Many of the city’s old buildings are now in deplorable condition. What’s worse is the plight of historic buildings, which once saw days of glory. The state government has decided to take up restoration of old historic buildings and one place which is awaiting maintenance is the King Kothi Palace.
Just a couple of days back, a portion of the main entrance of the palace, popularly called the Purdah Gate collapsed showing the red bricks beneath. Once a landmark, the roof, and wall of the Palace fell off causing much agony to city-based historians. The roof made of wood came down crashing and fell onto the road. Earlier, when the rains flooded the city, similar damage was done.
However, historians and citizens have been requesting the state government regarding the repair of the palace since 2018. To date, little has been done on this front. There is a line from the book The Last Nizam, which says Hyderabad has a habit of hiding its most beautiful heritage buildings behind high and ugly walls to ward off encroachers or simply because there is no appreciation of their significance. And the city historians say King Kothi Palace is an example of this.
Anuradha Reddy of INTACH or Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage maintains that the restoration of the palace would bring much-needed prosperity and development to the area and will become a tourist jewel.
To take you back a little in time, the King Kothi Palace was originally named Devdi by its constructor and architect Kamal Khan. Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan acquired it and renamed the property from Nazri Bagh to King Kothi Palace.
The Palace is set in 2.5 lakh sq ft of property and was the last official residence of the Nizam wherein he died in 1967. Of the three main buildings, one has been converted into a hospital, another building is used to accommodate offices of Nizam’s private affairs, and the third was demolished by the state government to build a hospital.
The historians say a lot of work needs to be done for the upkeep of the Palace and some estimate at least Rs 50 crore would be needed for renovation.