British Residency in Hyderabad

Photowalk with Hyderabad weekend shoots

I’d gone with a group of photo enthusiasts for an early morning photowalk to discover the old British residency in Hyderabad located at Koti. It was quite a learning both in terms of history ‘n photography skills. This’s a group of professional ‘n amateur photographers who meet up twice a month to photograph an interesting place. It’s an interesting mix of people ‘n a good way to hone one’s photography skills. For this meet, we met up at the Osmania college for women at Koti in Hyderabad.

british monuments in hyderabad

Inside Osmania college for women Hyderabad – The old British residency

british monuments in hyderabad

A wing at the old British residency

British residency in Hyderabad 

The Osmania college for women was established in 1949. It was the British residency before that. Before 1858, the British had divided Indian into Presidencies for the purpose of governance. The major presidencies were Bengal, Bombay and Madras. There were also many princely states who entered into a subsidiary alliance with the British ‘n had to pay a hefty sum to be allowed to continue to rule their states. The British stationed a Resident or Resident Minister at the major princely states of Hyderabad, Mysore, Jammu Kashmir ‘n Baroda. The rest of the smaller provinces had junior political officers.

The first resident of Hyderabad was James Achilles Kirkpatrick from 1797 to 1805. James quickly fell in love with everything Indian and took to local customs, including wearing Indian dresses. And it wasn’t long before he fell in love with Khair-un-Nissa, the teenaged grand daughter of Nawab Mahmood Ali Khan, the prime minister of Hyderabad. The love story between the two has been beautifully captured by William Dalrymple in his book ‘The White Mughals’. Like with all love stories of some repute, this one too ended in a tragedy with the death of James Achilles Kirkpatrick in 1805, due to illness.

And what’s even more tragic’s the current state of the building. It’s in tatters. Ill-kept ‘n run-down. Whoever has been entrusted the responsibility of conserving India’s heritage and history, is obviously making a hash out of it. But in spite of its current state, the sense of  grandeur at the British residency is not amiss. This might not be one of the most well known British monuments in Hyderabad, but that doesn’t mean that it should be allowed to be in the state it is currently in.

british monuments in hyderabad

Rang mahal. This’s where Khair-un-Nissa lived. Notice how different’s the architecture from the rest of the building

british monuments in hyderabad

Wooden arch and grill inside the Residency

british monuments in hyderabad

Fountain at the Residency entrance

The intent of this photowalk’s to raise awareness about this British monument in Hyderabad. So that enough pressure’s built ‘n the people responsible get down to restoring it. Though Chowder Singh only does food. I thought it was apt to move away for this important cause. And I must thank the organisers; Hyderabad weekend shoots. Here’s the link to their group on facebook. Intach Hyderabad, an NPO that focuses on conserving India’s heritage ‘n to the Principal of Osmania college for women. May they succeed in their mission of restoring the Residency to its past glory. I don’t think the college is open to public. It’s a women’s college after all. It’s quite possible that many of our roadside romeos have already been trying their best to come in ‘n ‘study’ the architecture of British monuments in Hyderabad.

But if you’d like to visit, then you can email or call in advance and check with ‘em. I’m sure they’d be happy to oblige. Here’s the link to their website

british monuments in hyderabad

Beautiful old glass window at the Residency

british monuments in hyderabad

Flowers in bloom

I hope I’ve done justice with my photos. Would love to hear your feedback. Please feel free to use the comments section below ‘n don’t forget to share this on all social / blogging platforms that you use. Happy viewing ‘n chow-chow!

british monuments in hyderabad

Stone lion at the Residency entrance


british monuments in hyderabad

Horizontal louvers


british monuments in hyderabad

Old cannon at the one of the side gates


british monuments in hyderabad

Beautiful old stone railing


british monuments in hyderabad

Balcony with cracked but stunning pillars


british monuments in hyderabad

Beautiful vintage painted ceiling


british monuments in hyderabad

Old fan inside the Residency


british monuments in hyderabad

Horizontal louver windows inside the Residency


british monuments in hyderabad

Dungeon door in the basement of the Residency


british monuments in hyderabad

Inside the basement dungeon


british monuments in hyderabad

Exposed brick wall of the basement dungeon


british monuments in hyderabad

Old British cemetary inside the Residency. Only the very important were buried here


british monuments in hyderabad

Old British memorial inside the cemetery


british monuments in hyderabad

Replica of the main building of the residency built for Khair-un-Nissa, who because of the purdah system was confined to the Rang Mahal. This replica was built, so that she could feel a part of the residency


