'Mushk’ Mahal reeks of neglect
HYDERABAD: The Mushk Mahal in Attapur may be a structure like none other in Hyderabad, but the treatment meted out to it is not reflective of this uniqueness. The once imposing structure today lies covered in layers of moss and filth and curious souls who attempt to walk in for a dekko of its historic interiors are welcomed by are volting stench.
The construction of Mishk Mahal is attributed to Miyan Mishk Malik, the Absynnian commander of armed forces of the last Qutub Shahi king, Abul Hasan Tana Shah during 1678. Constructed as a getaway for the Golconda royals, the two-storeyed palace was protected by high walls with two prominent gates leading to it from the north and south. The walls long gone, the mahal has been left to fend for itself from the vagaries of nature and the ever narrowing maze of concrete.
The supposedly 10 acres of land it was built on, has shrunk to less than a fraction. The building's visage now sports deep-rooted weed growth and wild shrubs. "Mishk Mahal is a fine example of Qutub Shahi era architecture. It is one of its kind to have survived outside Golconda. Other similar structures were reportedly brought down during Mughal conquests.
Though there were plans to award the heritage structure, we could not do it last time around because the structure is not under protection. A structure of this stature needs to be conserved," said Anuradha Reddy, Intach convenor for Hyderabad chapter. She alleged that local authorities have done little to protect the heritage of the structure.
In an irony of sorts, the name of the palace has been corrupted to 'Mushk' Mahal, but the 17th century monument today actually serves the purpose of urinal for passersby and locals. A local from the area attributes this to growing encroachment around the area. "We have heard that several land grabbers with political backing are eyeing the remaining land and the mahal itself," said an elderly local. He added that a barbed fence recently put up around the monument has deterred passersby from relieving themselves around the structure.
The palace is not under the aegis of ASI or state archaeology department. It is under the patronage of GHMC's heritage wing. An official from the heritage wing admitted that little has been done to conserve the structure. "Though this issue has been brought to the notice of the government, nothing has been done to conserve the structure," he said.