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200 years on, Paigah tombs to get a facelift

200 years on, Paigah tombs to get a facelift
Highlights

The Paigah Tombs that are decorated in stucco work and represent Mughul, Greek, Persian, Asafjahi, Rajasthani and Deccani styles, have no parallel in the city in terms of style of architecture.

Hyderabad: The Paigah Tombs that are decorated in stucco work and represent Mughul, Greek, Persian, Asafjahi, Rajasthani and Deccani styles, have no parallel in the city in terms of style of architecture.

Cosmetic changes in the past

  • The Archaeo-logy Department took up the protection of this place in 1990
  • Some settlers were evicted from inside the compound in 2009
  • Beautification work was done but no repair work for biodiversity conference in 2012

However, now after almost 200 years, those historical relics are going to get a fresh lease of life. As part of the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Union Tourism Ministry, these tombs come under the heritage circuit in Hyderabad and Rs 4.10 crore has been sanctioned for bringing back to the old grandeur to the tombs.

Lying in a derelict state, these tombs near Santosh Nagar could easily replicate the success story of Humayun Tomb in Delhi that now attracts more than 10 lakh tourists after renovation. Telangana Department of Archaeology & Museums (DAM) director N R Visalatchi says, “Unlike other monuments, the Paigah Tombs have intricate design that include jalli work on walls and doors and stucco work of very high quality.

The conservation part is being undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and the amenities for the interpretation systems such as lighting, pathways, compound wall, landscaping and other facilities for tourists would be done by the Archaeology department.

A member of AKTC said that inside it is terracotta and on the outside is lime mortar. A team from New Delhi collected samples from the site and also invited workmen from Iran and Central Asian countries as part of the preliminary research.

Visalatchi says, “Fruits, drums, serpents, flowers, vases, pineapple shaped stucco ornamentation on the roof and rosewood doors are a delight but need great deal of workmanship.”

While heritage lovers in the city welcome the restoration work they are apprehensive about settlements at the necropolis. Intach co-convenor Sajjad Shahid says, “What one sees today is just a part of the graves of the Paigah family.

All settlements should be removed and a proper pathway to the tombs from the DRDL main road should be made.” He further adds, “Paigah nobles preferred their graves to be open without a roof similar to the tomb of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

However, there are four pillars known as chowkandi in locally, which is nothing but an enclosure.” The final resting place of several members of the Paigah family who held high positions in Nizam’s government were known to be fiercely loyal and contributed in almost all fields.

The tomb of Hussain-Un-Nissa, daughter of the fifth Nizam is a replica of Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb at Taj Mahal. There is a lot of history attached to the tombs and could become a major tourist attraction in the years to come, says Visalatchi. The deadline for the Swadesh Darshan scheme is 36 months.

By T P Venu

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