Begumpet is named after the daughter of the sixth Nizam, Basheer Ul-Unnisaa Begum, who received it as part of her wedding dowry when she was married to the second Amir of Paigah Shums ul Umra Amir e Kabir
The sprawling 340-acre wooded estate of the Paigah nobles is studded with seven palaces, all built in European and Indo-European styles. Some of them are the Paigah Palace or the Iqbal-ud-Dowla palace that has now become the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority’s office, the Devdi Nazir Nawaz Jung, part of which has been leased to Chiraan Fort Club and the Vikhar Manzil, overlooking the Hussain Sagar lake and USA embassy.
1. Paigah Palace
The Paigah Palace was built by Sir Vicar-ul-Umra, a Paigah nobleman. The palace was built after he gifted the Falaknuma Palace to the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad state, Mahbub Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VI. In the hierarchy of nobles of Hyderabad, the Paigah family ranked immediately next to the ruling family of Nizams. The Paigahs were also the foremost palace builders of Hyderabad.
The Paigah palace is a double-storied building, built on a four-acre site. It is predominantly influenced by European architectural features such as beautiful carved woodwork, a neo-classical facade, a grand portico and arcaded verandahs on all four sides. Floral patterns decorate the top borders of the four walls of the high ceiling both in ground and first floors.
The Consulate General of the United States of America has its facility in Hyderabad at Paigah Palace
2. Spanish Mosque
Originally named Jama Masjid Paigah Palace aka Aiwan-e-Begumpet, it stands out as a solemn testimony to a glorious past in the area. The Spanish Mosque is so called because it resembles in architectural style the Cathedral Mosque of Cardoba in Spain. Some features of the mosque are also a reflection of the Jama Masjid in Gulbarga, Karnataka. The local names of this mosque are Masjid Iqbal Ud Daula as it was built by Nawab Iqbal Ud Daula and Aiwan E Begumpet since it is located in Begumpet. It can accommodate 3000 worshipers at once.
History and features
The mosque was built by the Paigah noble, Sir Vikhar-ul-Umra Iqbal-ud-Dowla, in 1906. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in India, with pointed arches, a pointed main roof composed of two truncated octagonal pyramids placed one above the other intervened by octagonal domes. The mosque introduced a medley of exotic architectural influences to India.The minarets aesthetically placed at corners of the parapet are in the same style and very unusual from those seen in other mosques in the city and elsewhere.
The mosque is built with stone masonry in lime mortar up to the basement and the superstructure in brick masonry in lime mortar. The roof is jack arch type on iron girders with brick and lime concrete. There are many spires, turrets and domes which are built with brick and lime mortar with a big dome in the centre. The other notable features are Moorish arches inside the prayer hall, Quranic verses in exquisite calligraphy inscribed on the inside walls, the absence of an ablution tank and a courtyard.
In plan, the mosque comprises a main prayer hall, two rooms in front of it and a central corridor for entering the hall. It is over this central corridor or the entrance porch that the octagonal dome stands. The central dome has a perforated screen. Believed to be a copy of a similar mosque in Spain, it might have caught the attention of the Paigah noble, either during his eight-month-long tour of Europe or he may have stumbled on a photograph. Whatever the source, the Nawab lived up to his reputation of being a great builder having a penchant for creating something unique, as seen from his magnificent hilltop Falaknuma Palace.
The slender proportions of the minarets, narrowing to brass finials interrupted by cylindrical shafts, highlight the most remarkable aspect: the octagonal spires, the central one topped by a crescent. The mosque is not topped by a bulbous/onion-shaped dome, which has come to become a symbolic marker of an ‘Islamic’ construction. The building is entered through a porch, capped by eaves supported by brackets. The mihrab does not contain the lamp/symbol of Light, nor is it made in the image of the façade. It is three-faceted and contains minimal geometric patterns or Arabic inscriptions. The inner sanctuary is entered through French windows topped by oval pointed arches, framed by five bays, in the style of the Cordoba mosque. Seljuk architecture was introduced for the first time, which existed before the Ottomans in Spain and can also be seen in plains of Anatolia which is on the Asian side of Turkey .
