Heritage

All posts written about the history and heritage of a place will be posted under this category.

A lone voice speaking for the dead

” They have given Rs. 50,000 for a garden. But the gardens will not help this place. What will a garden do? Encourage couples; families may come to picnic. These tombs have been around for 200 years. If they need to survive for another 200 the government must do something”, Rehmatullah finishes the self-initiated lecture.

“Do a lot of people come here?”Arvind asks while at the same time casually photographing the lattice work on the walls.

“Yes everyday they come. They come from all countries. They write their name and country in the guest book.I take it to the government official and tell them, see how many people come here. We need more money for maintenance and repair.IAS officer, Rajat Kumar came forward to help this place but in 2 weeks he was transferred!”

I walk away from them. Not out of disinterest. But hindi is not a language I can follow clearly and especially not when spoken fast.

As I stop at a distance to peep through the cement screens into the tombs that form part of the Paigah complex, I still hear the passion of Rehmatullah. Even without the luxury of  a satisfactory hindi vocabulary I know he is still talking about the conservation of the 200-year-old heritage site that comprises of the Paigah tombs.

The truth is that not many people know of the existence of these tombs. You might think that the AP tourism board would have taken care of that already! That is in all honesty far from the truth. A sign by the tourism board has  an arrow pointing in the direction of  Engine Bowli. Next to the arrow it is written Paigah Tombs 1 km, when  in fact you should take a U turn at that sign  and travel about 4 km in the opposite direction if you want to get anywhere close to the Paigah Tombs.

“Rehmatullah has been taking care of this place for 40 years”,the guard appointed by the Archaeological Survey of India to the tombs tells us.

“Before him, his father took care of the place.Everyday he is calling government people, meeting people with money to get some money for the restoration of the tombs.”

“Why don’t people know of this place?” I ask. “We asked a lot of people and no one seemed to know about the place”.

“It’s not that they don’t know. They don’t want you to come. Because if people start coming then government will have to make roads and the people will lose houses since they have built their houses on the roads.”

Arvind and I give each other knowing looks. That explained a lot of things, like having to ride through people’s backyards to get to the tombs, the presence of shelves, bathrooms and other house hold goods in and around some tomb structures and most importantly why people living next to the site did not seem to know the way to the tombs.

Sitting among the dead it seems that only Rehmatullah  really cares about what happens to the dead rotting 6 feet below delicately carved marble tombs.

If the government does not extend a hand to restore the falling structure the fate of this place after Rehmatullah’s time will be sealed forever.

In Rehmatullah’s words,”We may not be there tomorrow but these have to remain forever..thats our only hope.”

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A walk among the dead

[The Matador University has revamped its course content and I just could not pass up on an opportunity to do the MatU assignments again. Those of you in the know are aware that I have already graduated the course, the others should  check out the Matador University site.This photo essay  is part of the eleventh assignment. The objective of this essay is to tell a story/present information using photographs.]

The Paigah tombs is an old neglected heritage monument on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The work on the tombs and the walls are so intricate and detailed so much so that it makes you wonder how glorified death truly is. The architecture draws from a lot of influences of that time and merges them so beautifully and nothing seems out-of-place or out of time.

Without much ado here is my photo essay: -

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A one night stand

If there was  a contest for the most expensive one night stand, I know of one that will hands down.

The Jehangir Mahal in Orchha was built for the state visit of Mughal emperor Jehangir by Bir Sing Deo. It has a little of over hundred rooms, airy balconies, three stories, ornate elephants, turquoise tiles imported from Turkey and a central courtyard.  It took a while to build and in the end the emperor stayed at this palace for a night.  The irony of it all is that is despite almost depleting his state exchequer to impress Jehangir Bir Sing soon fell out of favor with the mughals and was crushed by a teenage Aurangzeb.

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Sanchi – The devil is in the details

The stupas at Sanchi is another testament to the quality and craftsmanship of  Indian artisans. Stupa one is the most dominant of all the Stupas on the hillock with four gates leading to it.

 

The carvings are intricate and to the learned eyes it portrays scenes from the life of the Buddha.

Let’s take a look:

 

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Hyderabad Heritage – Part 1

 

In a previous post  I mentioned that Hyderabad was a city abounding in ‘Heritage richness’. The  series titled Hyderabad Heritage is dedicated to showcasing the Heritage buildings in and around Hyderabad that we otherwise pass by without a second glance.

This post is mainly focussed on heritage buildings that are neglected, encroached or simply not considered worth preserving( when they really should be).

 

 

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