The forgotten treasure!

In any other city but Agra, home to the famous Taj Mahal, this architectural beauty would be classed as one of the wondrous feat of art and architecture. A pity then, that this beautiful marble building often gets overlooked by visitors to the Taj and Agra fort. And a blessing for providing plenty of opportunities for quiet photography!

Itmad-ud-Daulah, Agra
Itmad-ud-Daulah, Agra, India. Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr

The Itmad-Ud-Daulah was commissioned by Noor Jehan, wife of the mughal emperor Jehangir and built between 1621 and 1628. This building is considered to be the precursor of the Taj Mahal and utilises similar design element, albeit on a smaller scale. The relatives of Noor Jehan (including her father) are interred in this mausoleum. Like in the Taj Mahal, the buildings and grounds are built to exquisite symmetry, disrupted only by the positions of the cenotaphs of Noor Jehan’s parents (similarly followed in the Taj Mahal, built almost 30 years later). The building is made of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones.

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Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad

The Chowmahalla Palace or literally “4 palace” was the residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. This palace complex served a ceremonial role including coronations and state banquets. The palace is said to be modeled after the palace of the Shah of Iran. This particular palace was built in 1750.

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Khilawat Mubarak or Grand Hall
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The grand hall, adorned with crystal chandeliers
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The long red carpet corridors above the grand hall
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A Belgian crystal glass chandelier in the grand hall (Khilawat Mubarak)
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A chandelier against a beautifully decorated door
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Details of the ceiling in the grand hall of Chowmahalla Palace

As a first time visitor to Chowmahalla, I was impressed by the grandeur of this palace, immaculately maintained grounds and buildings, and tremendous opportunities for photography. Needless to say I shall be visiting there again on my next trip to Hyderabad.

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A front view of the Khilawat Mubarak
Technical Details

All pictures from a Nikon D80 camera fitted with a Tamron 18-250mm f3.5/5.6 zoom lens. Photographs processed in Adobe Lightroom and NIK software suite. Larger versions of the photographs are available from my flickr page.