Inside the mosque, we see northwest African Islamic architecture. The arches inside have a Hispanic Islamic style, again an influence from North Africa. Spain, once part of the Umayyad dynasty, is inundated with mosques. The Umayyad Caliphate influence can be seen in many of its buildings especially the religious ones. This was just one of the several estates given the honorific title of Paigah (meaning pomp and high rank) for the first time by the second Nizam, Nawab Nizam Ali Khan to the Paigah family’s founder, Nawab Abul Fateh Khan Taig Jung Bahadur. Mr.Faiz khan is the head of the community as well as treasurer of this historic mosque, Mr Faiz keeps his eyes on the mosque 24/7, is the only person who is active towards all the works of the mosque. he conducts regular meetings between community members and commands them orders. Traditionally , the mosque is repainted every ten years, and the minarets which earlier had golden mustard tinge now sport a pista-green shade.
3. Devdi Nazir Nawaz Jung (Chiran Fort Club)
Devdi Nazir Nawaz Jung now known as Chiran fort is known for its unique architecture, royal touch and grandeur. The palace gives the visitors an unforgettable experience to cherish.
The palace was built by the paigah noble Iqbal-ud-dowla in 1980’s. Only one half of the devdi is being used a Chiran Fort Club, the other one is in residential use. The plan of the devdi comprises the inner courtyards that add to the club environment.
The structure presents a mix of ornamental features from different architectural styles. Transitional spaces of the devdi are adorned by the set odd number of multi-casped arches.
There is a floral pattern on the apex and at the springing points of arches. There are single and coupled columns with fluted and plain shaft. These columns, often standing on the ground and sometimes on the pedestals, adorn the space. They add the fourth dimension-time to them, the gone by.
The inner courtyards with their palatial settings serve the need for an open air space. At some places there are semi-circular arches and ogee arches, surrounding a door and adorned with lime moulding.
These mouldings are provided on the walls, around all the doors, windows, ventilators and the arches forming a rectangle. Different patterns of moulding and parapet design are adopted from the British architecture. The joining of wall and ceiling is highlighted by giving two bands of decorative plaster work close to the beam level and above the arch panels.
4. Vikar Manzil
The Vikhar Manzil listed for its architectural features, is known for a running feud between the descendants of Nawab Wali-ud-Daula and those of his eldest step-brother, Nawab Sultan-ul-Mulk, the son of Jahandar-un-Nissa, or Lady Vikhar as she was popular then and sister of the Sixth Nizam, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan.
Sir Vikhar-ul-Omra, Prime Minister to the sixth Nizam who attended the “house warming ceremony” of his trusted lieutenant, Razack Ali, who had built his modest mansion on a hillock (Razack Gadh as it came to be known then, forming the extreme corner of today’s Prakash Nagar, Begumpet) got charmed by the lake. Sir Vikhar was simply swept away by the breathtaking view of the lake. For him, on a moonlit night, the sheet of crystal clear water turning into waves, often unsettled by the wind blowing across looked like pearls dancing up and down. Too romantic to be true, but Sir Vikhar who used to call it a “pearly lake”, liked the hilltop so much that he bought the mansion and the adjoining site and built the Vikhar Manzil, in Indo-European architectural style around 1900.
After all, “hilltops and palaces” by Paigahs went together, the other good examples being Falaknuma and the Asman Gadh Palace.
The palace may not look extensive but has its own distinct Indo-European features. The arcaded staircase leads to a deep veranda. Climbing on to the staircase, you enter a corridor and then into a high ceiling (Madras terrace) square atrium, having stucco work on the sidewalls at the top. Two halls flank this central atrium, one believed to be a billiards room, another a drawing room. On crossing this portion you come on to the living area, a fantastic courtyard with a central fountain, surrounded by pointed arches. A foyer runs behind these arches, leading to more halls and rooms.
The hall and rooms in the front have double doors, all in Burma teak, the outer one having French style louvers and the inner one covered by glass embossed with the letters VO, (Vikhar-ul- Omra). The iron railings of the corridor too have these letters overlapping one another. Some of the halls still have Morley fans with plywood blades and bathrooms have Made-in-England fittings.
Battlements decorate the parapet running through the building lending it a fort like appearance, a Paigah speciality.
Sir Vikhar himself could not reside here but his second son, Nawab Vilayat Jung Wali-ud-Daula, (from his second wife), minister and president of the executive council stayed till he performed the marriage of his son, Capt. Mohiuddin Khan with Moinuissa Begum, daughter of Maharaja Kishen Pershad, prime minister to the Nizam.
