Badi Baoli provides a silver lining

In good shape:The 16th century Badi Baoli that had collapsed in 2013 is now fully restored by Aga Khan Trust for Culture.— Photo: Mohammed Yousuf  

hen it rains, it pours. And perhaps the impact of Wednesday’s showers could not have been felt anywhere else more than at the Qutb Shahi tombs premises, where the Badi Baoli alone managed to accumulate one lakh litres of water. The 16{+t}{+h}century structure, which had collapsed in 2013, has now been restored, and water channels have been created to let water gather easily and avoid damage to it.

“The 19th century addition of the arcade had resulted in the creation of an obstacle in the rainwater channel leading to the Baoli,” said Ratish Nanda, CEO, Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), the organisation which is currently restoring the Qutb Shahi tombs. After restoration works were taken up post the collapse, an alternative water channel was created to ensure that rainwater collects in the Baoli as it originally used to.

There are six large step-wells in the Qutb Shahi tombs. On Wednesday, after it rained heavily for more than two hours, one lakh litres of water had been collected in the Badi Baoli, and another 80,000 litres in the Baoli behind the Hamam (bath). Mr. Nanda said ground levels in the area north of the Baoli in the Hamam were restored to allow unhindered slope for rain water into the Baoli.

In 2013, due to heavy rains, the western wall of the Badi Baoli had collapsed, and details of the construction remained only on a small portion of the structure. The restoration, which will take about a year more to be completed, was also done with the help of archival images from the 1860s, when certain changes were made to the structure during the Asaf Jahi era.

Yoshowanth, one of the architects working at the site, said the catchment area of the Badi Baoli is on the western side, which perhaps led to the wall’s collapse in 2013. “We found the channels which were built to let rain water pass into the well. To avoid damage to the structure, we have also made alternative channels along the western wall, through which water will pass into the structure,” he explained.

“We want to maximise the usage of water collected from rains, and have hence made some additional channels which feed into the original ones,” said Mr. Nanda. The ongoing restoration works, which are in the first phase, are expected to be completed next year jointly by the AKTC and the State Department of Archaeology.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 9:44:45 AM |

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