Dabeerpura Darwaza: a sentinel of the past

Dabeerpura Darwaza in old city of Hyderabad on Sunday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

It stood as a sentinel for all in the past but has no guardian of its own. Dabeerpura Darwaza (gate), one of the two gates that was part of a massive fortification wall, and its doors and wickets that encircled the city, struggles to retain its identity.

With the local authorities painting the structure every year, the original sheen of the darwaza has vanished much to the chagrin of heritage lovers. “It was constructed with granite as is the case with Moazamjahi market and Mecca Masjid, and does not need any whitewash or paint. The structure needs to be given a facelift with a chemical wash to retain its beauty,” INTACH member, P. Anuradha Reddy said.

Another heritage activist points out that painting or whitewashing the structure is in violation of the Archaeological department rules. “It amounts to tampering with its original beauty,” he says. The impressive gate, built in the early 18th century, is dressed in granite and is flanked on either side by octagonal tower bastions. It was one of the 13 gates present around the city and served as entry and exit points.

“It was actually constructed during the Mughal period but after it collapsed during the flood, it was rebuilt during the period of Salar Jung I. Its architecture is different from the Puranapul Darwaza,” says M. A. Khayum, former Assistant Director, Department of Archaeology and Museums.

Except the Dabeerpura Darwaza and the Puranapul Darwaza, other gates were demolished over a period of time. These gates used to be locked after dusk and opened at dawn. The keys were kept in the custody of a senior administrator, he explains.

A long circumference wall of around six miles existed around the city. But only a small portion of the six-mile circumference wall survives now. One can locate its remains at City College, Aliabad Darwaza, Sultan Shahi and Fateh Darwaza. The longest stretch exists between Lal Darwaza and Aliabad Darwaza, but is in poor state. It can crumble anytime, conservationists fear.

The construction of the wall began during the Qutb Shahi period but it was completed during the reign of Asaf Jah I, heritage activists point out.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 6:14:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Dabeerpura-Darwaza-a-sentinel-of-the-past/article11185423.ece

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