Home Consulate KTR and US Consul General Visit US-Funded Project at Qutb Shahi Tombs

KTR and US Consul General Visit US-Funded Project at Qutb Shahi Tombs

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HYDERABAD: Newly arrived US Consul General Jennifer Larson and Minister of Municipal Government and Urban Development KT Rama Rao visited the historic Qutb Shahi Heritage Park complex to mark the completion of a $112,560 conservation project funded by the American 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 retain 15 million liters of rainwater during the monsoon season and meet the water needs of the 106-acre heritage park.

“Hyderabad is not just a vibrant city with a bright future, it’s a historic city with a storied past,” said US Consul General Jennifer Larson. “This is my first visit to the Qutb Shahi Tombs and it’s great to see firsthand how the Aga Khan Trust for Culture leverages US Consulate funding to conserve parts of this magnificent site.”

The Qutb Shahi Tombs complex is the necropolis of the dynasty that ruled the region from 1518 to 1687. Other major structures of the Qutb Shahi dynasty in Hyderabad are the Golconda Fort and the 428-year-old ceremonial gate Charminar. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is working to develop these three sites to apply for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an initiative carried out under a memorandum of understanding with the Telangana government.

“The Qutb Shahi tombs are among Hyderabad’s greatest historical legacies and that is why the Telangana government is so keen to conserve and enhance this unique site,” said Minister Rama Rao. “The excellent efforts of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the kind support of the US Consulate are helping us to achieve this.

The stepwell renovation project is funded by the American Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), which supports projects aimed at preserving a wide range of cultural heritage around the world, including historic buildings and archaeological sites. This is the third AFCP grant the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has received for the implementation of documentation and conservation projects at the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park Complex.

Past projects include a $103,000 effort in 2018 to conserve the 17th century tombs of Taramati and Premamati, as well as a $101,612 initiative in 2014 to document a series of underground structures such as a grand mosque, a water reservoir, a summer palace, pipeline terracottas, a madrasa, aqueducts, walls delimiting a set of tombs and a gate leading to the fort of Golconda. “The conservation of these incredible 16th century stepwells in the Qutb Shahi Necropolis has ensured the preservation of extremely important heritage buildings, but has 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 United States Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation,” said Luis Monreal, Managing Director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

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