Earlier this year I visited the British Residency in Hyderabad. It was an opulent mansion, built from 1789 to 1805 by the James Kirkpatrick, the British Resident of Hyderabad state. It was designed like a palladian villa but has some Indian elements to it - like a zenana (women's quarters) for Kirkpatrick's wife Khair-un-Nissa. It had full lenghth mirrors, large chandeliers, beautiful ceilings and winding staircases.
Now, of course, it's a shadow of its former glamour and lavishness. It was used after Independence as a college. After a number of years, the main mansion was abandoned as a college but the old elephant stables and surrounding buildings still have classes going on.
James Kirkpatrick was steeped in Indo-Persian 'Nizami' culture. He wore Indian dress, smoked hookah, chewed paan, and was fluent in Persian and Hindustani (Hindi). He converted to Islam and married a Hyderabadi noblewoman, Khair-un-nissa. They are said to have been truly in love.
|James Kirkpatrick (British Resident) and his wife Khair-un-nissa|
|The miniature Residency is now broken after a tree fell on it.|
Here are some pictures from my visit to the Residency:
THE DURBAR HALL / BALLROOM:
|The room with the dusty chandeliers and full length mirrors...|
|The colourful ballroom ceiling|
|Grand staircase leads to a statue of Gandhi and pictures of Tilak and S. Radhakrishnan|
|The domed ceiling|
|Another winding stairwell. At the bottom are chairs from the building's college days.|
|Kirkpatrick and Khair-un-Nissa's son and daughter|
|Another reminder of the college!|
|A room full of old notebooks, exam papers, attendance registers...!|
|The place is full of pigeons!|