Telangana, India’s youngest state can be truly described as treasure trove of archaeology. The Deccan region of India, encompassing the state of Telangana has been renowned since ages for its heritage legacy and the imprint of several dynasties and their architectural marvels. The state boasts of invaluable heritage, timeless monuments and many more.
Telangana region is home to several monuments spread across the thirty one districts. These were built by the rulers of several prominent dynasties of this region, representing the cultural zenith of Telangana state. The Department of Archaeology & Museums, is leaving no stone unturned to conserve them. The Telangana State Archaeology & Museums department has been making enormous strides after state formation, and it is one of the most active archaeology departments in India.
New Initiatives after Formation of Telangana
After bifurcation, the State of Telangana was formed with effect from 2nd June, 2014. There have been enormous strides by the department with the formation of the new state. A world-class website along with vibrant presence on online and social media has brought name and fame to the state archaeology. The exclusive mobile app for Archaeology & Museums, Telangana is a novel and first-of-its-kind initiative for any state. Exploring the wonderful heritage, monuments and the activities of Archaeology department of Telangana, is now possible from the comfort of smartphone.
Protected Monuments in Telangana
There are 347 protected monuments located in all the thirty-one districts of Telangana. The protected sites/monuments include Pre-historic and Proto-historic sites, Rock Art Sites, Megalithic burial complexes, Jain temples (Basadis), Buddhist Sites/Monuments, Brahminical temples, Forts, Mosques, Tombs, Colonial heritage buildings etc., ranging right from prehistoric era to the 19th Century A.D.
The Department has taken up Chemical Conservation works at Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad and Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple at Bhadrachalam. It has also carried out hand chemical treatment for various monuments, sculptures and antiquities gathered during excavations and displayed in different museums, from time to time.
Restoration of British Residency
The Restoration of Osmania University College for Women, Koti, Hyderabad was done under expert supervision of the Archaeology Department, for about 15 months. A total of five carpenters, five masons and an average of 15 helpers were involved in this great restoration effort of the opulent mansion of the historic British Residency (currently Koti Women’s College), in Hyderabad. The Department of Archaeology & Museums, and Tourism, Government of Telangana in association with World Monuments Fund organized a grand event called ‘Reviving Residency’ recently which reflects the ongoing efforts by the government towards preserving and promoting our precious heritage and culture.
Preservation of Qutub Shahi Tombs
The Department of Archaeology and Museums has entered into an agreement with the Agha Khan Trust for Culture in India, an expert in the field of Conservation and Preservation of the Monuments, and the representatives of Agha Khan Trust, Paris, France. The Agha Khan Trust came forward for preserving and conserving the Qutb Shahi Tombs Complex, Golconda with their funds. Works are in progress. Princess Esra, one of the heiresses of the AsafJahi Dynasty of erstwhile Hyderabad state has contributed immensely for the restoration of the iconic Chowmahallah palace near Charminar in the old city area of Hyderabad, which secured the prestigious UNESCO
Elgandal fort is located on a hillock, close to the left bank of river Maner near Karimnagar town on Karimnagar-Vemulavada road. Experts of the Department of Archaeology & Museums have taken up the preservation of this hill fort, with funds sanctioned by the 13th Finance Commission on an area of 50-60 acres by carefully excavating and restoring this fort which was a military bastion in earlier times.
Hayat Bakshi Begum Mosque
The centuries-old Hayat Bakshi Begum Mosque has been restored to its glory. The imposing mosque, based on Qutub Shahi architecture, on a raised platform, which overlooks 133 rooms on either side, is a unique structure. With the efforts of the State Department of Archaeology and Museums, the mosque has been gaining prominence once again.
Restoration Activities at Other Sites in Telangana
- Seetharambagh Temple, Hyderabad
- Puranapul Darwaja, Hyderabad
- Gate Structure, Public Gardens
- Trikutalayam, Jakaram village
- Sri lakshmi Narayana Temple, Adilabad
- DichpalliRamalayam, Nizamabad
- UrsuGutta and Trikuta temple of Kondaparthi, Warangal District
- Sri Chennakesava Swamy Temple, Ranga Reddy District
- SreeTrikuteshwara Swamy Temple &Ramalingeshwara Swamy Temple in Medak
- Shivalayam in Teratpally Village, Nalgonda
- AdivarahaLaxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Burjugadda Village, Suryapet
- Shiva and Anjaneya Swamy Temple, Madugula village, Ranga Reddy District
- Sri Someshwara Swamy Temple complex
- Gadwal fort
- BammeraPothana Samadhi, Jangaon District
The Department of Archaeology & Museums, Government of Telangana, India hosted “Rediscovering Telangana”, an international Seminar on the Recent Trends in Archaeology, Art History and Conservation on January 16 & 17, 2017. The Marri Chenna Reddy HRD Institute in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad was the venue for this prestigious seminar. The seminar was attended by eminent historians, authors and other important panellists from India and the world. There have been special lectures, panel discussions and book release events held as part of this seminar, which was planned to showcase Telangana Archaeology on an international arena, and is aimed at truly ‘Rediscovering Telangana’, in the modern age.
Heritage, from the bygone era represents what our ancestors and royal dynasties have left their legacy in the form of monuments, relics, artefacts etc. Telangana state is dotted with such invaluable treasures and Telangana Archaeology is committed to safeguarding and protecting the unique and priceless legacy of our state and in this regard while the co-operation of citizens and the society is equally important and required at all times.