With the restoration of six historic stepwells from the 16th and 17th centuries in the Quli Qutb Shah Tombs Garden, Hyderabad has taken a significant step towards achieving the UNESCO Heritage City tag. Telangana State Minister KT Rama Rao along with US Consul General Jeffiner Larson oversaw the restoration work, a project supported by the US Ambassador’s Cultural Preservation Fund. The massive stone masonry and restored with traditional materials are part of a project to restore the Verdict Tombs Garden in an area of 106 acres. Experts have described it as unique for any place in the world.
Significantly, the Aga Khan Trust, along with the state’s culture department, is renovating more than 100 monuments, including tombs and mosques. These stepwells were used to irrigate the gardens within the boundary wall around the royal tombs. Ratish Nanda, the Foundation’s project director, told NewsBust, “One building represents every decade here during the 179-year Qutb Shahi rule. We have 40 dome mausoleums, four of them from Delhi’s Humayun. The mausoleum and other great Mughal mausoleums are of the same height.These stepwells will now also serve as a water source for other parts of the project.
Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary, Telangana, said, “This will help in the development of tourism as well as save the land from encroachment. These stepwells, covered with debris in the past, will now have enough water to meet the needs of the entire garden.” A few years back, Hyderabad earned the UNESCO tag of gastronomy for its biryani and other popular dishes. He said, “In terms of heritage city tag, Qutb Shahi Tomb is very special. Spread over 106 acres, it is the largest heritage precinct of any metro city in the country.”
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