UNESCO Honour for Restoration of Stepwells at Qutb Shahi Tombs

 - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad: Qutb Shahi Tombs also known as ‘Seven Tombs’ get UNESCO World Heritage recognition for its conservation of six stepwells (Baolis). UNESCO awarded the 2022 award of distinction to the royal necropolis. 

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) worked with Heritage Telangana and Quli Qutb Shah Urban Development Authority (QQSUDA) to restore the structures at the Qutb Shahi Tombs complex to their past grandeur. It also has restored six stepwells that are now adding to the tourist attraction of the world's largest royal necropolis. The restoration of the royal necropolis started in 2013. The restoration of the mausoleum of Muhammed Qutb Shah is expected to be completed next year. 

The stepwells Badi Baoli, Hamam Baoli, Baug Baoli, Mashriqi (eastern) Baoli, Maghribi (western) Baoli and Eidgah Baoli were all believed to have been constructed between 16th and 17th century under the first ruler of Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Qutb-ul-Mulk.

The Unesco Asia-Pacific award for cultural heritage conservation has highlighted the significance of the restoration project.

“In recovering the stepwells and associated aqueducts from a state of neglect and partial ruins, the project has revived the function of the historic waterworks of irrigating the surrounding orchards and forests, thus enabling the holistic restoration of the historic landscape,” said the UN body.

There are a total of 80 monuments, including 40 mausoleums of rulers of the Quli Qutb Shahi dynasty (1518-1687) , 23 mosques, seven baolis (step-wells), a hamam, pavilions, tanks, wells, garden structures and enclosure walls. The dynasty spanned over seven generations starting with the reign of Sultan Quli Qutb Shah in circa 1518 A.D. and ended with Abul Hasan Qutb Shah in 1687 A.D.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture said the UNESCO honour is a validity of the public-private partnership for heritage conservation. The conservation architect of AKTC, Ratish Nanda said the restored stepwells have collected 21 million litres of rainwater in 2022. 

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(With ANI inputs)

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