Hyderabad’s Saidani-Ma Tomb to Be Restored by Aga Khan Trust


HYDERABAD – Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) will restore Saidani-Ma Tomb near Hussain Sagar in the heart of the city through Aga Khan Trust, a top Telangana official said on Saturday.

The tomb of Saidani Ma, the lady sufi saint, is a state protected beautiful memorial with stucco decoration and fretwork screens (jaali).

Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary, Urban Development, visited the tomb in the presence of its mutawalli (custodian), Zonal Commissioner, Secunderabad of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and officials of state heritage department.

The tomb of Saidani-Ma was built in the 1880s by her son Sardar Abdul Haq Diler Jung, who was the home secretary of erstwhile Hyderabad State and also served as the director of the Nizam’s State Railways.

Located on the north side of the Tank Bund road, the tomb has been a victim of neglect for decades and a part of its land has also been encroached. There have been demands from heritage activists to save the tomb which has an onion-shaped dome on an octagonal base.

While the arches on the upper chamber of the monument reflect Qutb Shahi architecture, the ground floor arches are built in Mughal style.

This will be the first heritage structure to be restored by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in Hyderabad outside Qutb Shahi Tombs.

It has almost completed the project to restore the past glory of the royal necropolis spread over 106 acres. With 72 monuments including mausoleums of rulers of the Qutub Shahi dynasty (1518-1687), the sprawling complex at the foot of the majestic Golconda Fort is getting a new lease of life.

The complex called Qutb Shahi Heritage Park has 40 mausoleums, 23 mosques, stepwells, a ‘hamam’ (mortuary bath), pavilions and garden structures, each with its striking grandeur and a unique synthesis of architectural styles.

The restoration of the royal necropolis started in 2013 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for an integrated conservation and landscape restoration project of the Tomb complex by the then Andhra Pradesh State Department of Archaeology and Museums, QQSUDA, AKTC and Aga Khan Foundation.

Saidani Ma Tomb is the latest monument to be added to the list of heritage structures being restored by the Telangana government.

The authorities recently announced that Sardar Mahal, Mir Alam Mandi and Mahaboob Chowk Market (Murghi Chowk) will be restored.

Officials say that restoration of monuments and heritage structures will further strengthen the case of Hyderabad for UNESCO world heritage tag. -IANS

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