Restoration

Telangana government to restore Hyderabad’s iconic Nizam-era Mir Alam Mandi

Published : September 06, 2021 14:18 IST

The Mir Alam Mandi, a 2019 photograph. Photo: G. RAMAKRISHNA

In a move that has been widely welcomed by both social and heritage activists, the Telangana government has announced the restoration of the iconic Mir Alam Mandi.

In a move that has been widely welcomed by both social and heritage activists, the Telangana government has announced the restoration of the iconic Mir Alam Mandi. Located in the State’s capital Hyderabad and located close to the 1591-built Charminar, the 200-year-old bustling mandi (market) which epitomises a glorious past is spread over a five-acre parcel of land and consists of 43 shops that are operated by around 300 vendors.

Over the past several years, the kaman (arch) of the Mir Alam Mandi, which was erected during the the Nizam era and stands at the entrance to the market, has begun to chip and crumble. The constant passing of vehicles through the kaman has only exasperated the situation—chunks of concrete from the structure keep falling off because of the vibrations. A situation that worsens during the monsoons. The falling chunks of concrete had begun to pose a serious threat to visitors to one of Hyderabad’s oldest market.

The increasingly dilapidated condition of the kaman and the apathy from the authorities towards the heritage structure had caused consternation among heritage lovers, who have consistently demanded its restoration. Almost two years ago, the authorities had erected iron pillars in an attempt to shore up and support the weight of the arch. But the iron pillars were at best a temporary fix. One of the pillars is also in a very bad condition.

Announcing the Telangana government’s decision on September 3 to restore the Mir Alam Mandi, Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary (Urban Development), said that the restoration of the arch would revive and restore the historic market to its original glory.

Work on the restoration of the four lofty arches known as the Char Kaman (meaning four gates) that were constructed in 1592 near the Charminar is also progressing. While restoration work on two of the four historical arches—the Charminar Kaman and the Machli Kaman—have been completed, work on the remaining two—the Kali Kaman and the Sher-e-Batil-Ki-Kaman—are currently being undertaken. The Char Kaman has been notified as a heritage structure by INTACH. There are also plans afoot to restore the historic Nampally Sarai near the Hyderabad railway station.

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