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Even today, when Hyderabad is mentioned during conversations, it is always referred to as the city of Nizams and Nawabs with rich history, architecture and heritage of extravagance and opulence. The Nizams and Nawabs led a grand life and stayed in the most artistic palaces and built the most strategic forts.

Today, the Indian government takes care and manages most of these properties by converting them into museums, hospitals, schools, colleges, and culture centers. Some portions of the properties are still occupied by the descendants of royalty.

Below is a list of palaces and forts across Hyderabad and in adjoining areas.

Palaces in Hyderabad

01 of 16
Chowmahalla Palace

Built between 1857 and 1869 by Nizam Salabat Jung, the Chowmahalla Palace used to be the 18th Century official seat of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty and still retains the splendor of its past glory. The name Chowmahalla Palace literally translates to ‘The Four Palaces’ and still belongs to the descendant and heir of the Nizams, Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah. One interesting fact about the palace is that it has been decorated with the UNESCO’s Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage in 2010.

There are 2 courtyards in the palace, the northern and the southern courtyards. Built in neo classical architectural style, the southern courtyard is the oldest portion of the palace and also houses all four palaces, Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal.

The northern courtyard houses the Bara Imam, has Persian elements to its architecture like the ornate stucco adorning the Khilwat Mubarak, which was the very room where once the royal seat or the Takht-e-Nishan was placed on a high platform made of marble.

Apart from the Persian element, the entire palace structure is also a fine blend of European, Indo- Saracenic, and Rajasthani styles of architecture that are evident through intricate designs on its windows, arches, and domes.

The palace has a huge collection of vintage cars used by the Nizams in the past.

  • Location: Khilwat, Moti Galli, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Open all days of the week except for Fridays.
  • Entry Fee: For Indians – INR 80. For Foreign Nationals – INR 200. Children – INR 20. Photography – INR 50. Videography – INR 100
02 of 16
Falaknuma Palace

Located 5 kilometers away from the famous Charminar, the Falaknuma Palace was originally built by the Paigah family head, who was also the Prime Minister of Hyderabad and the uncle & brother-in-law of the sixth Nizam, Paigah Amir Nawab Sir Viquar-Ul-Umra. It was built in 1884 on a hillock at a height of 2000 meters above the city of Hyderabad. In Urdu, the name Falaknuma means ‘Like the sky’ or ‘Mirror of Sky’.

The palace was designed by English architect William Ward Marret who had placed the monogram of Sir Viquar (VO) on the furniture, walls, and ceiling of the palace. Designed in the shape of a scorpion, the entire structure is made from Italian marble and stained-glass windows. The palace covers a total area of 93,970 square meters including 22 halls and 220 rooms. The walnut roof of the library at the palace resembles that of the library at Windsor Castle in England.

It is said that Sir Viquar decided to build himself a residence styled in European architecture after he was mesmerized by buildings in Europe during his visit to the continent. After using the palace for his private residence for a few years, Sir Viquar handed it over to the 6th Nizam in 1898. The Nizam used the palace to host royal guests, some of whom included King George V, Queen Mary, Edward VIII and Tsar Nicholas II until it fell into disrepair after the 1950s.

Taken over by the Taj group of Hotels, the Falaknuma Palace has now been converted into a 5-star luxury heritage hotel and is famously known as Taj Falaknuma Palace.

  • Location: Falaknuma, Hyderabad
  • Timings: Open 24 hours
  • Entry Fee: There are 2 tour options:
    Option 01: For Adults – INR 3100, For Child – INR 2480. The price includes entry tickets, tea & snacks, A/C transport and tour guide
    Option 02: For Adults – INR 2000, For Child – INR 1600. The price includes A/C transport and tour guide
03 of 16
Malwala Palace

Built by the Malwalas, the noble family of Dewan Chandulal, who were the custodians of the revenue records of the Nizam’s dominions, the Malwala palace was built during the reign of the first Nizam in 1724. The palace was built in Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles and had a Hyderabadi courtyard which boasted of richly carved wooden pavilion, being the only other palace with a wooden pavilion after Raja Bhagwandas Bagh Pavilion.

As of today, the only portion of the palace left for the public to see is its grand gateway since the rest of the palace complex was demolished as a result of ownership dispute between the descendants over maintaining the heritage status of the building. The beautiful structure was reduced into rubble in August 2000 and was replaced by a shopping mall.

