Aug 29, 2011

H.E.H. The Nizam's Museum

Every time I passed this beautiful yellow door, I'd wonder what lies  behind it, in the galleries of H.E.H. The Nizam's Museum, but never managed to make a visit, until yesterday.

The Purani Haveli palace was built in 1777 by the second Nizam of Hyderabad for his son, Sikandar Jah. There are many buildings in the Haveli grounds, including Princess Esin women's educational center, the Durrushehwar hospital, Mukarram Jah Junior college and the main palace.

A portion above the junior college now houses H.E.H. The Nizam's Museum, a museum of artefacts from the good old days in the Haveli. The highlight of the museum, is without a doubt, the spectacular 240 feet long wooden wardrobe built by Mahboob Ali Khan, Hyderabad's sixth Nizam:
It is said that when he went shopping, he'd buy entire bundles of fabric, so that nobody else had the same kind of outfit :) The unused fabric was stored in the wooden shelves above the main wardrobe, along with his caps/hats, perfumes and other accessories. Considering that he never repeated an outfit, it is no wonder that he needed such a huge wardrobe. Come to think of it, this might have been as cramped as our own tiny cupboards :) 

He was very fond of hunting and spent months at a stretch in the forests. Some of his hunting boots:
Another highlight of the museum (that I didn't take pictures of) is a 150-year old manually operated lift, that took the Nizam to his wardrobe on the first floor of the building!

Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, sat on this throne made of pure gold and wood, during his silver jubilee celebrations, that were held in the Jubilee Hall in the Public Gardens. (A wonderful read if you're interested)
Perfume bottles
A dagger with a handle studded with precious stones
Playthings for children of the royal family
Gold cup and saucer!
Diamond studded cups to hold qahwa or coffee decoction
The most beaaauuutiful mirror ever!
Gold tiffin box studded with diamonds! And the qahwa cups.
These swords with verses from the Quran inscribed on them, were meant only for self-defence and never to be used to attack.  
 Gold books!!
The Nizam's walking sticks, with handles profusely decorated with precious stones and pearls. The huge pearl on the handle on the right  is said to be the world's biggest pearl. It's natural shape resembles that of a woman.
A painted photograph (yes!) of the last Nizam
The museum is quite small, but it gives you a glimpse into the opulence and elegance of the past. All the gold, silver, diamonds, pearls and ivory make you come out feeling like you just took a tour of Bellatrix Lastrange's vault :)


  1. A wonderful tour of the past! your pictures brought the sense of aristocracy really well! Keep going! Love this theme and love your photos!

  2. Spent a lovely morning here two years ago, though I managed to miss the gold books! awesome pictures madhu.

  3. Thank you Dilip :)

    Thanks a ton Parth :) Glad you like them :)

    Thank you Zainab! Maybe they added the books recently. Apparently they are going to inaugurate a new gallery soon :)

  4. all your posts on hyderabad makes me salivating to my trip soon in a weeks time. thank you for p[hotographers view of the great city.

  5. Beautiful Pictures!! Just gorgeously amazing. What camera and lens do you use? I didn't know Hyderabad still treasures all this stuff. Would like to visit it next year, Inshallah. Thanks for the insight. How do i join your blog?


  6. You really hit the goldmine here with these fab pix. Love them all.

  7. Thank you for the pictures.
    You have visited a great place.
    With best wishes,
    Zofia from Poland

  8. my first visit to your blog and wow...i am spell bound...the visit to the museum...i felt like being there myself... looking at the gold and diamonds and and that wardrobe... and manually operated lift... i wonder... thanks for sharing :)

  9. podd - thank you so much :) It is indeed a great city :)

    Tariq - thanks a ton! I used a Nikon D700. You just need to click the Follow button on the right sidebar.

    Ishrath - hehe thank you :)

    Zofia - thank you for the visit and comment :)

    Muhammad Israr - thank you :) Glad you enjoyed the pics :)

  10. Well captured!!! Just curious, photography is allowed in the museum?

  11. ? - Thank you!

    Saroja - Thank you. Yes, photography is allowed in the museum for a fee of Rs 150. It is allowed in the Chowmahalla Palace museum too, and from what I remember, in the AP State Museum as well. Salar Jung Museum does not allow photography. And just for the record, I never take pictures in places where photography is explicitly prohibited :)

  12. good ... we can see historical places through u r eye...