Retrace the steps of Nizams, European royalty, enchanting Begums, distinguished Heads of State and walk the walk of Kings through this Palace in the sky. 2000 feet above Hyderabad, Taj Falaknuma Palace’s 60 beautifully refurbished and lovingly estored rooms allow you to journey into the clouds and into the glided ages, where grandeur and excess is celebrated and savoured in equal measure.
Falaknuma Palace is also known as the “mirror of the sky” because at 2000 feet, it was built in the clouds and reflects the ever-changing moods of the sky. Set in 32 acres of land and spread over 19400 square meters, the Palace was commissioned by Sir Nawab Vikar-Ul Umra, a Hyderabadi nobleman from the Paigah family. Each was the ruler of their own court, built their own breathtaking palaces and each commanded their own private army. It caught the eye of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Mahbub Ali Pasha, Sir Vikar’s brother-in-law, who was rumoured to be so smitten by the Palace that Sir Vikar, his prime minister, had no choice but to succumb to time-honoured tradition and offer it as a gift or ’nazar‘. Built in 1894, it took ten years and four million rupees for its magnificent, physical evolution in the shape of a scorpion. Designed by British architect William Mard Marret, the Palace took a rumoured 22 years to perfect and has been owned in turn by Sir Vicar-Ul-Umra, PM of the State of Hyderabad, Nizam Mahboob Ali Pasha and Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur.
After ten years of sensitive restoration, the Taj has infused new life into this sixty room private palace to offer visitors a glimpse of the imperial lifestyle of the Nizams who governed the legendary city of Hyderabad. What was once the sole preserve of visiting royalty-King Edward VIII and the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II; will soon be yours to discover: the Taj Group of Hotels has sensitively restored the palace not only to accommodate the privileged in 60 glamorous rooms and suites, but also to accommodate the extravagance of the “then” with all the comfort of the “now”.
Even if you read a book a day, it would still take you more than 16 years to go through the entire collection of the rarest books and manuscripts which make up the Palace Library.
A replica of the one at Windsor Castle with its teak and rosewood book-lined walls, the Imperial Library at Taj Falaknuma Palace has something for every book lover as it traverses both time and subject. Included in the 5900 books on literature, art, history and religion are First Editions of the epic romance Titanic, Encyclopaedias from the turn of the last century and one of the most revered and acclaimed collections of the Holy Quran in the country.
The hotel established programs to preserve indigenous arts and culture by supporting local artisans. The hotel buys fabrics, glassware, ceramics, and artwork directly from local craftsmen and uses it throughout the palace. It also provides valuable guidance to these artisans about the designs, styles, and colors that most appeal to its international clientele. As Condé Nast Traveler’s discriminating style director, Mark Connolly said “The gift shop was filled with sumptuous beds and linens, exquisite jewelry, and magnificent clothing—all the things you dream of finding but never can. I wanted to move into that shop. It was divine.” The Falaknuma Palace also employs local musicians, puppeteers, and other performers for its evening cultural shows. Currently, 227 such artisans and cultural troupe members are being supported across the Taj Group. By contributing to the community, you can be a very real part of the solution. No guilt required.