Chowmahalla to be converted into heritage hotel

Visitors will be allowed to visit palace during daytime, and after evening 6, guests will be allowed exclusive access.

Published: 26th January 2012 03:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:22 PM   |  A+A-

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HYDERABAD: He is a man of many hats. Literally, and philosophically as well. Matching his formal attire of suits and boots, with a fine Kashmiri hat, Aman Nath, founder of Neemrana Hotels, is not one to take exception to unwanted flattery or applaud anything that’s excessively formal. The westernised Indian, as he terms himself, would rather prefer Indians to adopt their natural way of life, art and architecture, which borders on simplicity rather than an ostentatious display of wealth and grandeur. “If Golconda was a heritage hotel it would be a great place to wake up in, wouldn’t it?”, he asks rather plainly, putting forth his message of interest for all things old and in ruins. And having completed more than 40 works of reinventing forgotten Indian works of architecture from Rajasthan to Kerala, the man is now keen to bring Hyderabad under his umbrella. “People come to Hyderabad for its heritage and culture. Building a hotel for that purpose is not all about the architect or the owner. Its about preserving your culture and enabling everyone to taste a part of it by making it affordable. And even though, we are yet to restore forgotten heritage sites in the city, we have set our sights on turning the Chowmahalla Palace into India’s first museum-cum-heritage hotel. Visitors will be allowed to visit the palace during daytime, and after evening 6, guests will be allowed exclusive access. We are in talks with Princess Ezra for the same,” reveals Aman, who is in the city for a meeting. Despite Hyderabad’s many flaws, Aman Nath, who has to his credit more than 14 books on history, art and culture, feels the scope of heritage hotels here is second to none.  “Hyderabad has a lot of heritage structures. Maybe, that’s why no one respects the ancient buildings here and goes about knocking them down to build ugly modern, structures. After all too much of anything takes away its value in most cases”, he says pained by the city’s rapid urban growth. “The older generation is retired and the newer generation is trying to ape the western culture as much as possible. Anyway, even in places like the Old City, how can anyone preserve an ancient structure when space is becoming more constrained?”, he wonders. “People thus don’t have any kind of ‘dard’(pain) in their hearts when they bring down old buildings.”

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