The night was another experience as the whole palace was lit up with lights. The many lawns and walkways of the palace glowed as the night set in. Foreign dignitaries were welcomed into the palace as a champagne walk was conducted so that they could get a tour of the place. After a rose petal bath, a champagne walk, that is all one needs. The sky did open up into many radiant stars and the palace showcased its other side at night. Now one could get a better glimpse of the many portraits that adorned the palace walls especially if you walked up to the billiards room or the study. I took a lot of snaps of me with the portraits of the many dignitaries who were hosted here once upon a time. I believe even Ivanka Trump was hosted at the Falaknuma Palace and got a taste of its hospitality.
However, it was the horse carriage, which got me to the palace, that made my day. An ancient mode of transport only meant for the kings and royals was now my mode of transport. Even while I was leaving, I was taken around by the royal carriage. The only thing left was a 10 cannon salute. They would have given me that too but there were only two cannons kept as showpieces near the central entrance area of the palace.
I got a look at the ancient jewels, dresses, shawls, achkans and other regal wear as Taj had a shop that sold a lot of royal knick-knacks such as these. Lamps, paintings, portraits, feather pens, mirrors, you name it; it was all there all for a fancy price. Now that you know how to live like a Nizam, why not try and look like one too? I am sure they are able to sell these to many foreigners who arrive from South America and Europe.
It is quiet and peaceful with a serenity of a Buddhist stupa. One does feel relaxed and transported into an ancient land that reveals itself to us through artefacts, paintings, decor and heritage. A make-believe world that has lost its relevance but does not want us to forget that it was a thriving kingdom once upon a time with its own Tehzeeb and rules, with its own purpose, rights and wrongs. I, for one, paced up and down and even around the palace.
The pool was fun and so was the beer. I did manage to sip a few pegs of Single Malt at night and chatted to a young couple who had come to celebrate their friendship anniversary in the palace. They had a special dinner prepared for them that night.
The qawwals sang in the evening, clapping and singing with all might and vigour. The whole palace vibrated with the sound of qawwali. I just kept filming on my last day here hoping I could capture as much as I could of the past and present glory of Taj Falaknuma.