Participants face-to-face with rich ancient heritage

Bhopal. The painting made of gold at Sadar Manzil, the grapevine made of stone at Shaukat Mahal, the fountain running on siphon at Gauhar Mahal overwhelmed visitors taking part in the Bhopal Heritage Walk. ‘There was so much to see in our Bhopal and we did not even know about it’ – these were the natural reactions of the participants of Bhopal Heritage Walk organized on World Heritage Day by the Madhya Pradesh State Archaeology Museum. Former Chief Secretary and Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Antony de Sa and Commissioner Archaeology Anupam Rajan also took part in the walk.

Addressing the participants in the walk Anupam Rajan said that the main aim of the Heritage Walk is to apprise the new generation with our rich inheritance and past. He said that such activities develop sensitivity of the people towards our heritage and encourage mutual participation towards its conservation and maintenance. Rajan said that heritage walks will be organized on a regular basis and in a well-organised manner at places of historical importance in areas near Bhopal and other places in the state.

The Walk under the direction of Archaeologist Pooja Saxena started from Rani Kamlapati palace and reached Sadar Manzil via Faiz Bahadur Saheb ki Dargah, Chameli Wali Dargah, Hamam, Sheetaldas ki Bagiya, Gauhar Mahal, Iqbal Maidan and Shaukat Mahal. People from all sections of the society besides members of Ideal Society of Interior Designers and students pursuing architecture and urban planning took part in the walk in a large number.

Information was given to the participants about settlement developed by Raja Bhoj around the dam on Kolans river to the forthcoming ancient development series. Giving information about various characteristics of Kamlapati Mahal like drainage, panchakki etc. and the mention of the university constructed by Rani Shalmalli in the bulletins of Begum Kuedesia, the archaeologist said that the hamam on the banks of the Upper Lake is an unbeatable example of the combination of engineering and architecture. Information was also given about how Rahat Ghat was developed to take water from the lake became Ret Ghat and about Manji Mamola Saheb ki Masjid and Laila Burj.

Among other things discussed at the walk included the mineral colour painting at Gauhar Mahal built by Bhopal’s first female Nawab Kudesiya Begum, special designs made to enjoy the breeze from the Upper Lakh, use of marble for building construction by Sikander Jahan Begum, Moti Masjid made of red stones and marble and about Iqbal Maidan being used as an open durbar. Information was also given about the colour glasswork at Shaukat Mahal and designs influenced by Indo-French architecture.

It was told at the Heritage Walk that material for plaster was made out of lime, Urad ki dal, San ki Rassi, bel etc. Along with this, the plaster in Sadar Manzil was done with shell, seep and coconut oil. Participants demanded that a light and sound show should be started at Gauhar Mahal and Sadar Manzil and such walks should be organised every month at the end of a week.