british monuments in hyderabad

Tombs inside the British cemetary


british monuments in hyderabad

I hope the wheels of time becomes the wheels of change for restoration of this magnificent structure


british monuments in hyderabad

Tombs at the cemetery


british monuments in hyderabad

Louvered window


british monuments in hyderabad

Another memorial inside the cemetery


british monuments in hyderabad

Nursery next to the cemetery


british monuments in hyderabad
Stunning old metal railing 


british monuments in hyderabad

I found this very unusual sort of a wild pea growing near the Rang Mahal. Never seen anything like this before


british monuments in hyderabad

Old registers kept in the dungeon


british monuments in hyderabad

Old excise conference photo


british monuments in hyderabad

The current state of the British residency in Hyderabad


And we were served very good breakfast of kesari bhath, vada, sambar ‘n chutney by the college. All’s well that ends well, na.

Kesari bhath served at women's college Hyderabad - british monuments in hyderabad

Kesari bhath


Chutney served at women's college Hyderabad - british monuments in hyderabad


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Leave a Comment

  1. Mohit, I am so impressed by your enthusiasm, aesthetic sense, passion and dedication to good food! :)

  2. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    Thank you Shruti. The admiration’s mutual.

  3. Kranthi Kiran says:

    Wonderful work Dude.. I was part of the walk but havent got chance to see cemetery and few other places..Now these pictures with description makes the photowalk complete.. Good luck..keep blogging!

  4. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    Thank you Kranthi.

  5. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    Thanks Varun

  6. My compliments, Sir.

  7. I was wondering where all the food photos have gone.. and there in the end was the pics of the yummy breakfast served…. :)

  8. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    DT. Loved your post on the same subject too.

  9. This was my college…i spent 3 years there…..Loved all the pics and i have seen them all…we used to bunk classes and wander. You didn’t see a small temple at the end of the property??

  10. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    Missed seeing the temple Saritha.

  11. My first visit to your website today. I’m impressed by the picturesand food both. Thanks for sharing your experience. Looking forward to more of it.

  12. You have given nice and very depth information.

  13. Great pics thanks

  14. Radhika B. says:

    I am a die hard Hyderabad Fan. I Had been to The Residency a number of times. Kirkpatrick and Khairunnissa’s romantic hideout the Rang Mahal at the far end has been very nicely captured. Really wish better care is taken. Great pictures and Thanks for posting.

  15. noreen sharma says:

    I studied here between 1980-83….your pics took me down the memory lane….especially the cemetery..we used to hold seances there andget answers to our questions from the spirits on a ouija board….also u hv not shown the lovers bench in your pics…it was our favourite hangout during free periods. Wonderful pics I must say

  16. Was reading the White Mughals and this just makes me easy to visualize the wholw thing. Now, is it easy to visit the place?

  17. aamodakitchen says:

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep Posting:)

  18. Wish to visit this place.

  19. I have photos of Residency as it used to be since my mum grew up in it during WW2. She loved her time in India and had fond memories of this amazing building. In the war there was a box on the top of the apex which was a communications post.

    • Chowder Singh says: (Author)

      It’d be wonderful if you could share these with us, Robert :)

    • Ok I will dig through mum’s photos and see if i can put a little selection up for you. Her memory has almost gone now but every now and then she comes up with a memory from India. She met my dad out there he was in the artilary, sent out to defend against Japanese invasion but their guns took another year to arrive. Thankfully no invasion either so they played lots of polo it seems :) The Maharajas were amazing one had so much money he filled a room with it. Rats & mice would eat it. Mum was in the WRINS (Womens Royal Indian Naval Service) so had job of communications officer at the Residency. She says she spoke to Churchill on the phone but can’t be sure on that since recent recollection. She had to go up into the Comms box they mounted on residency roof. She said the supersitions were odd. One day a monkey landed on the car bonnet. The driver who was young and fit said Oh no I am going to die. A few days later he did, seemed to have convinced himself.

      • Just love the way things come alive when people who have been there tell us something about that past. Thanks Robert. My mother studied here after it became a women’s college. It would be great if you have some pics to share with us from the time when the English were here.

  20. Dr.satyendra Soni says:

    Dear friend,d
    Dear friend,
    I am glad to see all snapes.kamal ka kam hai.hearty congratulations
    to you.
    With best wishes,
    Dr.satyendra soni agar