United States Charge d' Affaires to India, Elizabeth Jones on Tuesday visited the Paigah Tombs Complex in Hyderabad and announced a USD 250,000 project to support the conservation and restoration of its six tombs constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Paigah Tombs or Maqhbara Shams al-Umara, are the tombs belonging to the nobility of the Paigah family, who were fierce loyalists of the Nizams and served as officials, philanthropists and generals under and alongside them. The Paigah tombs are among the major wonders of Hyderabad State which is known for their architectural excellence.
These tombs have laid mosaic tiles and an excellent craftsmanship work. This is located in a quiet neighbourhood, some 4 km from Charminar.
These 200-year old tombs are made out of lime and mortar with beautiful inlaid marble carvings.
At first, Paigah Tombs may look deserted and totally uncared for, but on a closer look, you will find the place quite enthralling. With marvelous carvings and motifs in floral designs and inlaid mosaic tile-works, the tombs are exquisite to walk around. The tombs and their walls are delicately carved and enclosed in pierced marble facades, some of them in rows and some with beautifully carved screens and canopies.
"We announce a USD 250,000 US government project to support the conservation and restoration of six tombs which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries while visiting the Paigah Tombs complex," Elizabeth Jones said.
Elizabeth Jones said the US is "honoured" to be part of Telangana's efforts to conserve these magnificent monuments. She stated the restoration of Paigah Tombs is Fifth Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation project implemented by the US Consulate General in Hyderabad. She expressed gratitude to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for its efforts in Telangana and across India.
On her first visit to Hyderabad, Elizabeth Jones said, "We are proud and honoured to be part of the government of Telangana's efforts to conserve these magnificent monuments. This is actually the Fifth Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation project implemented by the US Consulate General in Hyderabad."
"Throughout India, a total of 23 Ambassadors funds for cultural preservation projects have been implemented representing a cultural investment over the past 20 years of USD 2 million to the floor to sporting more such projects in Hyderabad and in the region, she added.
Speaking on the occasion, Elizabeth Jones said that the US by supporting the preservation of culture demonstrates its respect for other cultures and people. She expressed gratitude to the Telangana government for its support for the project.
"Restorations like this allow the people of the United States to play a role in the nations and communities where we work in a way that transcends traditional policy issues. By supporting the preservation of cultural heritage, the United States demonstrates its respect for other cultures and people, Elizabeth Jones said.
Highlighting the US contribution to the restoration of monuments, "Preserving cultural landmarks such as this is a benefit to all humanities. By ensuring that history, art, and architecture are not lost in time, we make it possible for future generations to be able to experience the same wonder and awe that we are experiencing here today. I want to thank the government of Telangana for its support for this project and for all of your work, all of its work with us to make this project a success."
US Consulate General in Hyderabad, Jennifer Larson tweeted, "Today Ambassador Jones announced a U.S. government-funded project to support conservation and restoration at the historic Paigah Tombs. Funded by the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, it's our fifth such project in #Hyderabad. #CDAJonesInHyd."
Meanwhile, Ratish Nanda, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Trust, called the Paigah Tombs one of the most significant sites in India. He stressed that work will be carried out slowly as the work is "intricate." He further said, "The site will be one of the important sites of Hyderabad after the completion of work.
"Paigah Tombs Complex is a protected complex of the Department of Archaeology, Government of Telangana. About two to three years back, the government of Telangana had given the responsibility to Aga Khan Trust for the conservation of the Complex. The work was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Ratish Nanda said.
He added, "Today, American Ambassador Elizabeth Jones pledged the US Ambassadors fund for cultural preservation for the conservation of the six most important monuments. The conservation of the tombs will take 2-2.5 years." (