Hyderabad

One of the oldest mosques in Hyderabad loses its minarets

The 17th century mosque whose minaret collapsed at Shaikpet in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: Serish Nanisetti

One of the oldest mosques in Hyderabad lost its shorter minarets during the recent rain spell. “I heard a loud sound and then we lost electricity. We rushed out to see a heap of rubble. Luckily nobody was injured,” says Renuka, a resident of Shaikpet where the disused mosque exists surrounded by houses, shops and a buffalo shed.

The rubble has been cleaned and dumped at the rear of the mosque where it can be identified by the large round stones that gave shape to the minaret. “Most of the mosques in the area do not have inscriptions, and so I date them using my seriation of stylistic changes and dates are approximate. The large mosque at Shaikpet serai dates by inscription to AD 1633, but there are other mosques in the area that are both before and after it,” says Robert Simpkins, Professor of Anthropology in Porterville College, who has studied the mosques and serais (wayside inns) in Hyderabad dating to that period.

“This is news to us. We had persuaded the Department of Archaelogy and Museums to allow us to clean the mosque four months back as there was vegetal growth. But immediately after we cleaned it they locked it up,” says a Telangana Waqf official. While the mosque is a waqf property its upkeep and maintenance is the responsibility of the Telangana Department of Archaeology and Museums.

The mosque has remnants of blue ceramic tiles on one of the intact minarets. Finished with limestone mortar, the mosque is a representative of Qutb Shahi era architecture with florid use of stucco and liberal use of vegetal and geometric patterns. The long spell of rain in Hyderabad has caused immense amount of destruction to the city’s heritage including the Golconda Fort. Some of the destruction is becoming apparent only now as Wednesday was the first day without a spell of rain.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 11:48:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/one-of-the-oldest-mosques-in-hyderabad-loses-its-minarets/article32922039.ece

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