Bhopal: City’s Heritage Sites In Ruins, Authorities Nonchalant

Bhopal: City’s Heritage Sites In Ruins, Authorities Nonchalant

Moti Mahal, Taj Mahal and Shaukat Mahal await restoration

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, December 01, 2023, 11:00 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The state government’s commitment to restoring heritage sites in the city remains unfulfilled, as the state archaeology department is yet to initiate restoration works.

Among the 240 archaeological sites in the city, only Sadar Manzil, Gauhar Mahal, and Kamlapati Mahal have undergone restoration, leaving iconic structures like Moti Mahal, Shaukat Mahal, and Taj Mahal in a state of disrepair.

Moti Mahal, a Nawab-era legacy, near Iqbal Maidan, has suffered a similar fate; its structure stands dilapidated, and the remaining space now serves as shelter for homeless individuals.

Even the Bhopal’s Taj Mahal, featuring eight grand halls, including Sheesh Mahal and Sawan-Bhado Pavilion, is not spared from the neglect. Despite meticulous construction, the palace is losing both its historical identity and beauty due to a lack of maintenance.

Similarly, the 180-year-old Shaukat Mahal, a unique architectural marvel, is deteriorating rapidly. A portion of the structure’s ceiling has collapsed, revealing wide cracks on its interiors.

Architect H M Hussain expressed disappointment, highlighting the recurring promises of restoration by the state archaeological department, with little to no action. He said, “Out of the 240 archaeological sites in the city, only three are well-maintained, while the rest face rapid deterioration. The agencies responsible for these sites not only fall short of lifelong maintenance but also neglect the crucial annual maintenance.”

Officials passing the buck on each other

Ramesh Yadav, archaeological officer at the state museum said that the said heritage sites do not fall under the purview of the state archaeology department. On the other hand, Prashant Baghel, of the tourism department insisted that it falls under archaeology department only.

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