Aug 23, 2010

Khursheed Jah Baradari

I had written here long ago about the Paigah family of Hyderabad. The Paigahs were passionate builders, and erected several beautiful palaces in the city, including the famous Falaknuma Palace.

Nawab Khursheed Jah Paigah was the maternal grandson of the third Nizam of Hyderabad. Khursheed Jah Baradari was his residence, near the Charminar. It is a gorgeous Palladian mansion with imposing pillars and a strikingly European design. While it is commonly referred to as a baradari (literally means having 12 doors) or a devdi (sort of like a haveli)  it is counted as one of Hyderabad's best palaces.
The construction of the palace was started by Sir Khursheed Jah's grandfather, and completed by his father. It is said, that when the Paigah family lived in this palace, it was full of expensive furniture, chandeliers and paintings, and that the extensive grounds adjoining it, had immaculately kept gardens with fountains and little reservoirs. Apparently, in addition to the horses in his stables, Sir Khursheed Jah also kept ostriches!

Visiting this baradari was an experience I'm glad I had. The contrast between "what it was" and "what it is", is so striking. If you stand there and close your eyes for a minute, you can almost imagine the palace in all its splendour, with its gardens, fountains, glass chandeliers and rich furnishings. And when you open your eyes, reality hits you - the realization that all that remains is the dilapidated old building in front of you.  I don't want to exaggerate,  but there was this little tug at the corner of my heart, and I don't know what to call it.

The grounds of the palace are now full of children playing cricket. We saw a painted sign that said "Khursheed Jah Cricket Club". Here's a bunch of cute kids we met, who call themselves the Deccan Chargers! 


  1. Hi Madhu, As ususal brilliant...if you don't mind me asking, which camera do you use?

  2. Thanks a ton Sophia! I use a Nikon D200 :)

  3. Brilliant picture Madhu!

  4. i am very surprised to see such an empty ground. usually u can see some 100 cricket matches going on in that ground : )

  5. thanks a lot madam.Can you mention the exact location of Khurshid jah palace so that likes of me can visit us

  6. Hi,

    My parents are Hyderabadi and i was visited Hyderabad 2 times. I am living in Karachi, Pakistan. Love the way you work for the greatest heritage of the subcontinent. hats off to you Miss.

  7. Hi Madhu, Great picks and nice details of history and architecture. I was born in HYD, and I have been living in Chicago for the last 21 years. My grandfather's great grandfather Hazrat Ba'es(22) Khwaja Syed Shah Hussain Quadri Gudriwale Shah Saheb (r) (d. 18th November 1877)was the Pir-o-Murshid (Spiritual Guide) of Nawab Sir Khurshid Jah Bahadur. The Paigah Khurshid Jahi is separate from the main Paigah tombs, it is on the right side of these tombs. You have to ask those local people to take you there. When I was a kid we used to go with my grandfather, at that time this whole area used to be a huge graveyard and not a single modern building could be seen. The Paigah Khurshid Jahi houses Sir Khurshid Jah and all of his sons and family who lay buried at the feet of our ancestor who has a separate open tomb structure built my Sir Khurshid Jah. There is also a big Jame Khurshid Jahi Masjid on it's left side. I guess you have visited these places too. I visited last year, anyways thanks a lot for all the good info and pictures. I've become a fan of your work. Are you a professional history or architecture researcher or is this you hobby?

    Syed K. Quadri

  8. Gopalanji - thank you :D

    Krish - there were a lot of children playing - there seems to be some club called the Khursheed Jah cricket association running there :)

    Satyavara Prasad - it's down a lane opposite to the Chowmahalla palace. It's a bit confusing, though- you may have to ask for directions. It's available on google maps too.

    Mazhar Rizvi - Thank you!

    Syed K - Wow, that's so awesome - no, I didn't know about the separate Paigah Khurshid Jahi tombs! I will definitely go as soon as I can :) I'm neither a historian nor an architect - just a freelance photographer with a huge passion for Hyderabadi history :)

  9. Darshini6:49 AM

    Hi Madhu,

    Im an architecture student and I recently visited this place and I must say that your pictures are really fascinating and it keeps us, architecture students motivated :)

  10. Hi madhu,
    Good to see nice pics of my ground,born and brought up near the ground and played for the A DIVISION LEAGUE MATCHES KHURSHED JAH CLUB.There are many more things abt this ground,Know more abt this ground in and around.I would like u to update the more pics of khursheed Jah Devdi and Iqbal Ud Dowla.

  11. Hi Madhu,Evn Am 4rm Hyd.I rely liked yr views i wanna knw hw do u knw somuch abt paiga family...? my maternal family is

  12. Which lenses do you use with our Nikon d200

  13. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Hi. Thank you so much for sharing. I was doing a research on my family tree and it turns out that my great great grand father Muhammad Ameer uddin khan Viqar jung was married to Afzal begum who was sister of Sir Khursheed Jah. Incredible!
    Mohammed khan

  14. Brilliant, I live beside this place and I can see it from my terrace and used to hear stories about it from my grand parents. But to have an accurate historical record of this is quite enlightening to say the least. Nice job!