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Khairatabad mosque in state of neglect

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CRYING FOR ATTENTION: Vegetal growth has invaded the Qutb Shahi mosque at Khairatabad.
CRYING FOR ATTENTION: Vegetal growth has invaded the Qutb Shahi mosque at Khairatabad.

J.S. Ifthekhar

Lime plaster peeling off, jali work in ruins

Hyderabad: The stamp of neglect is clear. It doesn't require a connoisseur to see the rot that has set in the Qutb Shahi mosque and Khairati Begum's tomb in Khairatabad. Incidentally both are protected architectural monuments. Of course just for the records.

Situated in bustling Khairatabad, the grand mosque around which the locality has grown, cries out for attention.

The lime plaster and stuccowork can be seen peeling off at many places.

There are also fissures in the structure with vegetation growing from the minarets. The vegetal growth is particularly heavy at the rear of the mosque.

Perfect harmony

The architecture of the mosque presents perfect harmony from bottom to top, the chief characteristic of the Qutb Shahis. Situated on a raised platform, the mosque has a three-arched opening in front.

The slender minarets, which have a lot of decorative work, present a pleasing sight. But the peeling plaster and the broken jali work take away the beauty.

The mosque was built by Khairat-un-Nisa Begum, daughter of Mohd Qutb Shah, the sixth king in the line of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. She built the mosque for her tutor, Akhund Mulla Abdul Malik.

There is also an empty domed structure nearby. Generally it is believed to be the final abode of Khairat-un-Nisa Begum.

However, oldies say it was built by her tutor himself for self-burial. But as he breathed his last in Mecca and was buried there the dome remains empty to this day.

This monument is also marked by heavy vegetal growth and wild grass.

Though belatedly, the Department of Archaeology and Museums has at last woken up to the damage. It has now decided to take up repair work in the mosque and earmarked a sum of Rs. 25 lakhs under the plan budget. "The work has been awarded and it will commence soon," said J. Kedeshwari, director, Archaeology and Museums.

For the first time the Department also plans to take up conservation and restoration of the Premavati mosque and the Hakimpet Sarai at a cost of Rs. 5 crores. Why the delay? Lack of budgetary and technical support, say officials.


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