The 700-year-old dilapidated Malcha Mahal, located in the Chanakyapuri area of Delhi, has lost its last royal occupant who was also the only surviving descendant of Wajid Ali Shah, the 10th Nawab of Awadh. Prince Ali Raza Oudh, the son of Begum Wilayat Mahal took his last breath on September 3 following a short illness at his home in the capital city. Prince Raza was also the last prince of the Royal family of Oudh who died the way he lived, forgotten and alone. His sister Sakina had passed away a few years back and mother well before that. Up until the beginning of this year, Malcha Mahal, which is also known as Wilayat Mahal, was occupied by him, but now there is no one there. According to reports, the body of Raza, who was reportedly 58 years old at the time of his death, was found in his home – 3 days after his demise!
Malcha Mahal which was occupied by the royal duo was built back in the 1300s by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Begum Wilayat Mahal along with her son and daughter shifted to the Malcha Mahal in May 1985, when it was allotted to them by the Government of India after a long battle that was led by the imperious Begum of Awadh. Previously, the begum along with her children stayed at the VIP lounge at the New Delhi railway station for years with her antiques and her loyal pack of ferocious hounds in a revolt against the government. The Begum had fought a lone battle with the government for the return of their ancestral property in Lucknow, but instead got the Malcha Mahal and a paltry monthly allowance of Rs 500 in exchange.
However, the place where the royal family lived had no electricity, no doors, no windows and no water, and was less of a palace and more a reminder of the fall of their family. According to reports, the Begum, the mother of the prince, committed suicide by consuming crushed diamonds, extracted from ornaments she never wore in 1993. She had poisoned herself by mixing the crushed diamonds with her drink. The Prince who was living under pitiable conditions in an interview in the year 1997, spoke about the distress of his sister after the death of their mother. He was quoted saying, “My sister is in deep distress and since the Begum died, (she) has been wearing black. She has not combed her hair even once.”
He was left alone, after the death of his sister. Police officials who discovered the Prince’s body said, “The prince was living in a pitiable condition. He used to ask people for food and one person from the locality would feed him. The prince would wander near the forested areas in Chanakyapuri and, for the past two-three days, there was no movement which was suspicious. When we looked into the matter, we found that he was lying on the floor inside his house on September 3.”