Architecture · Heritage

Dargah Hazrath Shah Mohammed Hassan Abul Ulai

[Text from INTACH]

Located in Aghapura, in Hyderabad, the Dargah of Hazrat Shah Mohammed Hasan Saheb Qibla, Abul Ulai, is a prime example of the resurgence of the vernacular architectural style, which regained popularity during the reign of the Sixth Nizam Mir Mahboob Ali Khan. The revival of the Qutb Shahi style, with some Moghul elements like cusped arch incorporated, was the forerunner of the Osmanian style which into its element during the City Improvement Board (CIB) period of City’s architectural evolution.

Marked by its use of intricate stucco in decoration as in early Qutb Shahi buildings, the interior environment of this Heritage structure, even today leaves one spellbound. The tomb, constructed about 130 years ago, in 1294 Hijri, reminds one of the Ibrahim Rauza of Bijapur, which probably served as the inspiration for both this and the tomb of Saidanima at Tank Bund.

The ‘Sama Khana’, which predates the tomb by almost 20 years, is an even more exquisite piece of architecture. The large span and sweeping curve of its main arch are a tribute to the genius of its builder. The intricate stucco motifs add to the visual experience and undoubtedly help transport one to a high spiritual level during the ‘Qawwali’ sessions at the annual ‘Urs’.

Tucked away behind the Tomb is the 200-year old ‘khankha’. This, along with a few other buildings from various periods, makes the Darga Complex a treat for the connoisseur of architecture. It is also one of the only place in the city where Bohemian crystal chandeliers, antique zari, silver, crystal and other unique specimens of period craftsmanship are accessible to the general public during Urs period.

The clean environment, the exemplary maintenance, the loving care evident in the immaculate upkeep of the premises and its contents reflect the importance, which the custodians attach to it. This obvious effort in maintaining a gem of our heritage richly deserves an award.

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