Hyderabad: Shaikpet Sarai faces risk of crumbling

Shaikpet Sarai faces risk of crumbling
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Shaikpet Sarai faces risk of crumbling

Highlights

  • Heritage conservationists say the protected monuments may crumble if not restored
  • It shows State govt’s neglect
  • Sarai, constructed in the 16th century to cater to needs of travellers to the city, has been reduced to nothing

Shaikpet: Hyderabad had many 'sarai' (guest house) complexes dating back to the Qutb Shahi and The Nizam era. Apathy has resulted in several crumbling over the decades of which the centuries-old two-storeyed Shaikpet Sarai is located a few km away from the historic Golconda Fort. It is in dilapidated state with portions of the first-floor caving in. Heritage conservationists say the now protected monuments may crumble if not restored. This shows the State government's neglect.

The sarai, which was constructed in the 16th century to cater to needs of travellers to the city, has been reduced to nothing. It was constructed along with a mosque attached and a mausoleum. Most people are finding it tough to even identify these historical structures.

Safa Juweria of Shaikpet said "I have been residing here for the last three years. I am unaware of such monuments cited here. The sarai must be restored and not neglected."

According to the heritage conservationists, the Shaikpet sarai is a two-storeyed arch structure which has 16 rooms and a big hall. The rooms had enough space to house three persons and shelves to keep their belongings. The guest house complex was built in the Qutb Shahi era for the convenience of traders and travellers visiting the Golconda province then.

"The sarai is a protected monument. It needs immediate attention by the Heritage department. One can observe that the entire structure has developed cracks on walls. The recent rain has more affected it as the roof of the first floor is caving in," heritage activist Mohammed Habeebuddin said.

The mausoleum adjacent to the sarai and a mosque was built with granite stones. The roof, slabs and pillars are of granite which are also in dilapidated state. "These monuments have developed cracks; a huge gap has formed. The chunks are falling from the roof and weeds are growing. The department also took up conservation work at the complex a few years back and later was stopped. The government should do something to protect the monuments," he added.

The mosque located in the Shaikpet sarai complex and the adjacent mausoleum show the fine architecture of the Qutb Shahi era. The mosque has three domes and arches, while the mausoleum is a granite structure. There are inscriptions in Arabic on the outer surface and in the mausoleum. "the inscriptions are damaged; some are also missing. The grave in the mausoleum is fully damaged; the stones are missing," Habeebuddin pointed out.

The sarais were constructed mainly outside the gates of the Golconda Fort and later the Hyderabad city. As the fort gates used to be closed at evening only to be opened by vigilant guards next morning, those arriving in later hours were accommodated in these sarais.




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