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A glimpse of royalty at Nizam’s Museum

The 176ft wardrobe of sixth Nizam

The 176ft wardrobe of sixth Nizam   | Photo Credit: Mohammed_Yousuf

HEH Nizam’s Museum and City Museum at Purani Haveli offer a window into the times of Hyderabad during the reign of sixth and seventh Nizams

Hallu se jao, hallu se’, a lady at the entrance tells a bunch of children who take the flight of wooden stairs leading to HEH Nizam’s Museum. In return she gets a few giggles and some exaggerated steps that raise the din further.

The museum that’s in the vicinity of Mukarram Jah Junior College gets at least a couple of hundred visitors each day. Unlike the much larger and popular Salar Jung Museum not far away, this museum is compact with a few galleries that give viewers a window into the life and times of sixth Nizam, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, and seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan.

A trust formed by the seventh Nizam set up this museum, to showcase the growth of Hyderabad from mid-19th to mid-20th century when Hyderabad was under the rule of the sixth and seventh Nizams.

A glimpse of royalty at Nizam’s Museum

Galleries here stock silver and gold artefacts and replicas of landmark constructions. A model of Osmania University during its inauguration, models of Mozamjahi market and the Jubilee Hall Pavilion at Public Gardens, which was constructed to mark the silver jubilee celebrations in 1937, are all part of the exhibits.

A guide explains the different models on display to an excited group of tourists — afore mentioned children accompanied by elders. One of them points to large calligraphy panels and asks, “Is mein kya likha hua hai?” The guide answers “Persian”. The boy is persistent. “Persian mein kya likha hua hai?” The guide laughs and declares he can’t read Persian. Ivory and gold covered knives and swords attract interest in this group. As I click photographs, a guide tells me, “Madam, these are all silver. The next gallery has gold. Take more photographs there.”

One of the tourists attempts to click photographs but is stopped by the staff since he hasn’t paid for the photography permit. The tourist tries to reason that anyone can take photographs with a mobile camera but the staff doesn’t give in. The tourist argues that to click with a mobile phone, they should give a subsidised ticket. The staff members just smirk.

Nevertheless, the show goes on and the guide shows them the throne and portraits of Nizams.

Before one moves to the famed walk-in wardrobe of the sixth Nizam, there’s the City Museum, established in 2012. This section traces the growth of the region from 13th century. Large maps detail how the area looked centuries ago. One of the earliest trade routes was from Masaulipatnam (Machilipatnam) to Aurangabad. Golconda Fort was constructed along this route. Charminar and Hussainsagar came up much later.

A model of Mozamjahi Market

A model of Mozamjahi Market   | Photo Credit: Mohammed_Yousuf

Establishment of rail and trade routes apart, there are descriptions of languages and dialects, weights and measures, textiles and crafts, armoury and earliest aviation. The architectural splendours of the erstwhile city, including the minutely carved Deodis, get a representation at the City Museum. One can spend hours in these galleries reading the descriptions. Photography is not permitted here.

The finale to the museum visit is the two level walk-in wardrobe of Mir Mahbub Ali Pasha. Designed in teak wood from Burma, the 176ft long wardrobe is largely empty, apart from a few clothes from the era. The second level stocks footwear used by the Nizam from childhood days.

What to look for

A golden model of Jubilee Pavilion at Nizam’s Museum

A golden model of Jubilee Pavilion at Nizam’s Museum   | Photo Credit: Mohammed_Yousuf

At the museum established by Nizam’s Jubilee Pavilion Trust, spot souvenirs, mementos and models of landmark constructions, including a golden model of Jubilee Pavilion, Osmania University and more.

The 176ft walk-in wardrobe is reportedly the longest in the world.

A manually operated elevator, designed in wood by R. Waygood Co engineers, London, is more than 125 years old and in working condition.

The pavilions at City Museum have clay pots unearthed during an excavation at University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli, as evidence of civilisation in this area 3,500 to 4,000 years ago.

Replicas of Kohinoor diamond, Hope diamond and diamond-encrusted kahwa cups gifted to the Nizam are on display.

A farman issued by the second Nizam, dated 1774, shows the rates at which grains were sold at Begum Bazaar.

HEH Nizam’s Museum

Adjacent to Mukarram Jah Junior College, Purani Haveli, Pathar Gatti

Timings: 10am to 5 pm; closed on Fridays

Entry ticket: ₹80; charge for photography: ₹150

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 1:30:54 AM |

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