Falaknuma Palace – Mirror of the sky
Think Falaknuma, think royalty, resplendence, majesty, grandeur, magnificence, aristocracy, stateliness, fineness…
Falaknuma, Urdu for ‘like the sky’ or ‘mirror of the sky’, stands true to its name at a height of 2000 feet from Hyderabad. Spread on a 32 acre area, the Falaknuma palace spells old world charm like no other palace.
The palace has a unique and interesting history attached to it.
It was jointly built by Nawab Vikar-Ul-Umra who was the Prime Minister of Hyderabad, that time and Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Bahadur in 1893. While it was under construction, Sir Vikar shifted in, into the palace. But Falaknuma Palace, built with the grandest of plans proved so expensive to be built that Sir Vikar got buried in debts. And yet, it got beyond his means. His wise wife, Lady Vikar, suggested him to invite Mehboob Ali Pasha, Nizam VI to stay with them. As they had hoped, the guest loved the palace. This gave Sir Vikar the opportunity to offer him the palace since the Nizam VI liked it. But like the Vikars had known, the Nizam was a man of honor. He accepted the offer and paid the entire amount spent into building the palace to Sir Vikar. After the Nizam’s demise in 1951, the palace remained closed mainly. The Taj group of hotels was handed over the Falaknuma in 2000 on a 30 year lease, by the present Nizam prince, entitling him to 50% profits.
The architecture of the palace is rather interesting too. It is in the shape of a scorpion with its stings spread out. The architectural style is a mix of Italian and Tudor. European elements like frescoes on the ceiling, stained glass windows are part of the architecture.
Falaknuma Palace has a thing for holding records.
In the ballroom of the palace, lies a unique organ which is manually operated and is 2 tons in weight. It is the only one of its kind in the entire world. The dining table here is the longest in the world at 108 feet and can seat 101 people at one time. Despite the length, the acoustics have been planned in a way that a person sitting at one end of the table can perfectly hear what the person at the other end is talking about.
Falaknuma Palace boasts of the maximum number of Venetian chandeliers. Legend says it took 6 months to clear such a chandelier and the palace has 40 identical ones. The Billiards room table is the twin of the one in Buckingham Palace. Also, Falaknuma’s electrical switchboard is one of the largest in India.
After Taj took over in 2000 and spent 10 years into renovation, it opened the palace as a luxury heritage hotel in 2010. The Taj left no stone unturned in making the Taj Faluknama Hotel a blast from the past. A visit to the Taj Faluknama Palace, and you wouldn’t know you aren’t blue blooded. From horse drawn carriage rides to the gate, petal shower welcome to the finest of services, the grandest of suites, most beautiful sunrises and sunsets, elaborate high teas, they ensured the allure of the Nawabi era isn’t lost.
– 15 Kms from Secunderabad railway Station (40-45 min drive)
– 6 Kms from MGBS Bus Stop, Hyderabad ( 20-25 min drive)
– Buses from Secunderabad – 8A and 2C
– Buses from MGBS Bus Stop, Hyderabad – 8A, 9F, 2C, 8C (every 10 minutes)
Location of Falaknuma Palace: 32 acres in Falaknuma and 5kms far from Charminar, Hyderabad
Food Facilities: One should definitely try the cusuine available in Taj Falaknuma Palace.
Timings: 8.00 A.M. to 10.00 P.M on all days
– Rs.2500 to Rs.5000
Neary by Tourist Attractions:
– Akkanna Madanna Temple
– Mecca Masjid
– Salar Jung Museum
Address: Engine Bowli, Falaknuma, Hyderabad-500054, Andhra Pradesh
Contact Numbers: 040-66298585