Sep 18, 2010

The Homes of Hyderabad's Nobles

This post is a little late, considering that I've already posted about a few devdis and baradaris in the last few weeks - anyway, better late than never :)

Baradaris have existed in Hyderabad right from the Qutb Shahi period. The Taramati Baradari and the Goshamahal Baradari are examples that still stand. Their distinctive feature is that they have twelve doors (Baradari literally means having twelve doors).

The practice of building devdis, the palatial homes of Hyderabad's nobles, is relatively more recent - it  originated during the rule of the Nizams. These homes had ornate gateways, tall enough for their owners to pass through on their elephants, and were surrounded by high walls to provide security. Often, devdis either had baradaris attached to them, or were built in a baradari style.

While there were over a thousand devdis in Hyderabad once upon a time, only a handful remain today. Of the devdis I have been posting about, the Iqbal-ud-Daula Devdi and the Khursheed Jah Baradari, although dilapidated, are among the ones still standing. Other devdis like the Asman Jah Devdi, however, haven't been so lucky. Some were demolished, some were sold off in bits and pieces by the families that owned them, and the rest succumbed to the ravages of time. In this post I am sharing images of the remnants of some such devdis.

Diwan Devdi
The Diwan Devdi was the residence of the illustrious Salar Jung family. This was one of the gates of the Diwan Devdi, and is the only surviving portion of the devdi today. 

Malwala Palace
The Malwalas took care of the revenue records of the Nizam's dominions. Their grand devdi, one of Hyderabad's finest buildings famous for its grand wooden pavilion made out of teak wood, from Burma, has now been demolished, and this is all that remains:

Rai Rayan Devdi
The Rai Rayans were also daftardars or revenue officials of the Nizam's empire, but were higher in the aristrocratic hierarchy than the Malwalas. Their devdis is in a slightly better state than the others - but only slightly. The home has been sold off in bits and pieces by the family, and new constructions and modifications have distorted it beyond recognition. However a few parts of the original structure remain, giving us a small glimpse into its former glory.

The gate with a clock:

The inner portions of the devdis - now, different portions are occupied by different families:

Akram Ali Khan Devdi
As I often do, I photographed this gate-like structure not knowing what it was, only because it looked very old and interesting. All I was able to find out is that it is the gate portion of the devdi of someone called Akram Ali Khan. I have no clue who he was or what he did.

In addition to the devdis I've been posting about, there are a few more in fairly good shape - I'll be sharing about them in later posts.
Ref: Devdis of Hyderabad by Rani Sharma


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  3. i just want say one thing . iam from PORTUGAL and a like a lot all architeture from INdia. FORTS , palaces , havellis everything. i was in INDIA twice. 2008 and 2010..

    best regards

    1. Thank you for your comment Dina - glad you enjoyed my beautiful country!

  4. Anonymous9:01 PM

    i agree with lakshmi! my gosh you make hyderabad seem even more beautiful than it is... its a shame i havent seen any of these buildings!

    1. Thank you so much babe :) Tell me which building you want to see, I'll take you :)