight all the day.From books to knives, this market has almost anything on sale at a reasonable price.

abids main market (with thanks to  wikipedia) 

One of the oldest markets in Hyderabad is ABIDS,which may be called as “Abids, a shopper’s paradise”.Both sides of the Abids road is dotted with hawkers selling a variety of merchandise at a price most find reasonable and light on wallets. What also appeals to shoppers is indulging in the artful haggling over prices that is a common sight all the day.From books to knives, this market has almost anything on sale at a reasonable price.

The origin of this Abids street name is quite interesting.

Abid was the name of the owner of the first shop, Albert Abid, Valet and Steward, a Jewish merchant in the area. He was also a incharge to Nizam IV. Hence the place is so called.

Abids  Sunday Market shopping 
According to another version, Abids derives its name from the first departmental store of Hyderabad, owned by Abid Evans. Such was the popularity of this shop that the whole place comprising business  CENTERS  got this name.

Abids, a paradise of Book Lovers

Come Sunday and the roads of Abids spring to life with shoppers searching for literary efforts of popular authors. When one talks about book bazaars in Hyderabad, the first name that comes to mind is the Sunday Abids book market. 
Abids road side book shops 
This is a treasure trove for book lovers.Every Sunday morning, the book vendors are lined up on the footpath and staircases.
Moazzam Jahi Market
Moazzam Jahi market was constructed by the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan in 1935, and was named after his second son Moazzam Jah Bahadur. Originally meant to be a fruit market, it soon turned out to be a place where one could find just about anything — fruits, vegetables, flowers, groceries, earthen pots, arms and ammunitions, paan, ice-cream, dry fruits, hookahs and ittar — and buy them at wholesale prices. Open space inside the market is feeding ground for pigeons.


Inside view of Moazzam Jahi Market Hyderabad 
Moazzam Jahi Market was constructed in a planned way, with covered corridors and open spaces. The material used for construction of this structure is the granite stone, and the roofing is done in the jack arches method. The market has a flat terrace accessed by spiral staircases; its interior courtyard forms an integral part of the building and was designed with the city's climate in mind.
Even today, the market boasts of the busiest streets in the city with hordes of visitors. This Moazzam Jahi Market is a connecting point between the old and the new city

Hand Made Famous ice creams of Moazzam Jahi Market

The famous ice-cream Shops in the market are the visitor's delight and serve a variety of handmade ice cream to patrons in all seasons.
Hand made Ice cream Shop of Ghafoor Bhai in Moazaam Jahi Market  
I would ensure that my friends coming to Hyderabad would also visit the place and taste something that they cannot find anywhere  else in the world. The market is noted for ice cream that every one craves for it. This place is a house for different flavors of mouth watering ice creams such as sitafal, anjeer, mango,Papaya and many more. 
Karachi Bakery
It was started by Sri Khanchand Ramnani ji, a Sindhi migrant  from Karachi to Hyderabad in 1947 during Partition of India. In 1953 Ramnani opened the first Karachi bakery of Hyderabad next to Seena Bakery Moazzam Jahi Market.
Today it is the most famous bakery of not only Hyderabad but the whole region, located on Moazzam Jahi MarketKarachi Baker is popular for its fruit biscuits, dil kush ,fruit bisciuts and plum cake. Experience the aroma this bakery dispenses as you walk across it.  

I was ecstatic in reurning back with enamored experiences of  this small foot walk on road of Hyderabad , from Koti and ended at heritage Moazzam Jahi Market.Where I ending my sweet carving by mouth melting handmade ice cream bowl of Ghafoor Bhais icecream parlour and purchasing a pack of fruit biscuits from Karachi Bakery.
Written posted and photograph by Engr Maqbool Akram

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Koti Womens College Hyderabad: Epitome of Love of a British Resident Officer and a Hyderabadi Princess.

Hyderabad keeps on surprising me with its jewels spread across the city.One among these jewels is College for Women in Koti. Many Hyderabadi women have right to boast that they were the student of college of love,”Koti Women's College” which is not just a grand building, but was purpose built for love.
Lieutenant Colonel James Achilles Kirkpatrick ,his wife Khair-un-Nissa with Children 
When the British left Hyderabad in 1949, the Koti residency was converted into Women’s college.Now Koti Womens College lies in the heart of the most favorite commercial and busiest market of Hyderabad.
The man who built it, had come India to conquer the country, but it was he who was conquered, not by an army… but by a Hyderabadi woman.
Koti Womens College College-Hyderabad 
For some strange reason, most love stories do not have a happy fairy-tale ending. Very rarely we come across a story that ends with “and they all lived happily ever after”.
This love story is between British Resident Officer James Achilles Kirkpatrick (1764-1805),  a high-ranking diplomat from the East India Company at the court of Hyderabad and Khair un-Nissa (1786-1813), the great niece of the Prime Minister in court of Nizam of Hyderabad state).

