Heavy monsoon showers on Saturday in Hyderabad resulted in the collapse of a window of the historic Chowmahalla Palace's clock tower. According to the police, the incident happened around 5.30 pm when heavy rains lashed the city. Luckily, though the tower is located towards the main road, no passerby was injured in the mishap.
“A portion of the window roof of Khilwat Gate opposite the playground collapsed due to the rain. Later, the palace staff cleared the debris which fell on the road. No person was injured in the incident,” said Kotwal Ramesh, station house officer, Hussainialam.
Chowmahalla is one of the popular sightseeing places in Hyderabad. The portion of the collapsed window is one among the three balconies in the facade of the palace. Large chunks of lime, mortar and some wood fell on the ground during the shower. However, the main palace structures were reportedly not affected.
Late in the night, experts inspected the palace facade for structural stability. They suggested immediate measures to be taken to stop further damage in the coming days.
The balcony was to be taken up for restoration and repair but the work was put off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallat, as the name suggests, has four main palaces namely Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal. It's a popular tourist attraction in the city. It was the palace of the Nizams of the former princely state of Hyderabad.
Its construction began 270 years ago in 1750 and was completed in the 1880s in the neo-classical style. The Chowmahalla is said to resemble Shah Palace of Tehran in Iran. It was the seat of the Asif Jahi dynasty and the official home of the Nizams when they ruled Hyderabad.
Nizam Salabat Jang is credited for building the palace. The property originally extended up to 45 acres which included the Laad Bazaar on the north of Hyderabad to the Aspan Chowk Road on the south. Now, the total area of the palace is close to 12 acres. The palace was restored by the government and was opened to the public in 2005.