Oct 1, 2011

Nawab Fakhr ul Mulk Bahadur

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.

16 comments:

  1. oh my...i have heard my grandfather say good things about the palaces...i m not sure if i feel bad that they have become government offices and are being neglected or feel good about it not being demolished to give way to a MALL

    wonderful header pic :)

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  2. Loved the pictures. Agree with Sudha....the idea of a government office without an ounce of imagination [ in most cases] depresses, it still is much better than a Mall which seems to be direction Hyd is heading into.

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  3. Thank you Sudha and Shri :) This is something I often think about too. Using the palaces as govt offices probably ensures some basic upkeep of the buildings. We've seen way too many heritage buildings getting demolished mercilessly, the most recent being the rock house in Banjara Hills :( But these offices do NO justice to the beauty of the palaces. Converting them into museums is one solution, but there are already way too many museums in Hyd. Concert/event venue may be a good idea - like Taramati, Chowmahalla etc.

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  4. wow...sending clothes to paris for cleaning!!!! the palace is a real marvelous looking place...its looking so awesome in pics...i wish i could visit it one day..thanks for sharing such lovely pics and story :)

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  5. Thank you so much Muhammad Israr :) Do make a visit to the palace - it;s really pretty :)

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  6. Hello Madhu,
    Let me congratulate and thank you for making this beautiful blog..but i need to share my grieve also that why dont you put google map of the location you visited as its difficult for a traveler like me to visit the places for example i want to go to this place called "Erum Manzil" but dont know where its situated and how to reach there!! thanks again for this great blog!!

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  7. Anonymous12:35 PM

    Hi Madhu

    Excellent you have done marvelous research. My dad was born in Erum Manzil, the grandson of Fakhrulmulk Bahadur. When he died in 1990s he is burried in the Maqbara.
    Good job.

    Sajid

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  8. Dear all, This is Aun mehdi here,My great grand mother,Rais unissa begum Daughter of Nawab Rais jung bahadur son of Nawab safder jung musheer ud daulah Fakhar ul mulk bahadur II.I was indeed very happy after going through this blog.I can provide an excellent picture of Fakhar ul mulk bahadur posing in his royal robes,please let me know if interested to upload in the blog.

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  9. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Please post the picture Aun.

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  10. Swatty, thank you so much! Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try to add directions to the places I post about :)

    Mr Sajid, thank you so much for sharing this!

    Mr Aun Mehdi, thank you so much for sharing information about your family! I'd be really grateful if you could share a photo of the Nawab - Could you email me at madhugopalan at gmail dot com? Thanks again!

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  11. Anonymous11:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. its being proud to live near erramanzil palace

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  13. I am the great grand son of Nawab Fakhrul Mulk II, it is really good to see the Errum Manzil pictures, i recently visited Errum Manzil and Errm Numa with my family, it was a surprise for us to see a temple built beside the main steps of Errum Manzil, and at the back they have constructed a building which has spoiled the view of the palace, the government has not even taken pain to colour these 2 palaces.

    My father was the 1st grand son of Nawab Fakhrul Mulk II, was the son of Nawab Fakhar Jung (2nd son of Nawab Fakhrul Mulk), my father Mir Liaquath Hussain was sent to London England to study ICS. My father passed away in his 50th year and is buried in the Maqbara of Fakhrul Mulk.

    If you need any assistance for the history of the late Nawab Fakhrul Mulk and pictures i can send some good ones.

    Hussain Khan
    my email: sparktehran@yahoo.com
    Banjara Hill, Road No.3.
    Hyderabad


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    1. Wow, what an honour to hear from you, Sir! My favourite part about writing this blog, is hearing from people whose lives are closely linked with these buildings. Thank you so much for writing, and for your kind offer to help with the Nawab's history - I really appreciate it.

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  14. Ms. Madu Gopalan, i have posted a note on this site about my grand father Fakhrul Mulk and self, but till date it is not on this page, would like to know about the same?

    Regards
    Hussain Khan

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    1. I was a little behind on publishing comments on the blog - my apologies :)

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