Venerable lodge in for royal flushing

When the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb conquered the Kingdom of Golconda in 1687, the Baradari building housed his administration and his son, Shah Alam’s engagement was held in the aesthetic build

Published: 13th November 2009 01:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2012 11:45 PM   |  A+A-


A public toilet being constructed along the wall of the Goshamahal Baradari building in Hyderabad.

When the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb conquered the Kingdom of Golconda in 1687, the Baradari building housed his administration and his son, Shah Alam’s engagement was held in the aesthetic building. Now, the heritage building, housing the Freemasons Lodge, situated in Goshamahal in Hyderabad is going to be a public urinal. Incidentally, it is the oldest building housing a Freemasons Lodge in the country.

The city of Hyderabad famous for its monuments, which were built hundreds of years ago by the nawabs and Nizams, now, are being destroyed by the apathetic officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

A 325-year-old heritage building, the Goshamahal Baradari Masonic building is a case in point.

B Nataraj, secretary of the Goshamahal Baradari Masonic Building Committee (GBMBC) told ‘Expresso’ that the historical building Baradari Freemasons Lodge is soon to become a public toilet as the GHMC officials gave permission to a contractor to set up one under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

“A few months ago, GHMC officials tried to construct a public toilet and failed as the building committee opposed their move. After a long gap, the GHMC officials took up the move to build a public toilet attached to the boundary of the Baradari Masonic building. Our complaints to the officials fell on deaf ears,” he laments.

The Goshamahal Baradari means ‘Secluded Palace for ladies’. Gosha is the veil worn by Muslim women and Baradari means a building with 12 doors.

The historical building was built by Sultan Abu Hasan, the last Sultan of the Qutub Shahi dynasty, which ruled the kingdom of Golconda.

D Ramachandram, one of the members of the building committee said that the Nizam constructed the present structure in memory of his beloved, Nanni Sanwali, an orphan, who died before they could be married. She requested that, as a memorial, he should build a public bath for ladies.

When Nizam Osman Ali Khan was ruling Hyderabad, he donated the building to the Freemasons to set up their Lodge there. The Nizam himself was a Freemason. In 1933, the building was officially given to Freemasons and now it is being maintained by a committee formed by senior citizens.

 “Now the building is being used by the Freemasons to run the Masonic Study Circle, and the library is housed in one corner. A portion of the ground floor serves as a sewing centre for ladies. Another portion of the ground floor is has the medical centre, where two qualified and experienced doctors provide allopathic and homeopathic medicines free of cost,” said A Sridhar, president of the building committee.

 “The Baradari building had great significance during the rule of the Nizams. It is unfortunate that the GHMC officials plan  to build toilets for the public at the building,” lamented  60- year-old Ahmed Ansari, resident of Goshamahal.


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