The 428-year-old historic monument, Charminar, was badly damaged on Wednesday night when one of the four towers fell to a large part of the plaster of lime. According to the Hyderabad police, a large part of the plaster fell on the Charminar in front of the Mecca Masjid towards the south-west, but fortunately, no casualties or injuries were reported.
Locals immediately reached the spot and saw the damaged area. The police seized the area around the debris and immediately informed the officers of the Archaeological Survey of India, who is the guardian of the monument.
Assistant Archaeologist Milan Kumar Chaule of ASI could not reach for comment because he was in Delhi. An official familiar with the development said that the piece of the tower was quite big – two meters long and 88 cm wide. The damaged area also exposed a crack in the tower, which could result in the collapse of more parts. The officials are lining up around the monument.
Although the exact reason for the collapse is yet to be discovered, however, historian and heritage protectionist Mohammed Safiullah said that it could be due to heavy rain.
“ASI has been working on conservation work on Charminar for a long time and has restored three out of four towers besides four structures. Maybe, part of the work of the plaster was not completely restored or there may be a mismatch of the material in that particular part. As far as I know, the ASI officials have done a very good job. The real reason will come out only after a thorough investigation. ”
He said that due to the breaking of limestone fragments in the past, small parts of Charminar got damaged and they were restored by the ASI officials. However, this time the damaged part appeared bigger, concerns about the safety of the monument increased.
Charminar was constructed in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the fifth King of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. The 160 ft tall monument, which has got its name from its four towers, is awaiting the World Heritage Memorial tag, but it is elusive all the way around the structure due to massive commercial activity and traffic movement.
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