Hyderabad: Tipu Khan Sarai, popularly known as Nampally Sarai, one of the prominent heritage structures in Hyderabad, is all set for demolition. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has proposed to build a new guest house in its place. The decision will be taken at the standing council meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
The Sarai was built around 1910 by Meer Mahboob Ali Khan for the convenience of passengers coming from different places. In 2011, it received the status of a heritage site from the government, because of the efforts of heritage activists and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
“The beautifully arched Nampally Sarai, which now faces the threat of demolition, is an important heritage structure since it marks the beginning of the railways,” said architectural designer and the founder of Deccan Archive, Sibghatullah Khan.
After a part of the Sarai collapsed in 2019 injuring two persons, the government of Telangana had promised to take up restoration at the heritage site. Special chief secretary MAUD, Arvind Kumar, in September had announced the restoration of the Sarai, but reports suggest otherwise.
The historic ‘Nampally Sarai’
The ‘Nampally Saraai’ or ‘Tipu Khan Saraai’ was built by Nawab Tipu Khan Bahadur in 1910. The original name of the structure was Tipu Khan Sarai (a peaceful resting place). The Sarai was built during the reign of Mir Mahboob Ali Khan opposite the Nampally railway station.
The location was chosen because of its proximity to the railway station and the customs house to enable visitors to pay customs duty and stay at the Sarai.
“Nawab Tipu Khan Bahadur, a high ranking official with the Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Bahadur, Nizam VI, built travellers waiting rooms, first time in the history of Hyderabad for the public, at the Nampally Railway Station known as ‘Tipu Khan Sarai’ also known as ‘Nampally Sarai’. Travellers used to stay for three days and were provided with food free of cost irrespective of caste or community,” Sibghatullah Khan cited Wajahat Ahmed Khan, the great-grandson of Nawab Tipu Khan Bahadur as saying.
The Sarai was used as a state guest house after 1948 by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. In 2002, the government contemplated demolishing the structure and building a new one.