On our second day in Hyderabad we went to the Chowmahalla Palace in the morning. In Persian chahar means four and in Arabic mahal mean palace so it's a place of 4 palaces. It is believed to have been modelled on the Shah of Iran's palace in Tehran, and was the palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad while they ruled the state. The palace is still owned by their heirs - who now live in Australia.
The Khilwat Mubarak is the heart of the palace. There is a grand pillared Durbar Hall with a marble platform for the royal seat. This is the place where religious and other symbolic ceremonies took place. Throughout this hall there are chandeliers of Belgian crystal.
Outside this is the clock tower above the main gate. It's known as the Khilwat Clock and has been ticking away for more than 250 years. A local family of clock repairers winds the clock every week.