Breathtaking Paigah Palace, Hyderabad, India - a legacy of Hyderabad Nizam dynasty

Paigah Palace ,Begumpet, Hyderabad Matrimony Mandaps

The historical city of Hyderabad, that has emerged as one of IT centers in the world, has lots of monuments  located within and close to the city. As this city and the old Hyderabad state was ruled by the Nizams of the Deccan, the rich Muslim rulers, most of the old structures have a strong influence of Muslim architectural style, in particular, Mogul style. There are also some old buildings built in European style. 

interior. Paigah Palace ,Begumpet, Hyderabad, India.Telangana Today
The Paigah Palace, that has all the pure European architectural features one could expect, is a palatial structure standing along with a cluster of palaces. Where is the palace? It is not in the prime location of the city center. Far removed from the madding crowd and urban madness it is in the midst of a wooded area, a spread of 150 acres of unpolluted place (now it is a semi-urban area). The Paigahs owned this place 100 years ago. In and around there are 138 heritage building and it is a good news, that the the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA), has zoned the entire area and prohibited any building activities near-by in Begumpet area, 20 km from the city. In addition to "Paigah Palace", Devdi Nasir Nawaz Jung (part of it leased to Chiraan Fort Club) and Vikhar Manzil located on a hillock nearby, are the two other palaces listed by the government  for their historical, architectural  and heritage values.
Paigah Palace ,Begumpet, Hyderabad, India. ,India Tourism

What is so unique about Paigah palace? It is a 2-story European style palace (completed in 1900) built on a plot of roughly 4 acres. A grand portico with entablature, semi-circular arches, Corinthian columns, deep  arcaded verandas on all four sides and above all a neo-classical facade  add an  extra impetus to this building and make it stand apart.

Paigah Palace ,Begumpet, Hyderabad, IndiaSouth Report.
Paigah Palace ,Begumpet, Hyderabad

The 1880s was a golden area for Hyderabad and the surrounding place because a large number of palaces in European and Indo-European style of architecture came up  during this time/. The reason for the phenomenal construction of European style building is  the influx of highly placed European officials under the Nizam rule who often visited this place. many of them wanted an Indian touch to the buildings.

"Paigah", (meaning pomp and high rank), an honorary title bestowed by the second Nizam, Nizam Ali Khan on  the estates held by Abul Fateh Khan, Taig Jung Bahadur in recognition and appreciation of his loyal service. Paigahs are ranked next to the Nizams and are entitled to matrimonial alliance with them. The builder of this palace Sir Vicar- ul Umra, happened to be the grand  son of the third Nizam Nawab Sikander Jah and married Jahandarunnissa, daughter of the fifth Nizam, Nawab Afzal-ud Dowla.

When Sir Vicar- ul Umra was the Prime of Prime Minister in 1890s for eight long years, he was not in pursuit of the trappings that were associated with such a high post, instead, being a visionary and intelligent man, apart from  constructing  amazing buildings, he introduced certain reforms in education and administration to benefit the society. The engineering college, the law college and the Asafia Library (State Central Library at Afzalgunj) were founded by him.

It is quite amazing that this building was designed to cut the impact of tropical sun, particularly in the summer. Hence, the structure has 2-foot thick walls around  that give good insulation against harsh weather conditions outside. Besides, the ceilings are high enough not to let the radiation reach the ground. In the ground floor the height of the ceiling is 22 feet where as the in the first floor it is 26 feet. There are 20 spacious rooms with facilities. Yet another feature is the elevated central part with rectangular vent which has dual purposes. It allows enough light in and at the same time provides good ventilation, allowing the circulation of fresh air.  From the well-projected three windows  one can get a panoramic view of the greenery around the building.

As for the rooms, each room has huge doors (7 to 10 feet high) with stucco work. One can see nice decorations on the pediments atop the door.Top borders of the wall have nice floral patterns.  One can not miss the nicely  carved wooden spiral staircase leading  you to the first floor.

It  was Vicar-ul-Umra, the Paigah noble man  in 1895 presented Falaknuma, one of the opulent palaces in the country, to the sixth Nizam, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan when he set his eyes on it.
He, subsequently,  built "Paigah Palace", or Devdi Iqbal-ud- Daula (so named after one of his several titles) at Begumpet.
 This building is occupied by the government HUDA where 300 employees are working. In 1981 it shifted to this place.