200-year-old Heritage Building Restore, Do you know the building?

200-year-old Heritage Building Restore, Do you know the building?
200-year-old Heritage Building Restore, Do you know the building?

The residence of Colonel James Achilles Kirkpatrick, who was the British representative at the Hyderabad court, was later converted into a university.

A 200-year-old heritage building in Hyderabad has been renovated. Made possible by an ambitious restoration project spanning 20 years.

The Telangana Women’s University (Kothi Mahila College) renovation work in Hyderabad was completed this month.

The building was once the residence of Colonel James Achilles Kirkpatrick. Colonel James was the British representative at Hyderabad court during 1797-1805. After that his residence was converted into a university.

Due to years of lack of maintenance, improper repairs and heavy traffic in the building, it fell into disrepair.This final phase was undertaken by the Queen Elizabeth-2 Platinum Jubilee Commonwealth Heritage Skills Training Programme. Hamish Augston Foundation of UK has donated Rs. 1.5 crore ($1,93,000) in funding.

Youth from Hyderabad as well as UK were given an opportunity to work in this project to learn building conservation techniques from experts. Kothi Mahila College is the first of 20 projects selected by the Commonwealth Heritage Skills Program for renovation. The Heritage Skills Program will later undertake the restoration of Roxburgh House in the Kolkata Botanical Gardens.

Kothi Mahila College (now Telangana Mahila University) in Hyderabad is a very prominent educational institution.

At present this educational institution imparts education to more than 2,500 students every year at undergraduate, post graduate, diploma and certificate levels in various groups.

After the renovation of the building, many facilities will be available in the university. Green space has been arranged on both sides of the central mall. The campus has been made more pleasant for students and staff to roam around. A gate in the university named after Lieutenant Roberts, who fought in the siege of Delhi in 1857, has also been restored.

Trainees from UK and India participated in the restoration work of this gate. The trainees were trained in mixing lime, sifting and making mortar during the repair of this gate. Experts have taken care of the renovation of the paper mache ceiling (ceiling made of a mixture of paper, water and glue) of the university’s Grand Durbar Hall.

Over the past few years, the pieces that have fallen from this ceiling have been put back on top by experts. The building managers kept these pieces safely hidden away for years. “It’s a lot of hard work.

We wanted to put every piece that had been blown off the ceiling back in place. It took a lot of effort to restore it to its original condition,” said Maninder Singh Gill, an art conservator who worked on the restoration of the ceiling.

The building is in the ‘Palladian Villa’ style. It almost resembles the structure of the American White House. Kirkpatrick built the mansion to be with his Indian wife, Khairunnisa.

The book ‘White Moguls’ written by historian William Dalrymple on their relationship came out in 2002. The book describes how the love between the two erased all the religious, political and cultural boundaries of that time.


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