Nawab Fakhr-ul-Mulk II was one of the Umra-e-Uzzam, the Great Nobles of Hyderabad, whose place in the aristrocratic hierarchy was right after the Nizams and the Paigahs. He inherited his fondness for the Western way of life from his father Fakhr-ul-Mulk I, who had been responsible for the security of the Englishmen in Hyderabad, during the first war of independence in 1857. The Nawab was known for his flamboyant lifestyle and his love for entertaining. He threw the most lavish dinner parties, ate mostly European food, had his European clothing sent to Paris for washing, etc. He was also known for his kindness, and charity to the poor - he'd regularly distribute money, goods and food cooked in his own home to the poor.
He initially lived in the Asad Bagh Palace (now the Nizam College). Later, in 1870, he built the spectacular Erum Manzil palace. It is said that Nawab Fakhr-ul-Mulk and Sir Vicar-ul-Umra (the Paigah Nawab) had a competition to see who could build the higher palace. Since both built their palaces on hilltops, it ended in a tie. Fakhr-ul-Mulk built Erum Manzil, while Vicar-ur-Umla built the Vikhar Manzil.
Erum Manzil is unbelievably huge, with around 600 rooms, and my wide angle lens at its widest could not capture even half of the palace's length. It is said that the in the good old days, the palace had plenty of gardens, a pond for boating, tennis courts, polo grounds, tons of animals, and an army of servants to perform various jobs. Today, it is used as the Chief Engineer's Office, but the area around the palace is very quiet and peaceful on holidays and weekends, and is DEFINITELY worth a visit.
The Nawab also built the Erumnuma palace, which is now part of the government Tuberculosis Hospital in Erragadda. We did go to take pictures, but on realizing that we were the only ones not wearing masks, I got paranoid about catching an infection and decided to go home and come back later. I spent the next two days getting suspicious whenever one of us even coughed randomly :P
A few buildings away from the TB hospital is this beautiful granite structure:
This is where the Nawab, his wife and relatives lie buried. It is said that the construction of the tomb complex was supervised by the Nawab and his wife before their death.