  • Location: Hyderabad
  • Timings: Open 24/7
  • Entry Fee: No Entry Fee
04 of 16
Purani Haveli or Haveli Khadeem

As the name goes, the Purani Haveli used to be an old official residence of the Nizam before he shifted to reside in Chowmahalla Palace. The palace is called Haveli Khadeem in Urdu which means old mansion. The second name of the palace is Masarrat Mahal Palace. It was built by Mir Momen, the Peshwa of Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah for the 2nd Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Nizam Ali Khan, who wanted to give it to his son and successor, Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah III.

The entire structure is ‘U’ shaped with two wings running parallel to each other with a perpendicular residential palace in the middle resembling 18th Century European Palaces. The Aiynaa Khaana (Mirror House) and Chini Khaana (Chinese Glass House) are other buildings housed within the building premises.

The palace houses the world’s longest wardrobe, its most unique feature that occupies an entire wing, built in 2 levels and can be accessed by a hand cranked wooden elevator. There is a museum in the premises dedicated to the last Nizam of Hyderabad. It is called the Nizam’s Museum.

At present, an Industrial Training Institute functions out of the palace premises.

  • Location: Near Princess Durru Shehvar Hospital, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Open all days of the week except Fridays
  • Entry Fee: INR 80 for adults. INR 15 for children. Camera Charge – INR 150
05 of 16
Hill Fort Palace

Located in Naubhat Pahad in Hyderabad, the Hill Fort Palace was originally built and owned by Nizamat Jung in 1915, the then Chief Justice of the government of Nizam. The impressive architecture of the palace resembles that of the Trinity College, Cambridge.

The palace was later purchased by Nizam Asaf Jah VII for his son, Prince Moazzam Jah as the Chief Justice had a change of heart and started seeking a simpler life after his visit to the holy land of Mecca. Once purchased, the palace was put up to be the official residence of the Chairman of the City Improvement Board. Post-independence, after the annexation of Hyderabad, the palace was taken over by the Indian government in 1955.

One trivial fact about the Hill Fort Palace is that it was leased to The Ritz Hotel Company in 1980 and was named The Ritz Hotel till late 1997 while the hotel was still functioning well. As of today, the building lies in a dilapidated condition and is in dire need of restoration.

  • Location: Naubhat Pahad, Hyderabad
  • Timings: NA
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
06 of 16
Errum Manzil or Iram Manzil

The Errum Manzil Palace or mansion is located on top of the Erragadda hill or Red Hill as it is locally called, exactly off the Khairatabad – Panjagutta road. The mansion was built by Nawab Safdar Jung Musheer-ud-Daula Fakhrul Mulk who was a noble man of Hyderabad in 1870. He used the mansion to host royal banquets.

The name ‘Iram’ means ‘Paradise’ in Persian and the word ‘Erram’ means the color ‘Red’ in Telugu, the local language of Hyderabad. Since both words sounded the same with deep meaning and connection to the mansion (dedicated to the red hill on which the mansion was located), he used both names for the mansion. The palace was built in Indo-European Baroque architecture which included 150 rooms, nine-hole golf course, polo ground, horse stables and a dairy farm. The rooms of the palace were fully furnished with furniture from Louis XVI.

The palace now is home to the offices of the Public Works Department. Since the palace comes under B2 category in the list of Archaeological Survey of India, the High Court made it illegal to demolish the heritage structure even though its building is in a dilapidated state.

  • Location: Punjagutta Road, Erram Manzil Colony, Hyderabad
  • Timings: NA
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
07 of 16
King Kothi Palace or Nazri Bagh Palace

The King Kothi Palace was the residence of the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad, Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan. It was originally built by Nawab Kamal Khan as his personal residence and hence the palace had his initials ‘KK’ engraved everywhere starting from the main gate to the corridors to windows and doors.

When the Nizam bought the palace from Kamal Khan and moved in after his accession to the throne in 1911, he took it against his reputation that the initials of someone who held a lower stature would grace his palace walls. Hence, he decided to re-name the palace to King Kothi (with abbreviation ‘KK’) which literally translates to ‘The King’s Mansion’.

