The iconic High Court building of Telangana on the banks of the Musi River has completed 100 years. The Nizam era building which has perfect blend of Indian and Persian art forms, is one of the finest buildings in the city, built in pink and white stones in Saracenic style, by Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan the ruler of the princely state of Hyderabad. The dome of the High Court looks beautiful and impressive from the Naya Pul Bridge at sunset.
The construction of the building started on 15 April 1915 and was completed on 31 March 1919. On 20 April 1920 the High Court building was inaugurated by the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan. The building was among the five iconic buildings that were built as part of restructuring the city of Hyderabad immediately after the Musi floods of 1908. The High Court building was built on the ruins of the Hine Mahal and Nadi Mahal, Qutub Shahi structures, over a sprawling nine acre land.
The plan of the High Court building was done by one Shankar Lal from Jaipur and was executed by Mehar Ali Fazil, a local architect. Its chief engineer was Nawab Khan Bahadur Mirza Akbar Baig.
Imposing arch of the building drew its inspiration from the Buland Darwaza of Fatehpur Sikri which was supposed to be the largest Indo-Saracenic arch in the country during that time. However, arch of the HC building is now larger than that of Buland Darwaza thus making it the largest Indo-Saracenic arch in the country. The structure and style of the building is similar to many other Indo-Sarcenic structures in the country – Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal, Gateway of India, Victoria Memorial.
When the number of judges increased upon the formation of the Andhra Pradesh in 1956, additional building was constructed in 1958-59 to accommodate increased staff strength. In 1970, the third building was proposed and the work on the same was completed in 1976.
In 2009 a major fire accident broke out through the building reportedly causing severe damage to the library housing rare England law reports, Privy Council journals and a lifesize portrait of the Nizam and portraits of judges. It is also feared that the fire might have damaged structural integrity of the building.
A silver model of the High Court with a silver key was presented to the Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan by the Judiciary during the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 1936. The facsimile of the buildings was perfectly carved in a thick sheet of silver weighing about 300 kg. The model is now in the Nizam’s Museum in Purani Haveli.