Hyderabadi history History & Culture

Fading Palatial Facade

HYDERABAD:12/07/2011:WHITHER HERITAGE ? : Uncertainty looms large over Nazri Bagh palace at King Koti in Hyderabad where the seventh Nizam died with a city jewellery shop owner buying it ostensibly for converting it into a five star hotel. ---PHOTO:G_RAMAKRISHNA   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

A testimony to the glory of the Nizams, King Kothi Palace stands forlornly in the midst of the Hyderabadi chaos. The despondency in the air is not so much to do with its age or its speckled history, but more its current state- and city folk are indignant on the issue. However, Hyderabadis can now anticipate a restoration of the estate, according to the State Department of Archaeology and Museums.


Originally the Devdi of its constructor Kamal Khan, the palace was then acquired by Mir Osmaan Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad and Berar. The Nizam then inhabited the estate after his ascension to the throne in 1911, while his father stayed on at Chowmahalla Palace. Passers-by then carved ‘K K’ on the accessible walls of the palace, which irked its royal resident— after all why must the estate he owns have the markings of its predecessor? He then passed a farman, or Royal Charter, to name the building King Kothi or ‘king’s mansion.’ The Nizam stayed here until his death in 1967.

The sprawling complex is divided into three main buildings which are divided into sectors. The Eastern sector houses the Usman mansion in which the Nizam used the space for commercial and official engagements, but this was demolished in the early 80s and replaced by a government hospital. The western side houses the main King Kothi building as well as the Nazri Bagh residential building. It is on this side where the Purdah Gate is erected. Previously covered by a curtain in the event the Nizam was present, now only the bare gate remains.

Glory reincarnated

Fading Palatial Facade

The former glory is incomparable to its current condition; the turrets of the Neo-Classical structure are in a state of despondent decay while the Purdah gate is speckled with decay. What was essentially a cornerstone in the city’s history has become a public site for urination, late-night rowdy behaviour and upset. This has been the source of a lot of dismay from history-lovers, despite its controversial legacy.

While Nizami history has dictated a legacy for neglect, there is an intimidating amount of work to be done at King Kothi alone. If one is to completely restore the palace, considering the once quoted value of the estate being ₹50 crores, there, the state has easily taken on the project as one of the most highly-anticipated revamps in the city’s history.

Other Nizami historical epicentres in the city that have been rejuvenated include Koti Residency, Public Gardens, the Quli Qutb Shah Archaeological Park and Charminar.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 3:47:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/king-kothi-nazri-bagh-palace-hyderabad/article18664701.ece

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