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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, AP, India

The city of Hyderabad is replete with imposing monuments which give a clue to the rich historical background of the land. A remarkable travel destination.

Falaknuma palace is a remarkable edifice which stands atop a 200 feet high hillock. It is located 5 kms from Charminar. Built by Nawab Vikar-Ul-Ulmara, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad, it is a stupendous palace and connotes the "heavenly abode".

Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad stands as a testimony to the glorious time of the Nizams. It is one of the finest pieces of architecture and is situated in Falaknuma. Engineered by the famous architect Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, this palace connotes "Star of Heaven" in the Urdu language.

It is believed that the Falaknuma palace was gifted to the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mehboob Ali Khan by the generous Nawab. The palace was constructed over a period of seven years and it covers a total area of 9,39,712 square meters.

A majesty testimony to the glory of the Nizams, it stands atop a hill 2000 feet high. It has often been referred to as the 'Mirror of the Sky'. The palace was designed by a Italian architect and follows a western architectural style. Falaknuma houses a large collection of rare treasures collected by the Nizam including paintings, statues, furniture, manuscripts and books

The palace is laid out in the shape of a scorpion with two stings spread out as wings on the north. The middle part is occupied by the main building and the kitchen and harem quarters stretch to the south. The Nawab being an avid traveler, various influences show on the palace architecture. The Falaknuma palace is a rare blend of Italian and Tudor architecture. Its glass stained windows throw a spectrum of colors into the rooms. The palace has a library with a walnut carved roof, a replica of the one at Windsor Castle. The library had one of the finest collections of the holy Quran in India.

The Falaknuma palace has other unique things to its credit. It includes the largest Venetian chandeliers. It is said that it took six months to clean a 138-arm Osler chandelier and the palace has 40 such chandeliers adorning the halls ! The famed dining hall of the palace could seat 100 guests on a single table. The furniture is also very aesthetic. The chairs are carved rosewood with green leather upholstery. The tableware was made of gold and crystal to which fluted music was added.

The telephone and electrical system was introduced in 1883 by Osler and the palace has one of the largest electrical switchboards in India.

The ground floor of the palace houses the living quarters. The marbled staircase leads to the upper floor. It has carved balustrades which supports marble figures with candelabra at intervals. The ceiling of the reception room in the upper floor is carved with frescoes bordered with gilded relief. This floor offers a panoramic view of the city.

The ballroom contains a two-ton manually operated organ said to be the only one of its kind in the world. This apart the palace has as many as 220 lavishly decorated rooms and 22 spacious halls. The palace has some of the finest treasures collected by the Nizam. However, the palace has proved to be fatal to those who have resided there for a long period. The scorpion-like structure is believed to be the cause of all deaths.

There Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad is counted as one of the most imposing monuments because of the large number of rooms built for various purposes. There are a total of 222 opulent rooms and 22 roomy halls. There are billiard room, card room smoking room, huge dining hall and others. The rooms are beautifully decorated with arches, upholstery, gilded works and state of the art furniture. The reception room is the major highlight of the palace with gilded decors and frescos.

The palace at present is a part of the Taj Group and has been converted into a plush 5 star hotel. To get inside the Falaknuma Palace, you need to take prior permission. October to March is the ideal time to visit this palace.

Prior permission is required to visit this palace. And a visit to the Falaknuma palace is an awe-inspiring experience !

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SHILPARAMAM- Arts & Crafts Village, Hyderabad, India

Shilparamam at Hyderabad is an arts and crafts village exhibiting various art forms and handicrafts of diverse artists from all over the State.

SHILPARAMAM, the arts, crafts & cultural village at Hyderabad, established in the year 1992 is spread over 65 acres of prime land in Madhapur, Hi-tech City. Shilparamam is Hyderabad's tribute to India's natural beauty, richly diverse cultural heritage and vibrant ethos.


A unique Crafts Village, the lush rustic ambiance of Shilparamam has captured the imagination of every visitor who has stepped through its elaborately sculpted portals. Set amidst gardens, majestic natural rock formations and cascading waterfalls are huts of thatch and baked clay, where artisans from across India showcase their individual skills in a variety of arts and crafts.

It is a place where artisans from across India showcase their individual skills in a variety of arts, crafts and culture. From Indian pottery to a plethora of weaves, woodwork, jewelry, clothes and local crafts of each region of the country. Shilparamam is a kaleidoscope of India's color, diversity and talent.

