The Qutb Shahi kings can rest in peace. Their final abode is in for restoration at last. The Agha Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has come forward to take up conservation and landscape restoration of the Qutb Shahi Tombs complex. A formal MoU is expected to be signed between the AKTC and the State Department of Archaeology.
After successful restoration of the Humayun's Tomb in Delhi, this will be the second heritage site to be developed by AKTC in India. The Historic Cities Programme of AKTC aims at conservation of best of Islamic architecture and traditions across the world.
Not just the cluster of seven Qutb Shahi tombs, but all the 150 graceful structures in the 130 acre royal necropolis will be restored in a way that can spur social, economic and cultural development. The grand mausoleums, including that of City founder, Mohd Quli Qutb Shah, are known for elaborate and intricate architecture.
It will be purely a privately funded initiative. AKTC will raise funds required for the project to be implemented in the next five years. To start with a master plan for the entire Qutb Shahi Tomb complex will be prepared.
“Conservation works will be undertaken in a phased manner on all tombs, mosques, water structures and enclosure walls within the complex”, said Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, Tourism.
Of course the conservation policy for the project will be prepared in consultation with the Archaeology department and peer reviewed by national and international experts.
In fact a regular monitoring system is proposed to be set up as soon as the conservation works begins.
This doesn't foreclose government's option to avail the Iranian expertise. Since 2004 the State government is trying to seek technical support of Iranian government for conservation of the Qutb Shahi tombs. “We can still utilise their expertise in restoration of the original Persian tiles”, said Mr. Ranjan.
Thorough documentation, archival research, high definition surveys, archaeological excavation, preparation of detailed work plan will be done in the first year.
The magnificent tombs, a popular tourist spot, suffered damage last year when the Archaeology department took up slip-shod restoration works. All this will be addressed by the AKTC.
It is expected to revitalise the garden landscape, fountains and pathways as it did in Humayun's Tomb.