During his visit to India earlier this month, Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family visited the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park, where conservation work is being carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Days earlier, Hazar Imam and and his family had toured Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi.

Accompanied by Prince Aly Muhammad, Princess Zahra, and her children Sara and Iliyan, Mawlana Hazar Imam toured the park, reviewing photographs, restoration plans and the progress of work to date. B.V. Papa Rao, Advisor to the Chief Minister of Telangana and Somesh Kumar, Commissioner at the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation were among the officials present, as well as staff from the AKTC.

Named for the mausoleums of Sultan Quli Qutb ul Mulk and his descendents who are buried in the necropolis, the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park is a vast 108 acre complex. It includes 72 monuments, water features such as baolis (stepped wells) and a system of aqueducts.

Employing traditional materials, tools and building techniques, master craftsmen are working to conserve all of the monuments in the park. The work encompasses the restoration of landscape around the monuments, as well as the baolis and aqueducts. Native trees are also being planted at the northern and southern buffer zones.

The work at the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park is being carried out under a public-private partnership between involving the Department of Archaeology and Museums, the Government of Telangana and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. It follows on the success of the Humayun’s Tomb - Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal initiative that AKTC undertook in Delhi.

When completed, the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park is expected to be a big draw for tourists as a unique example of a 16th – 17th century necropolis.

Mawlana Hazar Imam was in India to receive the Padma Vibhushan. During the visit, Hazar Imam also took part in laying the foundation for a site museum at Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. Prior to the ceremony, members of the Imam’s family joined him in a tour of the site.