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 Malwala Palace 

DULHAN IN TATTERS
Dulhan WeepsThe beauty of the historical Malwala Palace can no more be seen and enjoyed. What was once fondly called a "dulhan" (bride), today remains only in photos, books and the lingering memories of people.

On the night of August 21, in the midst of a heavy downpour, a major portion of the building collapsed. Next morning people were shocked to see the ruins. Of what was once a row of graceful arches only two blocks remained.

The destruction of the palace is shrouded in controversy. Many believe that the building fell victim to the unscrupulous practices of builders, and the palace owners.

Palace in its earlier splendourThe main courtyard and the secondary courtyard of the Mawala Palace are heritage buildings under government protection. Constructed in 1860, the palace has two wings. While the Western wing was used for residential purpose, the Eastern wing was the centre for official business, social functions and celebrations.

Renowned for its graceful arches and beautiful paintings, the palace Graceful Archeswas once among the garland of palaces around the Charminar. According to The Hindu, the Palace was long under threat from the owners (descendents of the Nawab) itself. Some of them wanted to profit from this prime land, by selling it to the builders. Yet, one of the owners wanted to preserve the historical monument by converting it into a museum or heritage restaurant. A suit was filed in the High Court. The Court passed an interim order on May 16, 2000 to maintain status quo.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) were planning to protect the historical monuments. HUDA had earlier requested the Tourism Department to hand over the building, and the latter had recommended the same to the government. Tragic Loss

The building remained undisturbed under the regular supervision of the heritage regulation authorities. Yet on the night of 21st, the building collapsed. It is believed that the owners and developers took advantage of the heavy rains to demolish the building.

Conservationists believe that Government should take more effective measures to protect the heritage buildings. Else, a time may come when our historical monuments remain only in someone's cherished memories!


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