Pakka Qila Hyderabad

13 Jun

pako_qilo1.jpgThe Royal Fort, now known as Pucca Fort, Hyderabad, was constructed on the hillock known as Gunjy, by Kalhora ruler, Mian Ghulam Shah, around 1768 when he founded the city of Hyderabad. He made it his capital and raised here some buildings for the purpose of civil use. During the Talpur rule over Sindh, Mir Fateh Ali Khan abandoned Khudabad and shifted his capital to Hyderabad in 1789. He also used the Hyderabad Fort to reside and hold his court in it. For the purpose he added a Haram and other buildings to accommodate the ruling family and his relations. He to enable residents to fulfill their religious obligation also built some mosques. During this period of the Mirs’ the fort was gradually swarmed with shabby and odd buildings by working class for their habitation.

After defeating the Mirs’ in the battle of Miani in 1843, the British occupied the fort. Some blasts in the fort, later on, destroyed most of the buildings and houses of the public. In 1857, the British razed most of the remaining buildings to ground to make room for use of the area to accommodate troops, military stores etc.

The Fort, slightly oblong in shape, covers 30 acres of land. Its fortification wall, running along the contours of the hillock, is imposingly built with burnt bricks and decorated with ornamental ‘Kangaroos’ of odd shape. There is only one main entrance, opening in the north towards Shahi Bazar.

Ever since the British period the craftsman and working class people live in a sort of shanty town inside the fort. The influx of the refugees after independence multiplied with population here. A few efforts to vacate the historical monuments from these encroachers did not bear any encouraging result.

Archaeological Area:
A small enclave near the main gate towards north had mercifully remained clear of squat encroachers. In fact this is the only area where the few historical buildings still stand to tell the tale of the Fort’s past glory. In the northwestern corner of this complex lies the Mirs’ Haram, built on 7.5 meter high solidly built podium. The interior of the Haram is profusely decorated with fresco paintings, though of degenerated quality.

There are five large halls towards east of the Haram. This was the place where Mirs’ treasury was located. Some of these halls were later turned into Record Office during the Raj. After the establishment of the Archaeological Circle Office at Hyderabad, three of these halls were converted into a small but beautifully representative Museum, while others served different official requirements. To house its office a double story block was constructed on the southern side of this ensemble. A residential accommodation for the Director was carved out of the, southern most building by additions and alterations.

A two-room, complete unit quarter on north-north eastern side of this ensemble, 4 two-room and 2 one-room quarters in a row on it east, I two-room with extra large room on the south-eastern side all built during the British period, in or around 1935 – came to the lot of the Department of Archaeology which also added three garages at to accommodate different categories of the staff of the Southern Circle of Archaeology.

Present condition:
Due to passage of time vagaries of nature and especially human vandalism the Fort has suffered to a great deal. At present the fortification wall of the Fort is in a very dilapidated condition from the several places its lost every originality and some portions has become an advance stage of decay, worth mentioning, is the south east part of the wall most effected and bulged out. The Northern portion also required urgent repairs to avoid any collapse of this historical part of our culture.

Cause of Decay
The conservation and restoration of an ancient monument in its conventional phraseology means a scientific and aesthetic approach towards, repair of an antiquity to protect its from further decay and give it a new life through which it can prolong its existence without altering its original character. A number of factors are responsible for the decay of the fort. However, the important ones are enumerated below: –

i) Atmospheric Action
The Fort through the ages has bee lying exposed under direct and constant pressure of rain, sun and wind, this resulting in the atmospheric action which is indeed a major devastating factor for the Fort. On accounts of heavy rains and scorching away from their original place.

ii) Rain Water
The amount of rain water entering the wall of the Fort has not been measured. The rain water penetrate in the walls through their top surface as well as their side. Rainwater striking the top surfaces can rapidly erode and producing deep cavities.

iii) Defective Drainage System
At present the Fort has occupied by the illegal encroachers they have constructed their buildings even on the wall of the Fort. A large number of peoples are residing here.
There is no drainage system in the area. The sewerage water, water supply and rainy water mixed up with organic impurities like salt and substances. This water penetrates into the foundation of the structures through their open joined masonry and keeps on accelerating the disintegration effect of the walls.

iv) Wild Growth
The growth of autonomous plants in the immediate vicinity of monuments is another deviating factor. The roots penetrate deeply into the foundations and walls, seeds are often deposited in the joints surfaces. The small roots crop up and penetrates towards the interior where they grow slowly and act just like wedges separating structural elements from each other.

v) Human Neglect
In addition to the above factors, a number of selfish and careless people without realizing the importance of the National Monuments are responsible for the destruction of the fort. The area inside outside along with the wall all around of the fort occupied by the encroachers and constructed their houses, shops, hotels etc. Beside this, the archaeological campus area, it self, squeeze to its office building. All the staff quarters, garden area occupied by the law enforcing agencies or even by the private persons. Such sacrilege have contributed much towards the devastation of the Fort. The people of the area also remove the burnt bricks from the original structures and use them in the construction of their houses.

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Pakka Qila Hyderabad, 6.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings



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  1. Imran

    July 21, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I m not happy seeing the bad condition of our historical heritage. I can’t understand why the responsible departments are not working for the safety of these glorious items of our past. They should try their best honestly for this purpose.

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