Tomorrow’s wedding at 121-year-old Faluknama Palace of the erstwhile Nizam will bring not only the past glory to the centre of attraction in Hyderabad city but also the glitterati attending the event will make it one of the most unnerving moments for the local police and government.
Built in 1893 by Nizam’s Prime Minister Nawab Vaqar-ul-Umra, the palace was one of the most beautiful palaces of the time that Nizam himself bought it. The sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan (1869-1911), was the first occupant of the palace perched atop a hill.
About 5-km from the city’s iconic Charminar monument, Falaknuma, which meas "mirror of the sky" in Urdu is a scorpion-shaped structure built with marbles. It has 60 lavish rooms, many halls and a 101-seat dining hall, reportedly the biggest in the world.
Falaknuma’s famous Durban Hall, embellished with carved wooden ceilings, parquet flooring, regal walnut wooden furniture and hand-crafted mirrors, had historic figures British King George V and Russian Czar Nicholas II among its visitors.
The Taj Group, which bought the palace converted it into a luxury hotel over ten years and opened it for the guests in 2010 and it was one of the highest priced hotels in India with more Bollywood stars descending on to it.
Salman Khan, whoose liking for the hotel was the main reason for the selection of the venue, is said to have paid Rs.2 crore for the entire hotel for two days, taking over the entire run and management of the hotel with assistance from the regular staff.
One of the two suites called the Nizam Suite, which was once used by the Nizam himself, is the most expensive at Rs.5 lakh a night.
With great care paid to keep off gatecrashers, as Salman Khan has more fans in the city than Mumbai, security was entirely under the gaze of the family.
All the wedding planners, caterers and make-up specialists were flown today from Mumbai for the grand wedding of Bollywood star, Salman Khan’s sister Arpita and Aayush tomorrow. Salman Khan, however, not married so far.