You can buy absolutely traditional souvenirs for yourself and your friends when you tour Shilparamam. Shilparamam hosts a multitude of ethnic art and crafts from all over the country. The yearly All-India Festival of Arts and Crafts held here in February highlights the cultural and creative traditions from every corner of the country and provides a unique occasion to take home a piece of Indian art. Interested buyers can come and pick up objects of art directly from the artisans without having to deal with the middlemen.

traveldestinations_rockmuseum_shilparamam_hyderabad_AP_indiaRock Museum

The rock museum in Shilparamam is indeed nature's poem. The natural formations stand unswayed in a scenic form in Rock Museum providing the refreshment and rejuvenation to one who steps in.

Rural Museum

The rural museum, nestling amidst the trees, is the archetype of a typical Indian village.The museum houses sculptures and life size models depicting the day-to-day activities of the rural artisans is very well captured in the museum. And the life size models give an experience very close to reality. The rural museum is one of the major attractions of the Shilparamam.

Shilparamam is the premier travel destination for art lovers as year through art exhibitions goes on. Every month one renowned name in the field of Arts will display their paintings in art gallery and the artist is honored. This expo motivates the enthusiasts take up the art of painting and for those special training classes also provided in the Shilparamam.

Shopping is the wondrous thing at shilparamam with hundreds of stalls. In the stalls one is sure to find enough but is bound to craving for more due to the wide range of variety available. Right from toys to carpets Shilparamam provides a place for everyone to shop till they drop. Here ladies can buy hand made sarees and textiles of different states. Textiles ranging from Tangail, Sambhalpur, Paithni, Kashmiri to Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram, Tanjavur, Madurai, Peddapuram, Bandar, Guntur and other sarees. It also has salwaar kamiz, ghagras, kurta, carpets, etc. Here a special Artisan Bazar is also there providing the original art forms directly from the makers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, India

Hotel Taj Mahal is the most prominent hotel in Mumbai with the distinction of being one of the oldest 5 Star Deluxe hotel in India. Hotel is divided into two sections with one being the tower wing and the other being the heritage wing. Both these wings offer sphostication with modernity. Hotel is also a part of the "Leading hotels of world". Hotel faces the sea and the famous Indian landmark of Gateway of India. Hotel is considered to be the favorite of who's who of Mumbai and India. Hotel also offers fully equipped business center, meeting rooms and banquet facilities. Taj Mahal Hotel will be your travel destination India

Accommodation at Hotel Taj Mahal, Mumbai:

Hotel offers 582 centrally airconditioned rooms that also include 49 suites. As the hotel have been divided into two wings the hotel offers rooms in the Tower Wing category that offers city facing and sea facing rooms and the same goes for the heritage wing of the hotel. All the rooms are well planed and designed to provide utmost comfort to its guests. Each room have been optimaly decorated and have been fixed with the most modern of luxuries. This hotel is considered as a jewel in the crown of the Taj hotels in India.

Amenities & Services at Hotel Taj Mahal, Mumbai:

Doctor on Call, Laundry, Money Changer, Safe Deposit, Baby Sitting, Valet, Travel Desk Service, Saloon, Foreign Exchange, Fax, Business Centre, Executive Floors, Executive Lounge, Banquet & Conference Facilities, Beauty Salon, Shopping Arcade, Business Centre, Fitness Centre, Swimming Pool, Night Club, Room Service, H/C Running Water, 2 Line Telephone, T.V., Safe Deposit, Channel Music, Tea/coffee Maker, Hair Dryer, Writing Desk.

Hotel Taj Mahal Mumbai, Dining Facilities

The restaurant - the Zodiac Grill provides a unique dining experience in the Hotel Taj Mahal. The varied cuisines are ably complemented with the exclusive cocktails. The 24 hour coffee shop Shamiana overlookes the pool and serves you with meal any time and every time.

The other Restaurants and Bars at the Taj Mahal Hotel include:

Sea Lounge: A friendly ambience to have tea or a light meal.

Masala Craft: Indian cuisine restaurant serving you dishes blending the traditional and modern ways of cooking.

Souk: West Asian restaurant that serves Irani, Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian, Greece and Moroccan cuisines.

Golden Dragon: Authentic Sichuan cuisine.

Starboard: Mumbai's trendiest bar.

Harbour Bar: One of the Mumbai's oldest bar

Insomnia: The well spread night clu

Address: Apollo Bunder, Mumbai 400001,Maharashtra, India


Airport: 32 km., Victoria Terminus Railway Station: 2.5 km.

Locational Advantage: Hotel Taj Mahal Palace is situated just 2 Kms. from main business area