Says the team at Archinova, Hyderabad (Dr.Ramesh Raghavendran, Ar Nikita Jaiswal), ‘The deodis were the palatial homes of the noble families that lived in Hyderabad and served the nizam. These fortified mansions were placed around the Charminar in the city. The Deodis from their initial setting acted as an important seat for various social gathering and judicial practices too. Built in Indo-Sarcenic style, they drew stylistic and decorative elements from native, which the British regarded as the classic Indian style, and less often Hindu temple architecture. The basic layout and structure of the buildings tends to be close to that used in contemporary buildings in other styles, such as Gothic revival and Neo-Classical, with specific Indian features added.
These Deodis were self-contained townships guarded by armed men equipped with weapons who served the jagirdar or noble. Security was a main concern at that period which gave rise to some of the main features of the Deodis. The common features of all the Deodis are the extravagant main entrances, the high enclosing boundaries, several courtyards, large halls for various purposes and separate apartments for men and women. Of these, the Deodi of Raja Shamraj Bahadur was one of the larger Hindu Deodis that were built.
Deodi of Raja Shamraj Bahadur was in the locality of Shah Ali Banda. The major landmark for the Deodi was Ashoor-khana Bada Panja in the North, Maharaja Kishan Pershad Deodi to its east Kishan Rao Deodi in South and Stables and Khawas Pura in the west quadrant. Panj Mahalla road divides the servant’s quarters from the main areas of the Deodi.
Being oriented in North-south direction, Raja Rai Rayan Deodi had four major entrances, two on the west side opening into Panj Mahalla road ,one on the east side opening towards the Bagh of Maharaja Kishan Pershad and the south entrance which was opening towards the Kishan Rao Deodi.
The style of over architecture is like the Muslim counterparts, but distinct use of features like addition of animals in the carvings, addition of temples, figures of goddesses, typical Rajasthani styled carvings etc. give it its own style. Distinct features like an absence of Mardana and Zenana, presence of several temples, presence of a larger kitchen area and space for brahmins and other community members to celebrate festivals, show the contrast between this Deodi and the others”.
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