Irram Manzil complex left to its fate

Irram Manzil , the old palace complex of Hyderabad nobility, has become rundown even as portions of it look snazzy for film sets.   | Photo Credit: Serish Nanisetti

More than two years after the Telangana High Court stepped in to stop the destruction of Irram Manzil, the old palace complex of Hyderabad nobility has become a building with no caretakers.

The vast property whose frontage stretches for 120 metres is a spot for siestas, cinema shoots and Sunday walks. “Whenever we come to Hyderabad, we come to sleep here for some time. Nobody disturbs us except when there is a film shoot when it becomes very noisy,” says Koya Raju, an itinerant fortune teller who travels from Yadadri to the city.

The ceremonial steps are littered with broken liquor bottles. Part of the space in the front has been turned into a facility for dumping office waste, including printers, cartridges and furniture. A cursory observation shows that part of the eave of the building has collapsed.

Restoration plea

“We are planning to submit a representation to the Chief Minister asking for restoration of the building to its old glory. It can be turned into an iconic complex to receive dignitaries from across the world,” said Shafath Ali Khan, who traces his lineage to Nawab Fakr-ul Mulk, the nobleman who built the palatial complex atop the hillock overlooking the Hussainsagar in 1870.

The Roads and Buildings department, which used to function from the building has completely moved out. “There are 2-3 film shoots there every month. Otherwise, nobody enters the building,” says a woman who manages a tea-stall nearby.

Traces of shoot

The film shoots leave behind traces. The rear portion of the structure has the nameplate of a judge. The front portion appears to have been used recently for a Hindi film shoot where the building was made to appear like a police station in Goa. Bathed in the evening sunlight, the old palace complex, with its ornamental stairs and pediment shows only hints of its former glory. A part of it was turned into a Panaji Driving School. Then there are also discarded placards with political slogans in Tamil scattered in the area.

While the Irram Manzil will live on in the make-believe world of Telugu, Tamil ,and Hindi cinema, its fate in the real world hangs in the balance.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 8:54:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/irram-manzil-complex-left-to-its-fate/article34000553.ece

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