There are 3 main buildings within the premises, the main palace building, the Nazri Bagh, and the Usman Mansion. Nizam lived in King Kothi until his death in 1967.

The main building has now been converted into a hospital, the Nazri Bagh still serves as the offices of the Nizam’s private estates known as Sarf E Khas and the third building, Usman Mansion was demolished in early 1980 for a hospital to be built.

  • Location: King Kothi Road, Hyderabad
  • Timings: Open throughout the year
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
08 of 16
Jubilee Hall

Built in 1913 during the reign of Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan, the 7th and last Nizam of Hyderabad, the Jubilee Hall is one of the royal palaces of Nizams located in the lawns of Public Gardens, earlier called Bagh-e-Aam. The palace was designed by Zain Yar Jung, who had served as the Chief architect of the Hyderabad State and was built in Indo- Persian architectural style.

Since the silver jubilee coronation of HEH Nizam VII, Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan was held in the palace in 1937, the palace was named Jubilee Hall Palace. A gold-plated chair with the Nizam’s crest inscribed on it was made especially for the coronation, which is now displayed as an artifact in the Nizam’s Museum.

At present, it is used as a state conference hall and is run by the state government for housing all functions organized by the state.

  • Location: Public Gardens, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: INR 20 for adults. INR 10 for children
09 of 16
Bella Vista

Bella Vista, which literally means ‘Beautiful Sight’ was one of the royal palaces of the Nizams of Hyderabad. The palace was given its name by its French architect due to its location and view of the Hussain Sagar Lake from the palace, which was undoubtedly the most beautiful sight. The palace, built in Indo- European style of architecture, spans across a total area of 10 acre. It was modeled on Henley-on-Thames of England and was completed in 1905.

History has it that the palace was originally commissioned by Muslehuddin Mohammad, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Hyderabad to be his residence. The palace was sold by his family to the last Nizam after his death in 1917.

The palace is currently used as an administrative staff college of India.

  • Location: Saifabad, Hyderabad
  • Timings: NA
  • Entry Fee: NA
10 of 16
Mahbub Mansion

Built with a blend of European and Mughal architectural styles, the Mahbub Mansion Palace was acquired by the 6th Nizam, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VI and was named after him. The Nizam visited the palace occasionally along with his consort, Sardar Begum while maintaining permanent residence at the Purani Haveli.

The palace is believed to have been built in the late 19th Century. The palace grounds served as a spice market during the 1980s and currently remains abandoned and neglected.

  • Location: Malakpet, Hyderabad
  • Timings: NA
  • Entry Fee: No entry Fee
11 of 16
Paigah Palace

After Sir Viquar-ul-Umra, the Paigah nobleman, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad, and the uncle & brother-in-law of the sixth Nizam gave away the Falaknuma Palace to the Nizam, he built the Paigah Palace.

The structure is a two-storeyed neo- classical building including deep arcaded verandahs on all four sides, portico, semicircular arches, projected and pedimented windows and Corinthian columns.

The last inhabitant of the palace was the eldest grandson of Sir Viquar-ul-Umra before being used as the office of Hyderabad Urban Development Authority. At present, the building houses the office of the US consulate.

  • Location: Begumpet, Secunderabad, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry Fee
12 of 16
British Residency

Designed by Lieutenant Samuel Russell of the Madras Engineers, the British Residency was an opulent mansion commissioned by James Achilles Kirkpatrick, a British Resident of Hyderabad. It was built between 1798 and 1803.

The mansion was built in classical Palladian villa style using local construction materials which included lime and mud plaster, and the woodwork of the building was done with Burma teak. The mansion has 7 rooms on the ground floor and 9 on the first floor in addition to the Durbar Hall.

The mansion had been subjected to several attacks during the rebellion of 1857 and was vacated in 1947 after independence of India. It was converted into a women’s college affiliated to Osmania University two years after India’s independence.

The building is now a protected monument under the directive of the High Court and comes under the Archaeological Survey of India.

  • Location: Koti, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: Indian Nationals – INR 100. Foreign Nationals – INR 200. Students – INR 50
13 of 16
Gyan Bagh Palace

Also known as the Dhanrajgir Palace, the Gyan Bagh Palace was built in 1890 based on European style of architecture. The palace was said to have been constructed in 3 phases by Raja Gyan Girji Bahadur, Narsingh Girji Bahadur and Raja Dhanraj Girji Bahadur and was made from limestone and marble. This 165 year old noble palace which sprawls over 30,000 square feet area, was one of most expensive mansions of its time and was a hang out place for royals and dignitaries. In all, there are 19 suites in the palace.

