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Thursday, February 29, 2024

THE PAST COMES ALIVE

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The renovated 17th century Gulzar Houz fountain in the Old City gets a fresh lease of life

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Located at the crossroads on the northern side of Charminar, the dilapidated Gulzar House fountain was brought back to life by the Quli Qutb Shah Urban Development Authority (QQSUDA) along with Deccan Terrain Heritage, a company with expertise in heritage conservation. At Rs 29.50 lakh, the fountain with a 400-year-old history was restored in a record time of four months.

Mir Khan of Deccan Terrain calls it an exciting project. He explains, “We did the research about this fountain for 18 months and considering its placement exactly in the center of the kamaan, it was not an easy task. We dismantled the old concrete structure and identified the earlier parapet walls, which is when we realized that the structure had deteriorated and decided to replace it. We tried making it as sturdy as possible.”

Earlier, the fountain had only a one-foot-high wall which enabled passing horses to quench their thirst in its water. Also, lamp posts (inspired from Europe) decked the fountain. The team at Deccan Terrain created a higher wall and parapet keeping the heavy traffic flow on the road in mind.  

Mir adds, “In our archives, we found images of the main fountain of Charminar which was originally placed in the Golconda Fort area and tried to recreate elements of it. We recreated motifs which are French (sticking to the original design) and a border which was found on the coins of the Nizam era.”

The fountain is powered by a five-horsepower motor and a regulator that can be used to control the pattern and emit the water in the spout. Over the years, the architecture of Gulzar Houz has undergone transformations. Initially constructed with 12 sides, it gradually evolved into an octagonal shape and currently appears almost circular.

The octagonal fountain now has around 200 spouts arranged in a sequence and is also adorned by white tiles with a blue pattern. Apart from placing olive green-painted metal barriers to secure the structure, authorities have also installed LED lights which will add beauty to the fountain at night.

Giving the area a vision of the old Hyderabad, the fountain hopefully will pave the way for more heritage precincts and landmarks to be safeguarded.

Irani Galli, Charminar Shehran, Old City

Timings: Open 24×7

Tickets: Free

Text: Mallik

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