History of Raj Bhavan, Hyderabad
RAJ BHAVAN, Hyderabad, the Official residence of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, is spread over an area of about 21.50 Acres (8.4 Hectares). Sometime during the 1930s, the Nizam's Government acquired an earlier estate of Nawab Shahzore Jung and Sayyad Akil Bilgrami for the then Prime Minister's official residence. As seen from Hyderabad city's old maps of 1914, the estate of Nawab Shahzore Jung consisted of two older buildings at the place where the present Durbar Hall is located. These were pulled down to make room for the subsequent new structures.
The present Durbar Hall was built around 1936 and has a relative simple facade consisting of a single large Islamic arch approached by a modest flight of stairs, deep overhanging Chajjas and cement Jallies covering other openings. Most probably designed by architects Eric Marrett and Zain Yar Jung, the Durbar Hall resembles other contemporary buildings, namely the Jubilee Hall and Bal Bhavan in the Public Gardens and the Lady Hydari Club in Basheer Bagh locality, designed by the same architects.
The earliest occupant of the Durbar Hall building was Sir Akbar Hydari, the Prime Minister of the Nizam from 1936 to 1941. But he stayed here for a short period and shifted his residence to an adjacent building which is now the Dilkusha Guest House. Subsequent Prime Ministers to stay here were the Nawab of Chattari (1941-1946 and again during May-November, 1947), Sir Mirza Ismail (August, 1946 to May, 1947), Sir Mehdi Yar Jung (November-December, 1947) and Mir Laik Ali, President of the Council of Interim Government (1947-48).
Amongst the pre-1914 buildings that survive are Shah Manzil and the Ummed Manzil. The Umeed Manzil was built at the end of the 19th century in a composite architectural style combining European and Islamic arches and other elements. At the first floor level, Umeed Manzil has a classicable European facade of pediment over doric columns. The office of the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission was once located in this building. Shah Manzil, the AsDC present residence, is another architectural landmark. It has a striking similarity with the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly building at Public Gardens because of its late Mughal arches, projecting windows and Chhatris (lanterns) over parapets in typical Rajasthani style.
The Andhra Pradesh Raj Bhavan complex is among the most important notified Heritage Buildings of Hyderabad city.