I had been hearing stories about this dining room table for weeks after booking my second trip to India when people heard I would be staying in the Hyderabad Falakuma Palace. Now I have stayed in many beautiful palaces that were renovated into hotels – and I have visited active palaces in India and all over the world that boasted of beautifully carved furniture. However, nothing prepared me for the literally breathtaking view of the above table which seats 101 people. Here is a brief description from the internet:
Stretching 108 feet, the table seats 101 guests, who rest on chairs that have been carved from rosewood and lined with green leather. It was built by the Nizams for entertaining their royal guests, who’d dine beneath ornate chandeliers using gold and silver cutlery.
Rumor has it that the table also features an acoustic marvel. Some say that if you and a companion sit on opposite sides of the long stretch, you’ll still be able to hear each other with ease.
I have read that you can actually dine at this table, starting at a rate of about $220 per person (18000 rupees) which I find surprising.
Opulent is the operative word inside the palace – even the lobby staircase is magnificent and the changing light shining in from the terrace, depending on the time of day I took the photos added another dimension to its beauty.
The lamps of the staircase are held by statues of the nine muses. In Greek mythology, the daughters of Zeus are supposed to provide artistic inspiration for epic and love poetry, music, dance, tragedy, comedy, history, and astronomy.
This table was just one of many marvels found inside the palace. In last week’s post I mentioned the crystal chandeliers – the biggest having 138 arms – I haven’t actually counted, but the top photo shows some of these beauties and here are a few more:
Below the sparkling chandeliers are objets d ‘art that are equally spectacular – from the geometric curio cabinets:
To the intricately patterned inlaid wooden floors and carved ceilings
To this beauty:
As you may have figured out, this is the cabinet of a pipe organ. It weighs 2 tons, contains 90 pipes designed to sound like an orchestra. It can play 43 tunes for three hours, using a winding key, but you don’t want to be too close – its sound is so loud it reverberates across the entire palace.
I couldn’t find a video of this pipe organ being played, so please accept this one from a 140 year old pipe organ in Bengalaru as it plays India’s National Anthem: