CHENNAI: The ancient Humayun Mahal in Chennai may be thrown open to visitors again in the next few weeks, said S Manikandan, Executive Engineer (EE), PWD, Heritage Wing. The officer said the plan was to complete the renovation work by August but due to some delays, it was postponed to September. About 95% work is complete and rest 5%, including cleaning and clearing of construction materials from the building and electrical work, would be wrapped up quickly, he said.
Another official said considering the heritage value of the building, the renovation work is being carried out by strictly adhering to traditional methods of masonry. Elaborating on the restoration work, the officer said they have used Madras terrace roofing (a combination of wood, Madras achikal brick and lime plaster) and to achieve the serene white shade, Mughal plastering or Theervai plastering technology was used for the interiors. Lime, sand, white stone, egg whites, and curd were also used in the restoration work.
Sourcing raw materials and getting skilled labour was a challenge, the officer said. While Cauvery river sand was used, white stone was sourced from Rajapalayam and Rajasthan, limestone from Virudhunagar, granite from hilly regions of Rajapalayam, and square tiles were sourced from Tirunelveli. The Humayun Mahal restoration work was started on February 20, 2019.