GHMC begins restoration works on historic Puranapul bridge

The historic Puranapul (old bridge) has been in a pitiful condition for years, with promises of restoring it remaining unfulfilled, until recently.

Hyderabad: Telangana special chief secretary (MAUD) on Sunday took to Twitter to share updates on the restoration process of the historic Puranapul (old bridge) in the city’s Old City.

“Yes, our team & @GHMCOnline & @ZC_Charminar have started working to clean up #Puranapul” he tweeted while sharing before and after pictures of the clean-up process at the bridge.

The historic Puranapul (old bridge) has been in a pitiful condition for years, with promises of restoring it remaining unfulfilled. Several cracks also appeared under it after heavy rains last year. But hopes are up again that the bridge will be saved after Telangana Special Chief Secretary (MAUD) Arvind Kumar earlier this week promised to restore it “to its glory”.

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The bridge that is closed for vehicles, has been occupied by hawkers for years. Many of them sell fruits, vegetables, betel leaves (paan), flowers, and other household plastic.

“We have been setting up stalls here for ages but little help for the maintenance of the bridge has been provided by the government. The street lights on the bridge have been out for a long time now and it gets dark after sunset,” said a fruit and vegetable seller, Anjukala.

“We have been making our own arrangements for light with battery-operated emergencies, rented at a cost,” she added.

Another fruit seller Sailakshmi said that there is not much hope of restoration from the government. “We are happy that some initiative is being taken by them and that cleanliness is being maintained,” she said when asked about her expectations from the government’s initiative to restore the bridge.

Significance of the Puranapul

The Puranapul (old bridge) was built in the year 1578 by Ibrahim Qutb Shah (1550-80), the third monarch of the Qutb Shahi or Golconda dynasty (1518-1687). It was built as a link between the Golconda Fort, which was a walled city until 1591, the year Hyderabad was founded by Mohd Quli Qutb Shah, Ibrahim’s son.

According to various legends, Ibrahim had constructed this bridge for Mohd Quli Qutb Shah to go and meet his supposed lover or courtesan, Bhagmati. The story goes that after Ibrahim’s death, his son founded Hyderabad and first named it after Bhagmati calling it Bhagnagar. However, many historians have denied the existence of Bhagmati citing a lack of evidence.

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