Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar on Monday made a surprise visit to the famed King Kothi Palace, the home for the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan.
Mr Rao’s sudden visit raised speculation that the government might purchase the private property for a museum or use it for offices. However, senior officials were tight lipped over the visit. “Yes, the Chief Minister did visit the palace,” said a senior official but refused to disclose the reasons. The CM spent an hour at the nearly 2-acre palace along with senior officials.
Besides the palace, Mr Rao also visited the roads and buildings department’s underconstruction building at Erramanzil and its neighbourhood Ramakrishna Nagar and spoke to people living there. King Kothi Palace or Nazri Bagh Palace was the home of the Nizam VII till he died. The main entrance of Nazri Bagh, popularly called “Purdah Gate” is a landmark in itself as a curtain is always dra-ped across even though there’s no Nizam any longer.
Princess Esra, who owns the property along with Chowmohalla Palace and others, has decided to sell the famed palace and is reportedly on the lookout for prospective buyers. She recently met the Chief Minister to discuss various issues pertaining to her properties and also for renaming Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Park after Prince Mukkaram Jah. The palace, which is now lying idle, was constructed by a noble Kamal Khan (KK), who sold it to Nizam when the latter liked the palace.
Of the three principal buildings of the King Kothi complex, the main building (which now houses a hospital) and the Mubarak Mansion (Nazri Bagh) accommodates offices of the Nizam’s private estates (Sarf E Khas). The properties are also under threat from encroachers.
Usman Mansion, the third building, was demolished in 1980s and in its place a new hospital building was constructed by the state government. The Nizam VII lived here and died in this building on February 24, 1967. A city-based group, which owns a retail chain of high-end gold jewellery shops, had earlier planned to purchase the property, but the deal had fallen through.