The palace belonged to the Dhanrajgirji family, and the original owners still reside here. The Dhanrajgirji family was the second richest family in South India after the Nizams and were addressed as the Rockefellers of Hyderabad.

The Dhanrajgirji family originally belonged to Gandhar, in Afghanistan and had migrated to India via the silk route.

  • Location: Goshamahal, Nampally, Hyderabad
  • Timings: NA
  • Entry Fee: NA
14 of 16
Sardar Mahal

Built in 1900 as per the European architectural style by Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad for one of his consorts, Sardar Begum, the Sardar Mahal was named after her. It is said that the consort did not like the structure of the palace and never stayed here.

The palace was declared as a heritage building by INTACH and the Heritage Conservation Committee. It is maintained by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and plans to convert it into a museum and cultural center are on paper for quite a while.

  • Location: Kotla Alijah, Moghalpura, Rathkhana st., Hyderabad
  • Timings: 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Open all days except sundays
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
15 of 16
Rashtrapati Nilayam

Constructed in 1860 by Nizam Nazir-ud-Daulah, the 4th Nizam of Hyderabad, what now is called Rashtrapati Nilayam was once the residence of the Nizam. It later went on to become the country house of the British Resident at Secunderabad and after annexation of Hyderabad, it was made the President’s official winter retreat.

  • Location: Bollaram, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
16 of 16
Asmangarh Palace

The name Asmangarh literally translates into ‘Home in the Sky’ and is named so due to the palace’s location on top of a hillock. The palace is located near the Malakpet TV Tower. The palace was built and personally designed in 1885 by Sir Asman Jah, a Paigah noble, the then Prime Minister of Hyderabad State and used to serve as a hunting preserve for the Nizams and his courtiers. The entire structure is built in gothic style and has the looks of a medieval castle since it is entirely built with granite.

Due to the Nizam’s particular interest in the palace, the Paigah gifted it to the Nizam. The arched gateway in the shape of Royal Dastagar (headgear) was added by the 7th and last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan after he inherited the palace.

The palace building is currently under the management of St. Joseph’s Education Society after it was converted into a school and it houses St. Joseph’s School, Asmangarh Palace branch. Sadly, it is no longer open to the public anymore.

Forts in Hyderabad

01 of 09
Golconda Fort

Listed on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, the Golconda fort is famous worldwide for being the origin of the world’s largest and most precious diamonds, Koh-i-Noor, Hope, Daria-i-Noor, Akbar Shah and many more. The magnificent granite fort was originally built by the Kakatiya rulers and completed by Rani Rudrama and her successor, Prataparudra. Later, the Bahamani Sultans took over the fort and they were, in turn, taken over by the Qutb Shahis in around 1538. The Golconda fort went on to become the seat of the Qutb Shahi government.

The most interesting fact about the architecture and engineering of the Golconda fort is that an echo of a hand clap which originates from below the dome of Fateh Darwaza can be heard till almost one kilometer away at the Bala Hissar pavilion, which is also the highest point of the fort. This acoustical effect was used to warn the fort residents of any intruders or potential attackers.

This present structure was renovated by Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk, the first Qutb Shah, whose inputs and ideas resulted in the engineering marvel that the fort is. There are 8 gateways to the fort, numerous temples, mosques, royal chambers, halls, and stables inside the fortified premise, along with mounted cannons and 4 drawbridges.

  • Location: Khair Complex, Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM. All days a week
  • Entry Fee: For Indian Nationals – INR 15. For Foreign Nationals – INR 200
02 of 09
Naya Qila

Designed and constructed by Mustafa Khan, the royal architect of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty, the Naya Qila (New Fort) was built as an extension to the Golconda fort after it’s walls were weakened and started leaning from defending fusillade by Mughal armies led by Aurangzeb in 1656.

The Naya Qila is a less visited heritage sight and at present, a portion of the fort has been converted into a golf course by the Hyderabad Golf Club thus making it a bit complicated for the general public to get entry into the fort.

