U.S. Consul General, KTR visit U.S.-funded project at Qutb Shahi Tombs
Hyderabad: Newly-arrived U.S. Consul General Jennifer Larson and Municipal Administration & Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Raovisited the historic Qutb Shahi Heritage Park Complex to mark the completion of a $112,560conservation project funded by the U.S. Consulate in Hyderabad and conducted by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The project supports the conservation of five stepwells inside the Tombs Complex, which will conserve 15 million liters of rainwater during monsoon season and provide for the water needs of the 106-acre Heritage Park.
“Hyderabad is not only a dynamic city with a bright future, it’s an historic city with a storied past,” said U.S. Consul General Jennifer Larson. “This is my first visit to the Qutb Shahi Tombs and it’s terrific to see first-hand how the Aga Khan Trust for Culture is leveraging U.S. Consulate funding to conserve parts of this beautiful site.”
The Qutb Shahi Tombs Complex is the necropolis of the dynasty that ruled the region from 1518 to 1687. Hyderabad’s other major Qutb Shahi dynasty structures are the Golconda Fort and the 428-year-old ceremonial gateway Charminar. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is working to develop these three sites in order to request a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an initiative spearheaded through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Telangana Government.
“The Qutb Shahi Tombs are among Hyderabad’s greatest historical legacies and that’s why the Telangana Government is so eager to conserve and showcase this unique site,” said Minister Rama Rao. “The Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s excellent efforts and the U.S. Consulate’s kind support are helping us make that happen.”
The stepwell renovation project is funded through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), which supports projects to preserve a wide range of cultural heritage around the globe, including historic buildings and archaeological sites. It is the third AFCP grant the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has received for implementing documentation and conservation projects at the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park Complex.
Prior projects include a $103,000 effort in 2018 for the conservation of the seventeenth century tombs of Taramati and Premamati, as well as a $101,612 initiative in 2014 to document series of underground structures such as a large mosque, a water tank, a summer palace, terracotta pipelines, a madrasa, aqueducts, walls demarcating a set of tombs, and a gateway leading to the Golconda Fort.
“Conservation of these incredible 16th century stepwells at the Qutb Shahi necropolis has ensured conservation of extremely significant heritage buildings but also made the complex sustainable for its water needs. Our teams have been honored to work with the Government of Telangana and with a valuable grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation,” said Luis Monreal, Director General, Aga Khan Trust for Culture.