Falaknuma is a palace in Hyderabad. It belonged to the Paigah family, and it was later owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad. It is on a 32 acre area in Falaknuma, which is located five kilometers away from the Charminar. It was built by NawabVikar-ul-Umra, prime minister of Hyderabad at that time and the uncle and brother-in-law of the Nizam VI. Falak-numa means “like the sky” or “Mirror of the sky” in Urdu. The palace was opened in the year 1893. Its architect was William Ward Marrett.
One of the highlights of the palace is the state reception room, where the ceiling is decorated with frescoes and gilded reliefs. The ballroom contains a two ton manually operated organ said to be the only one of its kind in the world. The palace has 60 rooms and 22 halls. It has considerable collections of the Nizam’s treasure including paintings, statues, furniture, manuscripts, books, and an extensive jade collection. It has a library with a carved walnut roof, a replica of the one at Windsor Castle; it had an extensive collection of Qurans.
In 2010, Taj Hotels started renovating and restoring the palace. The renovated hotel was opened in November 2010.
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