Chowmahalla Palace situated in Hyderabad was built in 18th century. The construction of the palace was started in the year 1790 by Nizam Salabat Jang and was completed in between 1857 to 1869 under the rule of the fifth Nizam, Afzar-ud-Dawlah, Asaf Jav V. The palace was built in a area of 45 acres out of which 12 acres is remaining. Another meaning of Chowmahalla palace is “Four Palaces”. Where “Chow” means four and “Mahall” means palaces in Urdu. It is known for its style and elegance. It was hosted by the Asaf Jahi dynasty and also the royal visitors and high-ranking guests of Nizams were entertained here.
The palace has two courtyards among them one is northern courtyard and the other is southern courtyard and looks like Shah of Iran’s palace in Tehran. The southern courtyard is oldest among them and has four palaces Known as Afzal Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, and Aftab Mahal. The two stored building is in the style of European facade of Corinthian columns, Aftab Mahal looks rich among those four palaces. On the other end the northern courtyard has Mughal Domes with many Persian elements such as ornate stucco work that can be seen at Khilwat Mubarak.
Bara Imam and Shise-Alat are the other highlights of northern courtyard. Bara Imam on the east side is a long corridor of rooms and once housed the administrative wing. On the Opposite side of it, there is Shise-Alat used as a guestroom for the visiting officials. Khilwat Mubarak is known to be the heart of Chowmahalla Palace and is also hosted by Asaf Jahi dynasty.
The Clock Tower at the northern courtyard hosts the Khilwat Clock and has been working from the day one to present time. It is monitored by the professional clock repairers. The manuscripts and priceless books of the Nizam are placed in the Council Hall and also important officials of the Nizam used to meet here. At present Chowhamalla Palace collection are displayed here.
The northern courtyard is now open for public whereas the southern courtyard is under renovation and will be open for public after some days.