Badshahi Ashoorkhana restoration stalled again

The tile work inside the Ashoorkhana, which is being developed as a tourist spot. Serish Nanisetti

The tile work inside the Ashoorkhana, which is being developed as a tourist spot. Serish Nanisetti  

GHMC officials forced by a group of people to stop work on the structure

Squatters again managed to stop work on the restoration and beautification of Badshahi Ashoorkhana near the High Court. Nearly 10 years after the HC ordered their eviction from the Shia religious place, a group of people, led by a political leader, forced the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials to stop work on its outer part.

“The GHMC workers began digging at the site on Monday after moving the concertina wire, when a large group of people intervened at 4 p.m. and asked them to stop work. They demanded that the soil dug up for laying foundation be filled back,” said Abbas Moosavi, the traditional caretaker of the Ashoorkhana. Near the archway, the soil has been flattened.

Letter to DCP

The current effort to restore the site began with the department of Archaeology and Museums director writing to GHMC to take up the work on December 23, 2019. On December 27, the GHMC zonal commissioner wrote to the DCP to provide police protection for the work.

“Before the work was taken up by GHMC, we even met Charminar MLA Mumtaz Khan who agreed that the work is important. But later, others turned up at the site and created a ruckus,” Mr. Moosavi said.

The Ashoorkhana, built in the early half of the 17th century along with the Charminar, is one of the few surviving Qutb Shah-era monuments with magnificent tile work. This place of pilgrimage was turned into a horse stable after the conquest by Aurangzeb.

On the left side of the entrance arch was a chabootra (a raised platform) and to the right was the guardroom. While the encroachers were pushed out by HC orders in 2009, the space of guard room and chabootra was being eyed for real estate.

Part of heritage walk

Just beside a popular restaurant on the main road, Ashoorkhana has recently been added by the Tourism department to the Sunday Heritage Walks circuit.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:05:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/badshahi-ashoorkhana-restoration-stalled-again/article30464495.ece

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