Chowmahalla Palace, Telangana, India
This opulent 18th-and-19th-century palace, the main residence of several nizams, comprises four garden courtyards in a line from north to south. Most dazzling is the Khilwat Mubarak at the end of the first courtyard, a magnificent durbar hall where nizams held ceremonies under 19 enormous chandeliers of Belgian crystal. Its side rooms today house photos and historical exhibits extolling the nizams’ virtues. Its balcony once served as seating for the royal women, who attended durbars in purdah.
Several other halls contain interesting exhibits of nizams’ personal possessions, arts, crafts and costumes, and in the southernmost courtyard you’ll find a 1911 yellow Rolls-Royce which was preserved for very special occasions and has travelled only 356 miles in more than a century.
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