Work is on to give a facelift to the magnificent structure which has suffered damage in the recent rain

Chowmahalla Palace, one of the greatest legacies of the Nizams, is getting ready to floor the delegates coming for the next month’s biodiversity conference. Hectic work is on to give a much needed facelift to the palace which has suffered damage in the recent rain.

The magnificent monument, which bagged the UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage preservation, is showing signs of wear and tear. The heavy downpour last month and underground seepage has chipped away the ornamental work in the picturesque Darbar Hall where the coronation of the 5, 6 and 7 Nizam took place.

However, without losing time Princess Esra, the Turkish born first wife of Mukarram Jah, has requisitioned the services of experts in the field of heritage restoration to repair the damage. Brick and Stones, a Bangalore-based organisation, comprising former employees of the Archaeological Survey of India and Intach, has been roped in to fix the damage.

About a dozen workers can be seen doing the delicate job of restoring the ornamental design on the base of the huge columns in the Darbar Hall. The decorative plaster work is being done using the paste of lime, sand, jaggery and egg.

An oven is set up at the rear of the palace to prepare the lime-sand paste. After a coat of this special material is applied, carving is done to bring back the intricate patterns. “It is a laborious job and takes four to five days to restore a column,” says Anil Kumar, civil engineer overseeing the restoration work. The grey marble finish will be given once the whole thing is restored, it is said. There are 30 columns in the Darbar Hall and at least 20 of them require repair. The restoration work involves reconstruction of the collapsed sections of the palace complex, restoration of external and internal spaces besides decorative elements and finishes.

The 50 feet parapet wall at the entrance of the Darbar Hall which fell recently has been repaired. So is the armoury gallery. However, repair work in the photo gallery and people and places gallery is on. These galleries are out of bound for the visitors temporarily. “The restoration work will be over by September end,” said Kishan Rao, director, Chowmahalla Palace.

The magnificent palace along with Charminar and Mecca Masjid is expected to be a big draw with the CoP delegates.

More In: Hyderabad