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February 2, 2010updated Feb 13, 2013

Taj Sets Opening Of Falaknuma Palace In Hyderabad

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Hyderabad, India – Since its construction in 1884,
Falaknuma Palace has rarely been open to visitors, save for special guests of
the Nizam like the King and Queen of England. All that will change this
spring when Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces opens Taj Falaknuma Palace, one
of the most remarkable sights of Hyderabad. Set on a hillock, Falaknuma means
‘heavenly abode’ and the architecture is a singularly transcendent blend of
Italian and Tudor design.

According to a press release received by Elite Traveler, in keeping with Taj’s mission to sensitively restore authentic palaces to
their former glory, Taj Falaknuma Palace limited accommodations to 60 rooms
and suites. Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo, leveraging their 50 years of
experience in high-end design consultancy, created the conceptual
architecture and sourced specialists from across the world to recreate old
artifacts and structures.

The grandeur of Taj Falaknuma Palace is best represented in its inexhaustible
detailing. Built in the shape of a scorpion over the course of nine years,
the palace retains priceless collections of Belgian Osler chandeliers,
paintings, statues, English furniture, stained glass windows, leather
upholstered rosewood chairs, gold and crystal tables, ivory figurines and an
Italian white marble fountain at the entrance, for starters. The library has
a walnut carved ceiling (a replica of that in Windsor Castle) and houses one
of the finest collections of the holy Quran in India.

Construction of Falaknuma began in 1884, the same year Sir Vicar-Ul-Umra
became Prime Minister of the Hyderabad State. Completed in 1893, this
magnificent palace became the last word in eastern opulence and luxury. Sir
Vicar made Falaknuma his home and played gracious host to lavish dinners,
house parties, hunt breakfasts and visiting European royalty. All the
furniture, paintings and other articles were made to order, as Sir Vicar
wanted to create an ambiance of heaven. Unfortunately, the palace eventually
led the Prime Minister into bankruptcy.

Since then, Falaknuma Palace has had many masters, from Nizam Mahboob Ali
Pasha to Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur. This spring it will join the ranks of
Rambagh Palace, Taj Lake Palace, and Umaid Bhawan Palace in the Taj Luxury
Hotels’ segment. Taj Hotels has consistently and carefully carried out
restorations of the original elements of the architecture and the interior
design of its palace hotels. Refurbished with modern luxuries, these
exquisite palaces have now become true reflections of the grandeur and luxury
of Indian royalty, attracting tourists from across the world.

At Taj Falaknuma Palace, dine on royal Hyderabadi specialties, or savor the
finest Italian cuisine beneath the stars. Taj’s Jiva Grande Spa complements
the royal experience at Falaknuma Palace with signature ancient Indian
therapies in exclusive treatment rooms overlooking cascading gardens.

Hyderabad is well connected by air and rail to all the major cities, and is
75 minutes from Mumbai and two hours from New Delhi by air.

About Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces (www.tajhotels.com)

Established in 1903, Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia’s largest
and finest groups of hotels, comprising 67 hotels in 45 locations across
India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia,
Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. From
world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to
authentic Rajput palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivaled fusion of warm
Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. The Taj, a symbol
of Indian hospitality, has recently completed the centenary of its landmark
hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai. Taj Hotels, Resorts and
Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India’s premier business house.

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