Restoration of Sadar Sofa, Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah (Gulbarga, Karnataka)
The Sadar Sofa, a 357-year-old wooden structure is located within the Deodi adjacent to Hazrat Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, Gulbarga. Originally constructed as a residence for the Sajjada Nashin, it has three rooms in an axial alignment at various levels for the purpose of reception, a private area and a sacred area at the end. The structure has high significance for its associative value (the hereditary successors of Hazrat Khwaja Bande Nawaz continue to reside here), and architectural value. Among the notable architectural features are the construction methodology, the spatial organisation in a hierarchical manner, and the architectural ornamentation, including wooden carvings in the ceiling panels, and a wooden colonnade on the front façade with ornate capitals reflecting the architectural character of the mid-seventeenth century. By the mid-twentieth century, the structure was abandoned as a residence due to its state of deterioration, though the religious practices associated with the structure continue to be practiced to date.
The Deccan Heritage Foundation played a proactive role in initiating the conservation work by explaining the importance of protecting the historic fabric of this ancient monument. The visionary Sajjada Nashin, Dr. Khusro Hussaini, understanding the true value of the authentic preservation of a historic edifice, undertook the initiative to restore the ancient monument with technical advice from the DHF.
Conservation of a part of the religious and spiritual legacy of Khwaja Bande Nawaz, a legendary Sufi saint with an immense following in the Deccan