Hyderabad: Moula Ali dargah to regain its grandeur
It is after 180 years that repairs are being undertaken. We are 39 donors, all NRIs who want to give back to society and are proud of our heritage but the biggest problem is to lift the material to the hillock. All that we ask for is a vertical crane. We met the Principal Secretary, MAUD, who agreed but the delay is resulting in losses
– Syed Nazeer Hasan Abedi,
president, Al Kausar Trust
Hyderabad: As one climbs to Moula Ali Dargha atop a hill, one is filled with reverence, devotion and tranquility that the place exudes in abundance. The serene surroundings, far from madding crowds of urban life, are sure to lift one's spirits.
On Saturday, a group from Bidar was seen making their way up the 500-odd steps to the dargah dedicated to the son-in-law of the prophet. For centuries, royals, nobles and people from all faiths have been coming to Kohe-Moula Ali. While the number is increasing with each passing year, the structures spread across the dome-shaped hillock have been subjected to vagaries of time and in need of repairs.
The five kamans, mosque, three baradari (pavilions with 12 doors), naqqar khana (place for beating drums) and the tea stall, where the Nizam would stop over midway for a cuppa, are being restored in phases by Al Kausar Trust.
Syed Nazeer Hasan Abedi, president, Al Kausar Trust says, "It is after 180 years that repairs are being undertaken. We are 39 donors, all NRIs who want to give back to society and are proud of our heritage but the biggest problem is to lift the material to the hillock. All that we ask for is a vertical crane. We met the Principal Secretary, MAUD, who agreed but the delay is resulting in losses."
Syed Masood Ahmed, director, Al Kausar Trust says, "Untold destruction has been wrought by people illegally occupying the kamans. We have been successful in vacating a few people but a lot more has to be done."
For now, the problem is carrying material atop the hill. Limestone that costs Rs 12 becomes Rs 22. Presently, 200 tonnes of limestone is being prepared for work on 27 structures spread over the hill.
MAJOR MAKEOVER AFOOT
Total cost of the project: `3 crore l To be completed in five phases
In phase-1, restoration of Masjid-e-Ajinnah, toilet blocks, desert kitchen and Kamargah Kaman has been completed
Restoration of Niaz Khana 1&2, Kushal Khan Kaman, Kadam gaah, landscaping, streamline water, electric lines, flooring and sign boards to be taken up in phases
In the final phase, the construction of a huge dome encasing the main bargah would be taken up
Museum coming up
There are plans to set up a museum at the tea stall. The Al Kausar Trust has sourced close 250 rare photographs, some not in public domain that would be framed and adorn the museum.
Peeling off the paint from the strictures itself cost Rs 50lakh but the effort has been worth every penny, that brought intricate designs to the fore, avers Syed Nazeer. At several places, the annual ritual of white washing resulted in multiple layers of paint robbing the structure of the art work.
With help of conservation architects and a 75-year-old Khan saab, as he is affectionately called, the designs are once again brought to life
The three hillocks, as a whole is a heritage site. It is believed that Yakut, a person of Qutb Shah's court was asleep, when a man droped in green robes appeared in his dream and revealed himself as Maula Ali, the husband of Fatima, Prophets daughter. Yakut followed him to the hillock and fell down exhausted. The following morning, he found the mark of Maula Ali's handprint on the rock. The hand mark was hewn out of the rock and placed at the site.