Hyderabad

Historical pathway between Golconda Fort and Qutb Shahi Tombs to be restored

As the Telangana government plans to restore the historical connection between the Golconda Fort and the Qutb Shahi tombs, more evidence has surfaced to show how the two monuments were linked. A 1693 map in a Dutch travelogue shows the Patancheru Darwaza (then called Masjid Poorten) as the main entrance to the fort besides the Fateh Darwaza as the other important entrance. The doorway has a paired peacock pattern carved in stone like the one on Bala Hissar Darwaza. An 1880 photograph shot by Raja Deen Dayal with Fateh Rahbar cannon in the foreground also shows a small masjid between the Patancheru Darwaza and Qutb Shahi Tombs complex. An Archaeological Survey of India map from 1941 shows the Patancheru Darwaza as a direct path to the inner Golconda Fort.

“The presence of the mosques on the east side makes me think that was the path of the old road. It may have been partially filled in, and the land should be examined by engineers carefully before building a road across the middle of it if that interpretation is correct. The historical road from the ‘Old Golconda’ settlement (as I have taken to calling it) to the early fort (in the Inner Fort area) then would have either run to the east or west side of that tank,” says Prof Robert Alan Simpkins of Porterville College. An old masjid with two mazaars dating from 1821 were restored by the community three years back after vandals tried to occupy it.

But to restore the historical route, the State government will have to relocate a small settlement that has come up on the edge of the waterbody. “There were three lakes here but two have been filled in and only one is still there. In October 2020, the water entered our house up to knee level,” says Aruna Bai, a resident of the area asking for better amenities.

The restored path will help make a better case for Telangana’s nomination for World Heritage Site status that has eluded Hyderabad for so long. It was in September, 2010 that India nominated ‘The Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Charminar’ for Unesco tag. But there has been limited progress. One of the criterion for Unesco Site status is: “To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.”

A 2015 excavation in the Qutb Shahi Tombs complex had led to the discovery of a 3.25-metre-wide stone-floored pathway on the southern side of the necropolis. Historians say that the pathway was used to bring dead bodies from the fort to be buried in the necropolis.

“Some of these mosques and tombs scattered in and outside the current Qutb Shahi Historic Park are not the remnants of outlying villages, but rather are all part of the original settlement at Golconda from the sixteenth century that extended from the pair of very early mosques hidden in the bushes, south of Neknampur Road, all the way perhaps to the cluster of mosques and tombs by Manikonda village,” says Prof Simpkins.

Once the State government overcomes all hurdles to restore the historical pathway between the Golconda Fort and Qutb Shahi Tombs complex, visitors to the site will get a holistic experience. It may also make Hyderabad’s case for a heritage site, more strong.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 3:07:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/historical-pathway-between-golconda-fort-and-qutb-shahi-tombs-to-be-restored/article34745903.ece

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