One of Hyderabad’s biggest draws is the history that remains alongside the bustling modernity, and one of the best examples of that history is the majestic Chowmahalla Palace. This was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, where the Nizam sultans received their most important guests--so of course it had to be an impressive building. Its construction started in 1750, and the elaborate palace wasn’t completed until over a hundred years later. Chowmahalla actually means four palaces, and the Chowmahalla Palace is actually a palace complex, made up of multiple structures in two courtyards. The southern courtyard is the older one, and it contains the four great palaces Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, and Aftab Mahal. But the northern courtyard is where you’ll find the heart of the complex, the Khilwat, where the royal seat was laid in the beautiful Durbar Hall. This is where the Nizams held their most important ceremonies. You can also see the Bara Imam, where the administrative wing was once housed, and the Shishe-Alat, where grand visitors once roomed. The clock tower is here as well, so you can check the time with the Khilwat Clock, which has been working for hundreds of years. You can also visit the Council Hall and, if your timing is right, see an exhibition of the palace’s old treasures. Originally, the palace grounds covered 45 acres, and though only a fraction still remain, you’re sure to be stunned by the Chowmahalla Palace’s grand architecture and regal beauty.