Hyderabad

Resurrected monuments at Qutb Shahi tombs set to be thrown open in March

Monumental makeover: Workers at Qutb Shahi tombs giving one of the structures a facelift as part of the restoration project; (below) Hakim’s tombs surrounded by scaffolding with work on the 14-ft copper finial currently underway. K.V.S. Giri

Monumental makeover: Workers at Qutb Shahi tombs giving one of the structures a facelift as part of the restoration project; (below) Hakim’s tombs surrounded by scaffolding with work on the 14-ft copper finial currently underway. K.V.S. Giri  

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Aga Khan Trust for Culture has been carrying out conservation work at the site

The blue barricades that kept people away from key monuments inside Qutb Shahi tombs complex are set to be removed as the first phase of work is nearly complete.

A walk inside the complex shows cleaner lines and an aesthetically organised set-up as gardeners water the lawns. “We are planning to throw open the area to people by March and release a conservation manual on the occasion to show all the work that went into the first phase of conservation. It will help future generations and other conservation efforts,” said N.R. Visalatchy, Director, Heritage Telangana.

“These areas were barricaded in early 2015 as the workers required complete access since much of the work was very complex. That’s the reason we have been able to finish the work almost on schedule,” says Yoshowant Purohit of Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) which is carrying out the conservation work at the site.

The monuments that will become accessible once the barricades are removed include Sultan Quli’s tomb, Jamshed’s tomb, Ibrahim Quli’s tomb, Muhammad Quli’s tomb, Subhan Quli’s tomb, cluster of monuments to the west of Ibrahim’s tomb and two wells. “While the baoli (well) near Jamshed’s tomb is the big step well, the one near the serai is a small but deep one,” informs Nitya Khendry, who is part of the conservation team.

Conservation has been a mammoth task since it included undoing years of neglect and damage. At one point of time, the AKTC workers removed 120 tonnes of concrete and loose lime mortar from atop Abdullah’s masjid.

The landscaping and excavation work revealed that Sultan Quli, founder of Qutb Shah dynasty, was buried in a walled garden tomb. The symmetry was disturbed by later additions. Some of the fine stucco work on Sultan Quli’s tomb was plastered over but was revealed after a long time during the conservation work.

Work on the hammam (Turkish bath) revealed that the surrounding area was at a lower level, but it was raised over the course of centuries.

“The second phase work will be carried out on Hayat Bakshi Begum’s tomb and Muhammad Qutb’s tomb besides other locations. The baoli was supposed to be part of the second phase, but we completed it earlier. We will have to cordon off some areas because we don’t want people to hurt themselves as we are carrying out conservation and landscaping work together,” informed Ratish Nanda, CEO of AKTC.

Presently, work is going on at the pair of monuments known as Hakim’s tombs.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 10:39:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/resurrected-monuments-at-qutb-shahi-tombs-set-to-be-thrown-open-in-march/article22682711.ece

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