The famous attractions of the fort are the Persian Gardens, the Hathiyan ka Jhad (Elephant Tree) – the famous Baobab tree, the Mustafa Khan Mosque, Mulla Khiyali Mosque, and the Naya Qila Pond.

  • Location: Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM all days of the week
  • Entry Fee: Indian Tourists – INR 5. Foreign Tourists – INR 100
03 of 09
Rachakonda fort

Located at a distance of 56 kilometers from the Hyderabad city, the Rachakonda fort is considered the masterpiece of the Kakatiya Dynasty and was built in 1360 AD by Recherla Anapotanayaka, son of Recherla Singamanayaka, the commander of Kakatiya King Prataparudra.

The fort offers a beautiful view of its surroundings.

  • Location: Rachakonda, Yadadri Bhongir
  • Timings: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
04 of 09
Medak fort

Situated 96 kilometers from the city of Hyderabad, the Medak Fort almost stands in ruins today, but you may still find it an attractive architectural masterpiece from the Kakatiya Dynasty again. Built in the 12th Century, during the reign of Rudra Deva, one of the early Kakatiya kings, the fort lies on a hilltop, provided a vantage point and also acted as a strategic fort and command post for the rulers.

The fort has 3 principal entrances namely, the Prathama Dwaram, The Simha Dwaram due to the two huge lions that guard the entrance and the third is called The Gaja Dwaram.

  • Location: Medak district, Telangana
  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
05 of 09
Gomajipeth Fort

A popular tourist attraction, the Gomajipeth Fort is located 110 kilometers from the city of Hyderabad that speaks volumes about the glorious past of the rulers that have ruled over the city.

  • Location: Shameerpet, Rangareddy District, Hyderabad
  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
06 of 09
Warangal Fort

At 3 hours’ drive distance from Hyderabad, the Warangal fort attracts several tourists everyday due to its beautiful structure and architecture which resembles that of a South Indian temple with 4 ornamental gates that are called Kakatiya Kala Thoranam.

The fort was built by the Kakatiya Queen, Rani Rudramani in 12th Century when Warangal used to be the capital of Kakatiya Dynasty. There is a Shiva temple inside the fort premises which had 45 towers (many of which are ruined), a Nandi, stone carved steps, beautiful carvings on the stone walls and pillars that include birds, mythical creatures and garlands.

The fort was included in the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

  • Location: Mathwada, Warangal
  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
07 of 09
Khammam Fort

Built by the Kakatiya Kamma Kings in 9th Century AD, the Khammam Fort has been a citadel for many rulers that came in later including the Bahamani Sultans, Qutb Shahi rulers, Krishna Deva Raya, and many others. The fort was built as a strategic fort with several secret passageways. The few attractions of the fort are its many doors and windows, the Nethi Bavi and Zafar well.

  • Location: Khammam City, Fort Road
  • Timings: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
08 of 09
Bhongir Fort

A small fort perched on a hilltop at an hour’s drive from Hyderabad city, the Bhongir Fort was built by the rulers of Chalukya Dynasty around 10th Century. The fort premises is home to several ponds and there is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. A small trek from Bhuvanagari takes you to the fort.

  • Location: Bhuvanagari, Telangana
  • Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
09 of 09
Gandhari Killa

Located in the middle of a forest near Mancherial in Hyderabad, the Gandhari Killa is a massive stone fort built in between a forest. The indigenous plants in the forest are known for their medicinal properties and the local tribes worship nature and believe that the forest as well as the fort have healing capabilities.

The fort is said to have been built by the local tribesmen with a little help from the Kakatiya kings. The Gandhari Killa is famous for the annual Mahankali Jathra, a local festival.

  • Location: Bokkalagutta, Telangana
  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee

Hyderabad City Tour Packages

City Tour by Car
City Tour starting @ Rs.2,700/- Upto 4 Pax with Indica A/c Cab (9:00 AM to 7:30 PM)
Ramoji Gen by Car
Daily - 9 AM to 8:30 PM. #Ramoji Entry Fee Included. #Pick & Drop from Hotel / Home by Ac Car.
Pickup & Drop
Entry Ticket
Ramoji Bus by Telangan Tourism
Daily - 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM #Ramoji General Entry Ticket Included. #Pick & Drop by Bus from various City Points.
Pickup & Drop
Entry Ticket