Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallatuu (4 Palaces), is a palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad state. It was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad while they ruled their state. The palace remains the property of Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, heir of the Nizams.
In Persian, Chahar means four and in Arabic Mahalat (plural of Mahal) means palaces, hence the name Chowmahallat/four palaces, or four. All ceremonial functions including the accession of the Nizams and receptions for the Governor-General were held at this palace.
The prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation was presented to Chowmahalla Palace on March 15, 2010. UNESCO representative Takahiko Makino formally handed over the plaque and certificate to Princess Esra, former wife and GPA holder of Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur.
While Salabat Jung initiated its construction in 1750, it was completed by the period of Afzal ad-Dawlah, Asaf Jah V, the V Nizam ensured its completion between 1857 and 1869. It is believed to be modelled on Shah of Iran’s palace in Tehran.T he palace is unique for its style and elegance. Building of the palace began in the late 18th century and over the decades a synthesis of many architectural styles and influences emerged.
This palace consists of two courtyards, southern courtyard and northern courtyard. They have elegant palaces, the grand Khilwat (the Dharbar Hall), fountains and gardens. The palace originally covered 45 acres (180,000 m2), but only 12 acres (49,000 m2) remain today.