The 400-year-old Badshahi Ashoorkhana was cleared of all illegal structures.

In a predawn swoop, the revenue and state archaeology department officials descended on the historic monument situated at Pattarghatti and started removing the encroachments.

A Division Bench of the High Court had directed the authorities to clear the encroachments and give a compliance report by Thursday.

A protected monument built by the city founder Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the Ashoorkhana has turned into a dumping yard over the years. It also doubled up as an auction house and a parking lot.

Contrary to expectation there was no resistance at all to the operation demolition which commenced at 6.30 a.m. today. Sensing the seriousness of the court direction, most of the encroachers removed their goods in the night itself.

A heavy contingent of police Were deployed to ensure nothing untoward happened.

''we will immediately take up restoration and conservation work,'' said P. Chenna Reddy, Director, Department of Archaeology and Museums.