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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.

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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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