A view of Mahbub Mansion in precarious state, at Malakpet in Hyderabad | Vinay Madapu
HYDERABAD: It is said that the mansion was home to a favourite begum of Mahboob Ali Khan, Sardar Begum, who reportedly looked on to the racecourse through windows ordained with gold-laced curtains.
However, the sheen of the gold prevented outsiders from peeping inside. Only the Nizams could have dispelled the saying: All that glitters is not gold. Such was the grandeur of Mahboob Ali Khan and the mansion.
“The mansion was constructed in an European style because Mahboob Ali Khan had a very European outlook,” said Anuradha Naik, a conservation architect. It was built by Hassan Bin Abdullah Nawz Jung, however, like many other palaces, the mansion ended up under the ownership of the Nizam. He reportedly rested for a few days to or fro from hunting expeditions.
The property also housed the racecourse, which was built in Malakpet as it was not densely populated then. Siraj Attari, a former official of the Indian Polo Association and a horse expert, said, “I have travelled across England, and I have seen stables of quality but none of them matches with the one at Mahbub Mansion.” The stable was large, had leather padding, scientific ventilation, Attari said. “The ventilation was so good that during the peak of summer, the horses didn’t need fans.”
“Apart from this, the mansion had the most amazing furniture with wall-to-wall carpets and chandeliers,” he added. Attari contends that the administration could still restore it and appealed it to do the same.