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February 17, 2000
A peep into the past
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
The city of Hyderabad, famed for its Salar Jung Museum, will now have another attraction -- a museum set up to commemorate the silver jubilee of the coronation of the erstwhile seventh nizam. Mir Osman Ali Khan.
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is to inaugurate the museum on Friday, in the presence of the seventh Nizam's eldest daughter-in-law Princess Durru Shevar, grandson Prince Muffakham Jah and a host of dignitaries.
The museum is being put together under the aegis of the nizam's Silver Jubilee Trust in one of the wings of the century-old Purani Haveli, where the sixth nizam, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, lived. The museum depicts a pictorial history of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, which ruled the erstwhile Hyderabad state for over two centuries.
Many artefacts that adorned the nizam's palaces, including the Khilwat Mahal, the famed Falak Numa Palace, the King Kothi palace (where the seventh Nizam lived and died) and Purani Haveli etc, have been shifted to the nizam's museum.
The gifts presented to the nizam on his coronation in 1937 will also adorn the museum, which also features the wardrobe of the sixth nizam, a 150-year-old manually-operated lift, and 200-year-old proclamation drums.
In the 1980s, part of the nizam's rare collection of artefacts had been put up for a few days for public viewing at the Purani Haveli.
The new museum will include a presentation on the achievements of the erstwhile ruler of Hyderabad. Mir Osman Ali Khan had celebrated the silver jubilee of his coronation in style, building a jubilee pavilion in the public gardens where the event was held before the city's elite and royalty.
The seventh nizam passed away in February 1967. The opening of the new museum also coincides with his 33rd death anniversary.
Osman Ali Khan's eldest grandson, Prince Mir Barkat Ali Khan (also known as Mukarram Jah), who has been conferred the title of the eighth nizam, lives in Australia. He had migrated in the early 1970s after the privy purses and princely privileges that erstwhile rulers enjoyed were abolished by then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
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