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It was customary for men to carry arms, since the Mughal era and the practice continued in Hyderabad until the 20th century. The Nizams, and other members of the Royal family, carried arms (usually a sword or a dagger) when they went out in public. The Nizams had their own personal swords. The arsenal at Chowmahalla consists of the best and most costliest weapons made in those times. Some types of short-distance arms on display are Shamsheer, Talwar, Dhup, Sosun-patta, Sirohi, Nagan, Patta, Chilanum, Jambia and Zulf-i-qar. The Abbasi was the personal sword of the Sixth Nizam. The sword is a slightly-curved & watered steel blade, with exquisite gold inlay work on the hilt and reinforced points. The inscription reads “Ya Ali Madad”. The Abbasi was also the personal sword of the Seventh Nizam

Vintage Cars & Carriages

The Seventh Nizam imported a fleet of cars with special accessories, all bearing the Royal crest. Among the cars are a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost of 1912, a Ford Tourer 1934, a Buick convertible, a Fiat, two Napiers of 1906, a Wolsley and a Packard of 1953.


The Chowmahalla Palace’s glittering collection of textiles and costume used to be exhibited in the mezzanine of Khilwat, and now have been displayed in Aftab Mahal. The textiles are of lavish material, and have been made with bold and expert craftsmanship. They truly communicate the unique Hyderabadi dressing style of the 19th & 20th century. Some of the costumes are kurta, cholis, pyjamas, dupattas, peshwaz, deccani angarkha (loose garment falling to ankles), neema (half sleeves shirt) and jaama (collarless shirt)


The incredible collection of furniture at Chowmahalla enjoys prime viewing space all over the compounds. The furnishings of the rooms at the four palaces are French period furniture – a mixture of the style of King Louis with occasional pieces from the periods of Queen Anne or Queen Victoria. Typically, the chandeliers are from Turkey, Belgium and Venice. Most of the interiors are according to the taste of the Nizam VII. Some of the furniture on display are tables, ornate chairs, cabinets, the fixed mirrors around the royal portraits, chandeliers, velvet sofa sets and carved wood cabinets.


The library, housed at Mehtab Mahal, is diligently taken care of by a hard-working team of librarians and archivists. The library hosts a large collection of history, philosophy, political science, fiction and non-fiction books. The archives have been lovingly restored by the team over years of diligent work.


The Chowmahalla Palace has a rare and unique collection of Qurans and religious documents on display. The exquisite works have been created by master calligraphers and craftsmen from Turkey, Central Asia, Arabia, Iran and India. The oldest Quran on display dates from around 1400 CE, and the most recent miniature printed Qurans are from 1905 CE. On display are some Qurans in the ancient Kufic script and the chronological evolution of scripts and Calligraphic styles can be discerned, including the Nastaliq, Naskh, Muhaqaq, Thuluth and Mamaluk. Also on display, are some rare Rehaals, or stands for placing the Qurans, including silver, sandalwood, inlaid ivory and hand-painted and lacquered wood.