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. The Haveli grounds contain several structures, 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)
A dagger with a handle studded with precious stones:
Playthings for children of the royal family:
Gold cup and saucer studded with precious stones:
Diamond studded cups to hold qahwa or coffee decoction:
The most beaaaauuutiful mirror ever :)
Gold tiffin box studded with diamonds and the qahwa cups again:
These swords with verses from the Quran inscribed on them, were meant only for self-defence and never to be used to attack.
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 of the last Nizam:
The museum is quite small, and it took us less than an hour to see everything. It isn't like Salar Jung museum or Chowmahalla Palace in the vastness of its collection, but it offers a tantalizing 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 :)