On Sunday, 31 January 2021, I drove down to a historical town called Khairabad–about 2 hours’ drive from Lucknow – with two heritage lovers from Lucknow. Ms. Adity Chakraborty and Mr. Varun Bhalla were keenly looking forward to visit the heritage buildings in this historical town. Just about 10 kms from Sitapur town, Khairabad is an old soobah of erstwhile Awadh, which was also known as United Provinces of Awadh during the British era.
We visited the famous monuments at Khairabad: Makka Darzi ka Maqbara, an Imambara, Mosque and Qadam Rasool complex built during the reign of Nasir-ud-Din Haidar in 1830s. According to the anecdotes, the Imambara was built by a tailor from the money he had received from the King for stitching some European style exquisite garments. Without going much into the stories of how it was all built, we delved into the finer details of architecture, detailed design, and quality that matched to the one seen in the Imambaras of Lucknow.
The current state of these precious heritage monuments in Kharabad is that they are crumbling and on the verge of collapse. However, much of it can be saved with timely action by creating an expert team of Architects, Lawyers, Historians and Heritage Lovers to study and plan out the restoration and conservation of these priceless pieces of history.
Call for Action for Heritage Lovers
Since the complex includes places of worship that are still in use, it might be difficult for ASI to take the control. Therefore, the onus is on the citizens to save the heritage and increase the tourism potential in the region. We need to work towards raising awareness about our heritage and the role of citizens in protecting and conserving it. It is not always about the money needed to maintain them, rather the intent and will to make our country beautiful.
The pictures can tell the tale of the beauty that’s been hidden and covered beneath all the reckless graffiti, neglect, and greed.
~ Qais Mujeeb – a heritage lover
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