DHF in action

The latest updates from on the ground at the Deccan Heritage Foundation's ongoing restoration projects in Mysuru and Hyderabad


Preparations for the monsoon rains at Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Mysuru

Work in progress at Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
Work has begun on the recently announced project at Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion in Mysuru. Time has taken its toll on the building, which dates to 1901, when construction began on what was to be the royal residence of Princess Jayalakshmi. The wooden floors are being dismantled in the former ballroom, and we are also clearing the site for marking and excavation, and to re-construct new walls.

Inspecting beams at the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Mysuru

We are most grateful for grants from the Harish & Bina Shah Foundation (HBSF) and the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) that will support the DHF in restoring and refurbishing the building. These funds will also help support the cataloguing and conservation of the rich anthropological and ethnographic collections that are housed in Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion’s folklore museum.

Read about Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion and other monuments of Mysuru and Srirangapatna in our guide, available in the DHF’s online bookstore.

Continuing our commitment at the Rang Mahal Pavilion and Gardens
Restoration of the beautiful vernacular pleasure pavilion, Rang Mahal is well underway in Hyderabad. We receive weekly reports from the architectural team on ground. Aside from grouting of the cracks in the arches and removing formwork, they are currently dismantling one of the central arches, which has severely deteriorated. The team will soon begin reconstruction and also provide additional bearing to support the structure.

Stabilizing the Rang Mahal Pavilion, Hyderabad

This project is supported by a generous grant from Sonata Software Technology Limited and is in partnership with the Telangana Mahila Vishwavidyalayam (Women’s University).

Learn more about Hyderabad architecture with our guide, available digitally and in print from the DHF Bookstore.

New projects ahead

Also in Hyderabad, we will soon begin restoring and reviving three 18th century stepwells to meet the water needs of the community. Originally part of the Nizam of Hyderabad’s royal estate, these ancient stepwells are located across Osmania University’s campus.  They are interconnected through subterranean aquifers and were originally used to provide drinking water to the royal estate during the summer months. We are working with Kalpana Ramesh and The Rainwater Project to put together a plan to revive these stepwells and recharge the groundwater to meet the water needs of the University and surrounding area. We are also currently seeking funds for this project and welcome enquiries from those who wish to support this important project.

Stepwell at Osmania University, Hyderabad