Students and Professors of Koti Womens College-Hyderabad
Koti Womens college began its life as the residence of the British Resident in the Deccan region on the the land provided by the Nizam in 1803. Both wanted to be as far away from each other yet with the ability to keep an eye on the other.  Hence this place was chosen across the River Musi.
British officer of East India Company drinking Hukka
And the Love story of James Achilles Kirkpatrick (British resident Officer in court of Nizam Hyderabad) and  Princess Khair-u-nissa goes on

Love is said to be the strongest emotion that a human can possess. It is the very emotion that connects two souls with an unbreakable bond. It not only connects you with the fellow beings but will help you realize your purpose on earth and gives you strength to do things you could never imagine.
v  James Achilles Kirkpatrick was a high-ranking diplomat from the East India Company at the court of Hyderabad, who was so captivated by Indo-Persian culture after travelling to India with imperialist intentions? He quickly gave up his English habits and wardrobe and replaced them with nauch parties and Mughal-style outfits.
v   Kirkpatrick, who likes many other British, went completely native, adopting the native dress and social ways. He smoked a hookah, wore Indian style mustachios and had his fingers dyed in henna. Moreover James had taken on the Eastern habit of belching appreciatively after meals.

A Nauch girl in a mehfil of Britishers
v  With fluent Hindustani and Persian, he openly mingled with the elite of Hyderabad. Kirkpatrick was adopted by the Nizam of Hyderabad, who invested him with many titles: mutamin ul mulk ('Safeguard of the kingdom'), hushmat Jung ('Valiant in battle'), nawab fakhr-ud-dowlah bahadur ('Governor, pride of the state, and hero').
Princess Khair-un-Nissa
v  He fell in love with the grand-daughter Khair-un-Nissa of the Prime Minister of Hyderabad.The union, however, would not be so easy, as she was a Sayyadi and he was part of the East India Company, who hated the Nizams’ guts. 

A British Resident in court of Nawab
v  Though ostensibly the mission of British Resident Kirkpatrick was to build political bridges with the Nizam, while hidden agenda was to expand British territory, but he was vanquished by the bewitching beauty of Khair un-Nissa — ‘most excellent among women’.


v  In a picture of Khair un-Nissa, dated 1806, "she still looks, a little more than a child: a graceful, delicate shy creature with porcelain skin, an oval face and dark brown eyes". No wonder she stole the heart of the young Resident, who first saw her at a royal wedding from behind a curtain.

v  Then the love story takes the course of a legendary ballad, with the hero overcoming many obstacles, including breaking off the heroine’s engagement to a local nobleman and facing stern reprimands and wrath of his ‘superiors’. But as true love knows no impediments, Kirkpatrick converts to Islam and marries his lady love.

  Local officials said they would allow the marriage only on the condition that he “strives for the best interests of the Hyderabadi government.” He accepted the conditions, and they got married in 1801. James thus became a double agent for the Nizam Government.



Now here tragedy is waiting for Young Lovers
v  Upon hearing of the marriage, and James’ conversion into Islam, the newly appointed governor of India Lord Rickard Wessesley summoned him to Calcutta, where he was reprimanded and dismissed from his position. Wellesley strongly disapproved British-Indian liaisons.

v  Kirkpatrick later fell ill and died in Calcutta, in 1805. Khair became a widow at a young age of 19. Despite the tragic ending, the estate that he constructed for her, the Residency building, which later became the Koti Women’s College, still remains as an epitome of their love.


v  Although she, as a disgraced woman consequent to the love affair, she was not allowed by her family to return to Hyderabad for some years, with the death of a senior male relative she was eventually allowed to return, and in Hyderabad on 22 September 1813 aged 27.

v  Kirkpatrick and Khair-un-Nissa together had two children: a son, Mir Ghulam Ali Sahib Allum and a daughter, Noor-un-Nissa Sahib Begum. Their father sent them to England to live with their grandfather Colonel James Kirkpatrick, in London and Keston, Kent, shortly before his own, unexpected death at a young age.


 The colourful romance ends on a tragic note with Kirkpatrick deciding to send their children to Britain and he himself dying alone in Calcutta on way to his homeland.

 "James had died among strangers… and far from everyone he loved… he was laid in the muddy monsoon ground. In place of tears, there was a cold military salute." And finally Khair, too, died alone on September 22, 1813, aged only 27, in Hyderabad

And that is the story of Koti Women’s College Hyderabad, and the man who built it. Someone who had come to India to conquer the country, but it was he who was conquered, not by an army… but by a Hyderabadi woman. 
Khair, the lovely princess, is still remembered by the Telangana Government. They named a tourist boat after her.
Painting of Residency.
Present Koti market chauraha Hyderabad



   After death of James Achilles Kirkpatrick , Khair-un-Nissa was seduced by James's assistant, Henry Russel who replaced him as resident in Hyderabad. She remained his mistress at Masulipatnam, after being banned from returning to Hyderabad. Later on a visit to Madras, Russel fell for a half-Portuguese beauty and married her. Ultimately, the ban was lifted and Khair-un-Nissa returned to Hyderabad where she died on September 22, 1813 aged 27.
    This story is set to come alive in a movie based on a novel by Scottish author William Dalrymple.

     Written and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram, with the help of Wikipedia and other materials available on Net  with thanks.