Hyderabad: The tomb of Hyderabad’s founder Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the largest in the necropolis, wasn’t built in one go according to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture which is working on a restoration project. “During excavations of the ground level crypt, we found that the tomb was built in two phases with the outer half added at a later date,” said K.K. Muhammed, AKTC project archaeological director and former regional director (North) of the ASI. Explaining why this might have been done, he said, “It might have been added by a descendant of the Quli dynasty fearing structural instability or by the Asaf Jahis. There are references that the premises were used to station armour when it was seized by Aurangzeb.”
The original flooring levels have been discovered to be much lower during the excavations. “Though some modern additions have been done, we aren’t disturbing the flooring in the portion of the crypt which was constructed first. The flooring in the part which was added later will be dug up and restored to original levels,” said project architect AKTC Poornima about works which will be taken up next.
Apart from this, the interior chamber, which is 37.5 metre high and 17th Century ornamental layers, have been discovered beneath the modern paint and cement layers. “Islam doesn’t allow depiction of living things and these findings show that the kings were liberal in allowing art forms to flourish,” he said. “To our absolute delight we have discovered an amazing hoard of ceramic-glazed tiles that would have once adorned the facade of the tomb and were possibly removed in the 20th Century and only a few would have survived,” Ratish Nanda, project director of AKTC said about the antiquities which are being found during restoration.
Due to lack of evidence about where exactly the tiles were plastered, there won’t be any restoration. However, all the antiquities will be displayed at the proposed Site Interpretation Centre for the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park, Mr Ratish added.