Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Grand Verandas at Falaknuma Palace

There seemed to be miles of verandas at Falaknuma palace, cool shady covered access to all the principal rooms as well as almost every other area of the main palace block.  The main facade of course is very imposing, it's double storied colonaded facade with Iconic columns on the main level and Corinthian columns on the upper level. Cast iron railings manufactured in Glasgow and tons of Victorian English tiles for the floor designs were shipped to Hyderabad to complete the grand verandas in the front of Falaknuma. Gorgeous European lanterns in hexagonal or vase shapes with delicate metal frames, ruby red accent glass and incised patterns compliment the plaster swags of leaves decorating each doorway. Wooden dividers on the lower east side of the main building were designed to screen the retainers activities from view. The upper veranda now known as the Jade Veranda wraps around three sides allowing access from all the formal reception rooms. Breakfast served here is a very special treat!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Taj Falaknuma Palace - Relaxing and Rejuvenation!

Creating a 7 star hotel from a beautiful crumbling palace is no mean feat. The renovation of Falaknuma Palace took ten years and of course the hotel required a spa and pool area. Passing through the colonaded entrance to the women's quarters, past the doors to the regal Nizam suite you discover the spa and then the swimming pool area. Gardens recently restored are just coming into their own, unfortunately the tail end of a cyclone to the south didn't allow sparkling sunny day pictures but one can still imagine.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Taj Falaknuma Palace - The Central Courtyard and Belvedere

Stepping out of the rear vestibule of the central Palace building block of Falaknuma there are lawns with cooling fountains in the courtyard created by the large rear wings of the building. The West wing was the zenana or womens quarters, the East wing contained kitchens and stores. Today both wings  have been renovated into hotel rooms and the spa.  At the far end completing the square of the courtyard is the oval room known as the Azam Jah Museum where once were displayed portraits of British royalty. Walking through the oval room one reaches the Belvedere where a panoramic view to the south of Hyderabad can be enjoyed. The amazing handpainted stained glass dome survives to this day. Afternoon tea was served here as the evening breeze came up and cooled the palace inhabitants.