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Palaces of Other Nobles in Hyderabad

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Malwala palace

Interestingly, the palaces described so far were purely European in character while some had only the ancillary buildings in late Mughal style or a combination of European and Mughal features. Malawala Palace is one of the few surviving wooden palaces of Hyderabad built in late Mughal and Rajasthani style. The ancestor of this family, Sagar Mall had accompanied the first Nizam to Hyderabad in 1724. Sagar Mall became custodian of the revenue (Mall) records of the state. This function was passed down to his descendants hereditarily. Thus the family acquired the name Malwala.

Malwala Palace is located along the road leading towards east from Charminar. The complex had three components: the double storeyed large residential quarters arranged around several smaller courtyards and vernacular overhanging wooden balconies at first floor level facing the street; the road side block with a double height semicircular gateway flanked by a pedimented side wing with Corinthian columns in European style enclosing a smaller and outer courtyard, and finally the grand inner court with a fountain in the centre surrounded by wooden pavilions on two sides and overhanging wooden balconies with intricate carvings and supported by ornate wooden brackets on the other two sides.

This inner court is accessed by another arched gateway on which at first floor a Naubat Khana is located. The southern pavilion facing the entrance has a grand facade of seven cusped Mughal arches in carved and lacquered wood approached by wide flight of stairs. This leads to a double height hall that has rooms overlooking it from the first floor. A flight of wooden steps links this first floor with the ground. These two pavilions and the courtyard were used for family gatherings and for entertaining guests during special occasions. Malwala Palace is unique in its extensive use of woodwork and as specimen of a typical Hyderabad courtyard house. This is also one of the important palaces belonging to Hyderabad’s erstwhile nobles.