HYDERABAD: The Fateh Rahibar, a cannon perched on Petla Burj, one of the bastions of Golconda Fort, today lies vandalised, covered with letters carved into its body by rude and inconsiderate tourists.
Fateh Rahibar, which directly translates to “Guide to Victory”, was used by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after he conquered the Deccan. Historians say that Aurangzeb had brought several cannons from Delhi but he placed only Fateh Rahbar and the Azhdaha Paikar Gun at strategic locations.
These two cannons have been the subject of monumental apathy. The entire area has been encroached and parts of it have also been converted into a garbage dump. Access to these canons is also difficult. Locals and visitors have now resorted to vandalising these cannons by inscribing their names into the metal. Parts of the cannon have been sawed off as well. Words such as ‘Aleem-Jahuria’ are carved into the 16.5 tonne gun. Historians said locals believe, falsely, that the cannons are made of a gold-based alloy and thus damage it.
The Archeological Survey of India is responsible for maintaining the two cannons. However, the organisation has not been able to do anything of import here. An ASI official said, “Whenever we go there, the locals force us to turn back. The area is under us only on paper. In reality, we don’t have any control over it.”
The official added that there is also confusion with regards to jurisdiction. “If revenue maps existed, we could have demarcated the areas under our control. We had informed local MLA Kauser Mohiuddin about it. He had promised to act on it, but nothing has been done so far,” he added.