This clip is the most concise in a short form story of the last and present owner of the Falaknuma
and Chowmahalla Palaces I have been rambling on about for the last month or two....it is hard to believe!
I have read a number of articles online trying to discover more about the last Nizam's first wife Princess Esra. Originally from Turkey she trained as an architect and married Mukarram Jah in 1956. It is Princess Esra who is responsible for saving these two fabulous palaces. Married for 15 years to the Nizam before the burden of inheriting from his grandfather the welfare of over 14,792 relatives, including 42 elderly concubines and 100's of illegitimate children, staff and retainers sent him off to Australia sheep farming!
According to one article after meeting her ex husband 30 years later and finding the Eighth Nizam in very ill health, after his 4 additional marriages, Princess Esra stepped into the mess of 54 trusts contested by over 2700 relatives and a fortune looted by corrupt advisors and taxes to save and restore what was left. Her ally in sorting the chaos out in 1996 was the brilliant and honorable lawyer Mukarram Jah Vijay Shankardass, this task apparently included risking his own life in the process.
William Dalrymple author of The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857 writes while researching in 1997 in Hyderabad and seeing my particular favorite Falaknuma Palace -