On Wednesday, the Special Chief Secretary of Urban Development, Arvind Kumar, announced that a new art studio, a lively cultural center, and a quaint cafe will be established as part of the restoration project. The project has begun through a joint agreement between Kalakriti Art Gallery and Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority (QQSUDA).
The restoration and revival of Sardar Mahal, located near the iconic Charminar in Hyderabad, is underway. Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary of Urban Development, recently announced that the palace will feature an art gallery, cafe, and heritage accommodation, similar to the Neemrana Fort Palace in Rajasthan. The state government intends for Sardar Mahal to become a cultural hub for the city, attracting thousands of tourists who visit other historical landmarks such as Charminar, Mecca Masjid, and Chowmahalla Palace.
Built in 1900 in European style by Nizam VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan for his consort Sardar Begum, the palace was declared a heritage building by the Heritage Conservation Committee and INTACH. In 1965, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation took over Sardar Mahal due to outstanding property taxes.
The Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, K. T. Rama Rao, tasked the department and GHMC to restore the famous palace. Initially, the plans included a museum, a 10-12 room hotel, and various cultural activities such as exhibitions and performances. However, the authorities have since dropped the plans for the hotel.
The restoration project, which was launched in April of last year and will cost Rs 30 crore, will be carried out in a public-private partnership with a built, operate, and transfer concept. The proposed activities include cultural events, workshops, art exhibitions, heritage walks, and hospitality. QQSUDA believes that this project will establish Hyderabad as a synonym for heritage, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation, maximizing the historical and cultural potential of the Charminar area.