Hyderabad: Newly-arrived US Consul General Jennifer Larson and IT Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday visited the historic Qutb Shahi Heritage Park Complex to mark the completion of a $112,560 conservation project funded by the US Consulate and conducted by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The project supports the conservation of five stepwells inside the Tombs Complex, which will conserve 15 million litres of rainwater during monsoon and provide for the water needs of the 106-acre Heritage Park.
“Hyderabad is not only a dynamic city with a bright future but is also a historic city with a storied past,” Larson said, adding that it was her first visit to the Qutb Shahi Tombs and that it was ‘terrific to see first-hand how the Aga Khan Trust for Culture was leveraging US Consulate funding to conserve parts of this beautiful site’.
The Qutb Shahi Tombs Complex, the necropolis of the dynasty that ruled the region from 1518 to 1687, the Golconda Fort and the Charminar, are being developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in order to request a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an initiative spearheaded through a Memorandum of Understanding with the State government.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister KT Rama Rao said the Qutb Shahi Tombs were among Hyderabad’s greatest historical legacies, which was why the Telangana government was eager to conserve and showcase the unique site.
“The Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s excellent efforts and the US Consulate’s kind support are helping us make that happen,” he said, adding that the government had in the last two years restored five step-wells, apart from taking up restoration of the historic Moazzam Jahi Market and six clock towers in different parts of the city.
Restoration of kamaans, 11 more step-wells, and different heritage structures too was being taken up, the Minister said.
The stepwell renovation project at the Qutb Shahi Tombs Complex is funded through the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), which supports projects to preserve a wide range of cultural heritage around the globe, including historic buildings and archaeological sites. It is the third AFCP grant the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has received for implementing documentation and conservation projects at the Qutb Shahi complex.
Prior projects include a $103,000 effort in 2018 for the conservation of the seventeenth century tombs of Taramati and Premamati, as well as a $101,612 initiative in 2014 to document series of underground structures such as a large mosque, a water tank, a summer palace, terracotta pipelines, a madrasa, aqueducts, walls demarcating a set of tombs, and a gateway leading to the Golconda Fort.
Luis Monreal, Director General, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, accompanied the Minister and the Consul General.
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