Architecture · Art · Culture · Heritage · Landscape · Monument · Uncategorized

Back to life

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A month ago, I had an opportunity to visit the Qutb Shahi tombs site and had a (brief) look at the restoration activities and to say that it is a mega project would be an understatement.

The entire restoration project is divided into three phases and each phase is planned such that the visitors can move about freely in the rest of the site.

The three years of restoration work has infused life into the weather beaten mausoleums at the Quli Qutb Shahi tombs complex near Golconda fort. The sparkling white domes of the renovated structures are a contrast to the older monuments that patiently await their turn for a makeover.

Although the Quli Qutb Shah tombs’ complex is commonly referred to as ‘Saat Gumbaz’ or ‘Seven tombs’, it encompasses a total of 75 structures comprising 40 mausoleums, 23 mosques, six baolis (step-wells), a hamam (mortuary bath), an Idgah, pavilions, garden structures and enclosure walls spread across an expanse of 108 acres.

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The tombs (close to the main entrance) that are scheduled for phase II and III seem to wait for their turn to get a facelift – Originally the Badi Baoli and Fatima Sultana’s tomb was planned as a part of phase II but due to collapse of a wall in the Baoli due to rain and the plinth of Fatima’s tomb – they were included in Phase I

The complex is an example of rare architectural splendor and was selected for conservation by the Government of Telangana. The objective was to restore the grandeur of the site and develop it as an urban archaeological park called Quli Qutb Shah Archaeological Park.  The aim was to showcase and ensure long term preservation as well as enhance understanding of the monuments that stand within its boundaries.

The main aim of the project is to ensure long term preservation of the monuments which is achieved by using traditional materials and craftsmen. Only traditional building materials like lime mortar and stone are used.

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Badi Baoli – the 400-year-old step well that collapsed in 2013 now collects enough water to fulfil the needs of the restoration activities at the site

 

The revival of Badi Baoli, one of the six step wells within the complex, is probably as remarkable as the 400-year-old quadrangular structure used for water storage. In a span of three years, starting from a collapsed condition in 2013, it has become completely functional and collected about 33 lakh liters of water during the monsoon of 2016, which is now used within the site for the restoration activities.

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The terrace of the Hamam or mortuary bath is now devoid of any vegetation.
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The Idgah which stands to the south of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah’s tomb, is one of the earliest structures constructed by Sultan Quli Qutb Shah
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The tomb of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad is the most grand and stands on a pavilion
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The ceiling of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah after the restoration works are complete.
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On the external walls of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah’s tomb, portions of the original intricate glazed tile work are still visible.
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The Southern Gate, connected to the Golconda fort through an underground passage, was used as a processional pathway to bring the body to the tomb site for burial ceremonies

It is common belief that a body was brought to the tomb complex for burial from Golconda through an underground passage. An archival photograph suggested the possibility of a processional path way connecting the Golconda Fort with the tomb complex.

Excavations were conducted at a depression found south of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah’s tomb that revealed an arched gateway. This gate over which a mosque stands, would have been the processional path that was preferred for entry to the tombs during burial ceremonies.

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The finer details of patterns in the stucco plaster on Sultan Qutb-ul-Mulk’s tomb (the first Qutb Shahi King) have been restored.
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The tombs that are scheduled under the first phase of the restoration.
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Among the tombs that are restored, the tomb of the second Qutb Shahi king, Jamshed Qutb Shah stands tall and is unique with its octagonal base.

The restoration project also envisages landscaping in about 15 acres as part of the Qutb Shah Heritage Park. Activities like tree and bird mapping have been conducted and various species of both have been identified. These studies will help improve the bio-diversity of the Qutb Shah Heritage Park as well as aid in creating an ecological zone with introduction of suitable tree species and development of a bird habitat typical of the region.

You could read the entire piece that was published in the Wow!Hyderabad Magazine Apr 2017 issue

All the images on this blog are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, blog or repost in ANY way. If you wish to use them please get in touch with me through email (lakshmi.prabhala@yahoo.co.in)

Architecture · Heritage

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid of Hyderabad is one of the oldest mosque of the capital city of Hyderabad that lies a few yards away from the graceful Char Minar. The Jama Masjid of Hyderabad was constructed by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah in 1597.

The Jama Masjid is a popular mosque of Hyderabad and the majestic white towers of the mosques can be seen from far. The Jama Masjid is considered to be an ideal example of Muslim architecture. The Jama Masjid of Hyderabad attracts a large number of Muslim devout every year.

The religious edifice of Jama Masjid in Hyderabad epitomizes Hyderabad as well as marks its 400 years of history. It is believed that the founder of the city, Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah built the Jama Masjid of Hyderabad after completing the most impressive symbol of Hyderabad, the Charminar.

Within the premises of Jama masjid lie the ruins of an old Turkish bath. Formerly, a school and a monastery used to lie within the walls of the mosque, but they no longer exist presently. The Jama Masjid is still frequented by a large number of Muslims and remains one of the principal places of worship in the city.

All the images on this blog are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, blog or repost in ANY way. If you wish to use them please get in touch with me through email.

Architecture · Heritage

Purani Idgah

This very interesting white-washed structure had acquired a bluish tint because of the cloudy sky. Also, if you dont have a widest angle lens you might risk a sore back/neck! And lastly, I probably should have cloned those wires but chose not to.

[From Heritage Capital – Hyderabad]

Like most monuments, Purani Idgah is also located in Old City’s Edi Bazaar area, close to Saidabad. While the year of construction is not known, it is believed that the structure is more than 300 years old. The most attractive aspect of this monument is its two astounding pillars having resemblance to the Charminar. The monument is otherwise mainly thronged by Muslims during ID. It is a small structure, but during Namaz days, people use the huge ground that the monument overlooks. For the locals of Saidabad and surrounding areas, this is their signature monument.

All the images on this blog are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, blog or repost in ANY way. If you wish to use them please get in touch with me through email.