HYDERABAD: The Qutb Shahi Heritage Park, one of the largest necropolis in the world, was thrown open to public on Wednesday. After removing about 50 layers of white wash, the restoration team has been able to revive the detailing of the 16th century seven-arch arcade.
The works were taken up following reference from archival records. Historians present there said that it is one of the finest Persian type Hamams that is still sustained in India. It is also believed to have been a mortuary bath. As per archival records, this cluster of monuments, which are grave tombs, was built while the Qutb Shahis were still alive, each as per their taste.
The tombs too are in the process of being restored to how they existed during their time. The tomb of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, stands 60 m tall. Lime plaster was applied on the dome, while cement was removed from the minarets among other finer elements. For the tomb of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, the fourth ruler of the dynasty, removal of cement now reveals hidden tiles and stucco work.
"With around 100 crore from the AKTC we finished the first phase. It is important to highlight that this is the only place in the world where members of an entire dynasty sleep together. We are also looking to improve the rest of the facilities will also be improved. We also received a fund of around `80 crore from the Government of India and we plan to complete this by 2021," informed B Venkatesham, secretary, Heritage Telangana. In terms of preservation of these works, he said the onus is on the people as much as it is on them and they have to responsible and help preserve these sites.
BV Papa Rao, advisor to State government, NR Visalatchy, director, Department of Archaeology and Museums were also present.
The tombs are open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm with an entry fee of `10.
Marking the World Heritage Day, the government of Telangana and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture(AKTC), threw the campus open for public. The first phase of works of the Heritage Park is completed and the total project is to be completed by 2020-21.
Members from the AKTC followed by a group of heritage enthusiasts led a walk around the tombs and the garden area that has been restored to its past glory, while explaining the painstaking, and long-lasting restorative process. While the ruins provide a unique experience, the revamped look of selected tombs would make one feel a sense of historical pride.
Some of the bits include the Idgah which is located at the entrance of the tombs. This also included restoring missing portions of stucco work. The conservation process of Hamam included the removal of inappropriate 20th century repairs. Earlier, when efforts were made to restore these tombs, cement was one of the elements. The roof of the Hamam was relaid with lime and mortar to prevent entry of water while repairing the structural cracks. The missing stone elements have also been restored.