Hyderabad: Art gallery, accommodation to come up at Sardar Mahal

The proposed activities include cultural events, workshops, art exhibitions, heritage walks and hospitality.

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has finalised the revival and restoration plan of Sardar Mahal, a landmark near iconic Charminar in the old city of Hyderabad.

This was announced on Sunday by Arvind Kumar, special chief secretary, urban development, government of Telangana.

The official revealed that Sardar Mahal will have an art gallery, cafe and heritage accommodation on the lines of Neemrana Fort Palace in Rajasthan.

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Arvind Kumar said that the works were being taken up by Kalakriti Art Gallery in a tripartite agreement with the state government and Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority (QQSUDA).

The government had already announced that Sardar Mahal will be developed as the cultural hub of the city, adding an attraction for thousands of tourists who visit Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace and other monuments every day.

Sardar Mahal, a palace built in European style by Nizam VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan in 1900, will be conserved and restored to its original structure with additional architectural designs.

As per the plans announced earlier, the heritage structure will be developed as a cultural hub with a museum, 10-12 room hotel and various activities including exhibitions and performances.

The proposed activities include cultural events, workshops, art exhibitions, heritage walks and hospitality. The project is proposed to be taken up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Built, Operate and Transfer concept.

According to QQSUDA, which will execute the project, this will create and strengthen the identity of Hyderabad as synonym for heritage, creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation at local and regional levels and maximise the historical, cultural, social and tourist potential of Charminar area.

Though Mahboob Ali Khan, the then ruler of Hyderabad State, built the palace for one of his beloved consorts, Sardar Begum, she refused to inhabit this token of love as it did not live up to her expectations. No one stayed there but the building took her name.

It was declared a heritage building by the Heritage Conservation Committee and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) took over Sardar Mahal in 1965 due to outstanding property taxes.

In April, municipal administration and urban development Minister K.T. Rama Rao along with Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi formally launched the works to conserve, restore and strengthen Sardar Mahal.

Rama Rao had announced that the project taken up at a cost of Rs 30 crore will not only protect the heritage structure but add attraction to tourists visiting Hyderabad.

He had also revealed plans to restore the past glory of two other Nizam-era heritage structures — Mir Alam Mandi and Mahboob Chowk.

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