Akbaruddin Owaisi lauds Agha Khan Foundation on Qutb Shahi tombs restoration

Hyderabad: Chandrayangutta member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Akbaruddin Owaisi lauded the Agha Khan Trust for Culture’s (AKTC) work to improve the condition of the Qutb Shahi tombs. Speaking at in the Assembly on Tuesday, he further pitched his ideas for the development of the site to Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao (KTR).

Earlier (KTR) praised the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) for its “stellar” work on behalf of the state government. Acknowledging the state’s partnership with the AKTC to restore the Qutb Shahi tombs, KTR said that efforts are on to get World Heritage Site status for the Qutb Shahi tombs.

“I regularly meet and interact with people of the Agha Khan Foundation, they are doing wonderful work, we have to appreciate the work they are doing. I would like to thank them, on behalf of myself and my party and people,” Owaisi remarked.

Akbaruddin Owaisi said that he had earlier requested KTR to improve the condition of the Qutb Shahi tombs, and added that there can be even more development there. ”I had earlier requested for a mono train there from Shaikhpet,” the MLA said.

“Golkonda diamonds were famous. We need to do road widening there to improve the passage there,” the MLA stated. Further, Akbaruddin Owaisi suggested that there is a big defence area opposite the Golkonda Fort and if KTR writes a letter to allot some land to be used as a parking lot, it could boost tourism there.

Beautiful tombs, gardens, pavilions, mosques and lush green flora and fauna are all part of the Qutb Shahi tombs’ character. The tombs complex is the Golconda or Qutb Shahi dynasty’s (1518-1687) royal necropolis, and has become a favourite of many heritage enthusiasts in Hyderabad today thanks to the superb ongoing restoration that has been taken up by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Telangana government’s Department of Heritage.

In fact, the restoration has been nothing less than spectacular, thanks to the AKTC, and the Qutb Shahi tombs was even part of the Deccan Sultanate monuments (in Telangana and Karnataka) that were set to be nominated as World Heritage Sites. The tombs complex was part of the list of places submitted between February 2019 and January 2020. However, the union government eventually prioritised Gujarat’s Dholavira site over it.

While there is no denying the importance of other sites, with regard to history, it may be noted that from a heritage perspective, the Qutb Shahi tombs in Telangana has the potential to singlehandedly become the sole reason for drawing tourists. It has nearly 100 structures in one huge place, which includes tombs, a Turkish bath, gardens, old trees, pavilions and in a general a very pleasing aesthetic.

Speaking during the ongoing assembly session, KTR said, “Seriously sir Aga Khan Foundation is doing stellar work. I want to thank them. It is important that we acknowledge our partners and their contribution towards this wonder project. Recently, our tourism minister along with the chief minister got the World Heritage Site for the Ramappa Temple,” he stated.

The Telangana minister said that the state government is working towards connecting the Qutb Shahi tombs and the Golconda fort through its historic pathway (which is currently encroached upon). “We want to get World Heritage Site for al this as well, but there is a lot of work to be done. It is good if all of Hyderabad gets this status, but we can try for this, and the Charminar afterwards,” KTR said.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Telangana government to restore and develop the Qutb Shahi tombs, which is the royal necropolis of the Golconda or Qutb Shahi kingdom, where its royalty is buried. It was originally connected to the Golconda fort through a pathway.

There are plans to also develop an intepretation centre or museum for the benefit of the public to learn about the site history, but there is a Waqf Tribunal stay on it which even the Telangana high court refused to vacate. The stay was a result of local persons objecting to the ongoing works at the Qutb Shahi tombs.

The historic site has seen a literal transformation over the last decade, as the AKTC has saved the monuments through restoration and removed a lot of the concrete interventions of the 20th century that were there done at different points. KTR, it is learnt, is also keen to develop the site and ensure that the works are fully carried out.