Photo-docu of monuments begins

J.S. Ifthekhar, The Hindu 21 October 2010

Exercise part of the national mission to prepare a register of archaeological resources


On a mission: A photo documentary being made by the Archaeology Department on the heritage of the city.

Hyderabad: A massive exercise is on to prepare a database of all antiquities and archaeological findings in the State. This is part of the national mission to prepare a register of archaeological resources in terms of built heritage, sites and antiquities.

For the first time a photo documentation of all protected monuments and museums is being carried out by the Department of Archaeology and Museums in Andhra Pradesh. To start with the Badashahi Ashoorkhana, one of the earliest constructions of Qutb Shahi period, was documented. A classic example of Indo-Iranian architect, this monument was cleared of encroachments only last year.

Detailed work

Gigapan camera is being used to capture high-resolution panoramic images. Minute details of the Ashoorkhana decorated in vibrant colour with enamelled tiles, floral pattern and verses from the Quran were captured.

Next the department did a detailed documentation of the Qutb Shahi tombs, final abode of the Qutb Shahi rulers. Then followed documentation of Makka Masjid, Paigha Tombs, Hayat Bakshi mosque, Monsieur Raymond tomb and Gunfoundry. The Archaeology department is taking the services of its former assistant director, M.A. Qaiyum, in recording the details.

On Monday the authorities took up photography of the former British Residency, which now houses the Women’s College. Cameras captured the stately mansion built by the Scottish bureaucrat, James Achilles Kirpatrick for his love, Khairunnisa, in 1803.

Once the monuments in the twin cities are documented, the authorities will move to other parts of the State. All the 565 monuments will be properly recorded. Under the 12 {+t} {+h} Finance Commission, a sum of Rs. 6.90 crore has been sanctioned for taking up the photo documentation. But as of now only Rs. 1 crore is released. The M/s Complete Business Solutions, Hyderabad, which is awarded the documentation work, is expected to complete it in next six months.

All the museums under the Archaeological Department are also proposed to be covered under the national mission on monuments and antiques. The district archaeological museum at Kurnool is already covered while work is on to record the silver coins, stucco pieces, stone sculptures, porcelain and wooden objects at the A.P. State Museum here.

“Even the private museums like the Nizam’s museum and Birla museum will be covered”, said K.S.B. Kesav, deputy director, Museums.