Photos: Awadh prince dies a pauper in an abandoned 14th century Delhi mahal

A recluse, Awadh Prince Ali Raza, died a pauper in an abandoned 14-century Delhi palace, 'Malcha Mahal.' He was found dead on the floor near his wooden bed when some staff members from the ISRO station next door entered the Mahal to check on him.

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST 14 Photos
1 / 14
The Malcha Mahal, hidden under thick foliage deep inside the central ridge along the Sardar Patel Marg, has lost its last royal occupant — Prince Ali Raza (Cyrus). His bed is seen in the interiors of the 14th century Malcha Mahal palace of the great granddaughter of the last Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

The Malcha Mahal, hidden under thick foliage deep inside the central ridge along the Sardar Patel Marg, has lost its last royal occupant — Prince Ali Raza (Cyrus). His bed is seen in the interiors of the 14th century Malcha Mahal palace of the great granddaughter of the last Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
2 / 14
On May 28, 1985, Prince Ali Raza had shifted there with his mother, Begum Wilayat Mahal, the descendant of the Nawab of Awadh or Oudh, his sibling princess Sakina, 11 labradors, and a few domestic helps. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

On May 28, 1985, Prince Ali Raza had shifted there with his mother, Begum Wilayat Mahal, the descendant of the Nawab of Awadh or Oudh, his sibling princess Sakina, 11 labradors, and a few domestic helps. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
3 / 14
Prince Ali Raza (second from right) with his sister Sakina (second from left) and his mother Begum Wilayat Mahal at New Delhi Railway Station’s waiting room on March 20, 1975. (N Thyagarajan / HT Archives)

Prince Ali Raza (second from right) with his sister Sakina (second from left) and his mother Begum Wilayat Mahal at New Delhi Railway Station’s waiting room on March 20, 1975. (N Thyagarajan / HT Archives)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
4 / 14
The VIP enclosure at New Delhi Railway Station, where Begum Wilayat Mahal lived with her son and daughter for ten years, as seen on May 06, 1985. She was subsequently allotted the Malcha Mahal residence by the government. (Ajit Kumar / HT Archives)

The VIP enclosure at New Delhi Railway Station, where Begum Wilayat Mahal lived with her son and daughter for ten years, as seen on May 06, 1985. She was subsequently allotted the Malcha Mahal residence by the government. (Ajit Kumar / HT Archives)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
5 / 14
Hidden in the ridge, and away from public view, the Malcha Mahal now lies in ruins. The Earth station is situated next to the Mahal — a hunting lodge constructed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in the late 14th century. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Hidden in the ridge, and away from public view, the Malcha Mahal now lies in ruins. The Earth station is situated next to the Mahal — a hunting lodge constructed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in the late 14th century. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
6 / 14
An outside view of Malcha Mahal. Though the 14th-century ‘palace’ had an imposing structure and a feel of royalty, it lacked basic amenities such as water and electricity, which the family enjoyed at the railway station’s waiting room. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

An outside view of Malcha Mahal. Though the 14th-century ‘palace’ had an imposing structure and a feel of royalty, it lacked basic amenities such as water and electricity, which the family enjoyed at the railway station’s waiting room. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
7 / 14
The medieval monument had four to five arched chambers that had no doors and windows and could hardly be called rooms. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

The medieval monument had four to five arched chambers that had no doors and windows and could hardly be called rooms. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
8 / 14
The royal family’s porcelain on display at Malcha Mahal, as the police guards the property through day and night. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

The royal family’s porcelain on display at Malcha Mahal, as the police guards the property through day and night. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
9 / 14
It is evident that the royal family’s possessions were decadent and until the Begum was alive, they entertained guests lavishly. However, once Raza’s sister died as well, he became a recluse, not even allowing people to come near him until he granted them permission. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

It is evident that the royal family’s possessions were decadent and until the Begum was alive, they entertained guests lavishly. However, once Raza’s sister died as well, he became a recluse, not even allowing people to come near him until he granted them permission. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
10 / 14
A collection of family photographs, wads of visiting cards of foreign journalists and diplomats, copies of biography written by Princess Sakina Mahal and a collection of elegies and sonnets in Urdu penned by 19th century Awadhi poet Mir Baber Ali Anees were found at the premises. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

A collection of family photographs, wads of visiting cards of foreign journalists and diplomats, copies of biography written by Princess Sakina Mahal and a collection of elegies and sonnets in Urdu penned by 19th century Awadhi poet Mir Baber Ali Anees were found at the premises. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
11 / 14
A three-page note with several handwritten accounts now lies scattered on the premises with other belongings of the family, including several pairs of old shoes, a broken typewriter, porcelain crockery, cups, copper vessels and soiled carpets. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

A three-page note with several handwritten accounts now lies scattered on the premises with other belongings of the family, including several pairs of old shoes, a broken typewriter, porcelain crockery, cups, copper vessels and soiled carpets. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
12 / 14
Raza would use firewood from the ridge to boil water and heat food. He also had an ice box to keep his drinks cool, an alternate for refrigerator. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Raza would use firewood from the ridge to boil water and heat food. He also had an ice box to keep his drinks cool, an alternate for refrigerator. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
13 / 14
Copper vessels and other utensils from Raza’s royal kitchen lie unused; a sign of his reclusive self. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Copper vessels and other utensils from Raza’s royal kitchen lie unused; a sign of his reclusive self. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST
14 / 14
The Mahal was out of bounds to visitors, which was protected with barbed wires all around and 12 big dogs. After years, the household helps left and their dogs died, leaving the once-popular residence, a mere shadow of its old self. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

The Mahal was out of bounds to visitors, which was protected with barbed wires all around and 12 big dogs. After years, the household helps left and their dogs died, leaving the once-popular residence, a mere shadow of its old self. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2018 04:14 PM IST

[OTHER GALLERIES]

SHARE
Story Saved