There is good news for heritage lovers. Minars, magnificent doors (darwazas) and domes that dot the city are getting a facelift thanks to philanthropists, custodians of monuments and the Department of Archaeology and Museums.

Hyderabad gets the sobriquet ‘the city of minarets’ due to its onion shaped domes and minars that dot the skyline and custodians of old mosques are leaving no stone unturned to make sure that the Qutub Shahi architecture lives on.

Jama Masjid at Osmangunj is one among the oldest mosques in the city dating back to over 200 years. The minars were falling apart the trustees decided to stay with the old style and now the mosque stands tall and is good for another 100 years.

Amin the president of Jama Masjid Osmangunj says, “We spent Rs 15 lakhs to bring back the original style. We could have built a new mosque but it was a unanimous decision to keep the old style of architecture.” He adds, “The only regret is we could not do it with lime plaster but the distinctive feature of the domes and minars are there to be seen.’

In the 1950s, the administration had decided to bring down the Purana Pul darwaza to ease the traffic movement and the noted historian Haroon Khan Sherwani rushed to the spot and stopped the move. Cut to 2017- the Department of Archaeology and Museums is conserving the darwaza and the bastion using traditional material such as lime.

The Purana Pul darwaza is one of the few gateways left. There were 13 in all built as a part of the walled city in 1724 by Mubariz Khan, the Mughal warrior after the Golconda conquest. P Anuradha Reddy, convenor, INTACH Hyderabad says, “It is a reminder of a glorious past that withstood the ravages of nature and also the 1908 floods. It looks like a mini fort with canons atop the bastion.”

While the old city is replete monuments, reminders of Qutub Shahi dynasty, thanks to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has undertaken the restoration and conservation work of Quli Qutub Shahi tombs at a cost of Rs 100 crore. Anuradha Reddy says, “The 70 monuments represent an entire dynasty that ruled for 170 years and all are at one place. It is rare.”  

By T P Venu