5. Vilayath Manzil
Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Parasitology is a malaria research institute located in Hyderabad, India. Established in 1955, the institute is a division of Osmania University.
Sir Ross was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1902 for his work on malaria by discovering the presence of plasmodium, the malarial parasite, in the female Anopheles mosquito.
Col. H. E. Shortt, Director, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London had visited Department of Zoology in the year 1935 and enquired about the building wherein Ross made an epoch making discovery on Malaria.
During that period the following marble tablet was erected in the building.
In the year 1955 Prof. Satyanarayan Singh, Head, Department of Zoology, Osmania University has made a successful attempt in acquiring the building from the then Deccan Airlines and established the Malaria Research Institute in this building. The Research Scholars of Osmania University and Osmania Medical College worked here.
For some unknown reasons, this building went again into the custody of Airport Authority of India. They had established a training centre here to train the pilots and an interesting fact was that, Shri Rajiv Gandhi Former Prime Minister of India was trained here in this building as a pilot.
Read more here
7. Allaudin’s Building
This building belongs to the family of Ghulam Allauddin.The house of Allauddin and Sons stood as one of the most important house in the commercial world of the Nizam’s Dominion.The plan of the building started in 1933 and was completed in 1934, during the reign of Mir Osman Ali Khan. The building has coloured glass facade with intricate metal frames and grills and an external ornate staircase.
8. Hyderabad Public School
In 1919, the Hon’ble H. Weikfield, Director General of the Court of Wards (Department of Revenue) mooted a proposal to the Seventh Nizam, H.E.H. Mir Osman Ali Khan to establish a fully residential school on the lines of Eton College, London for the sons of Jagirdars for an enriching learning experience that would enable them to better administer their Jagirs and Estates.
The land for the School was donated by various Jagirdars and purchased by the School from a few others. H.E. Lady Vicar-Ul-Umra was one of them who parted with 89 acres of land from her Begumpet Estate. The Government levied a cess of 2% on the yearly Jagirdari income to construct the school buildings, develop infrastructure and run it to educate the sons of Jagirdars, the eldest free of cost.
In 1923, the Jagirdar College opened its portals to five students and six teachers under the first Principal Mr. H.W. Shawcross. The first batch appeared for Senior Cambridge ‘O’ levels in 1929 and by 1930, the school’s strength rose to 150.
The Hyderabad Public School Society was formed under the Societies Registration Act to take over the management of the School after the abolition of the Jagirdari System in 1950. Admission was then open to all, irrespective of caste, creed or social status.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Former President of India was the first Chairman of the Society and Mr. John W.R. Kempe the first Principal of the School. In keeping with changing times, 1984 saw the first admission of a girl student to Class XI and today it is a co-educational School. The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, is a member of The Indian Public Schools’ Conference.
The Board of Governors which consists of Members of The Hyderabad Public Schools Society, the representatives of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, co-opted members comprising an old student and an eminent personality, the President of the Parents & Teachers Association and chaired by the Principal Secretary, Department of School Education, the Government of Andhra Pradesh administers and manages the School in accordance with the rules of the Society.
9. Greenlands Guest House
The guesthouse was constructed in 1927 for the family of Nizam as a ‘rest house’ and the subsequent governments used it as ‘official residence of chief ministers’ between 1952 and 1982.
10. IAS Officers Association
*Building Demolished Now*
This post is Part 4 of series of Discover Hyderabad.
Part 1 : Secunderabad I
Part 2 : Secunderabad II
Part 3 : Secunderabad III
Part 4 : Begumpet
Part 5 : Rajbhavan Road, Punjagutta and Kukatpally
Part 6 : Koti
Part 7 : Abids
Part 8 : Moazazam Jahi Market
Part 9 : Public Gardens
Part 10: Nampally, Mallepalli& Aghapura
Part 11: Masab Tank & Lakdikapool
Part 12: Mehdipatnam
Part 13: Banjara Hills & Jubilee Hills
Part 14: Charminar
Part 15: Afzal Ganj & Begum Bazar
Part 16 : Dilshuknagar
Part 17: East Hyderabad(Uppal,Amberpet)