Residency Complex: Restoration of Rang Mahal Pavilion and Garden at Telangana Mahila Vishwavidyalayam (Hyderabad, Telangana)
This project is supported by a generous grant from Sonata Software Technology Limited. The DHF is grateful to Sonata for this contribution towards the conservation of the heritage of the Deccan.
The Residency complex in the middle of Hyderabad represents the moment when the English East India Company began to exert its influence on the local Nizams. At the end of the eighteenth century, the British ‘Resident’ James Achilles Kirkpatrick built an opulent mansion with a magnificent, European-styled darbar hall in the middle of an extensive garden with pavilions and pools, and an adjacent cemetery for Europeans.
The DHF has joined the World Monuments Fund (WMF) in the rehabilitation of the complex. In 2015, the DHF restored the outdoor plaster model of the darbar hall, which Kirkpatrick had built for the enjoyment of his wife, Begum Khair-un-Nissa. The DHF is now seeking funds to restore the Rang Mahal, a charming pleasure pavilion with its surrounding garden used by the Begum and her entourage, which have now fallen into ruin.
The Rang Mahal project fulfills the DHF’s mission of education and adaptive re-use. The Residency complex today serves as a campus for the Osmania Women’s University, so the restoration of the Rang Mahal will instill in students a suitable sense of history, bringing the past alive. Courses on heritage management and museology are being developed.
The complex is now open to Hyderabad’s citizens and visitors. Entrance fees contribute to the upkeep of the buildings and gardens: pre-booking is recommended, especially for the heritage walks that are proving popular. When restored, the Rang Mahal will be an attractive venue for concerts, thereby keeping the memory of the Begum alive – surely a suitable mission for a place of education for women.
Sonata Software Technology Limited
Telangana Mahila Vishwavidyalayam (Women's University)
The garden restoration will introduce several indigenous species of plants and trees at the site, augmenting the local ecosystem significantly and serving dual purposes of heritage restoration and environmental rejuvenation
Located in an educational institution, the restoration will help students understand and learn the importance of heritage conservation
The restoration will attract more visitors to the location, thereby bolstering the reputation of the university campus and the city of Hyderabad itself
New skills relating to the preservation of natural heritage will be imparted through the medium of the Gardens
The monument will perform functions that are useful to the local community such as being the venue for skill development courses