In ruins: Gol Gumbaz, the largest dome in India, is crumbling away

ASI says it hasn’t received any recent information on the same

Gol Gumbaz

Hours after Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary celebrations, it has come to notice that a dome of the Gumbaz has developed cracks and minor cracks have been seen in other parts of the monument, as reported by the Deccan Herald.

The monument is currently under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Wakf Estate Secretary Irfan Ahmed has said that he had written to the ASI in this regard 15 days ago.

“The officials have informed that the funds have to be released from Delhi. We are waiting for them to take up the works,” he said. Sunil of ASI said that the cracks in the Gumbaz had not been brought to his notice. “I will visit the spot and take stock of the situation. In case cracks are observed, a report would be submitted to higher officials.”

Earlier, in May this year, the ASI had taken up restoration work at the Tipu Sultan palace at Chamarajpet, to repair cracks on the roof. These cracks allegedly came up due to work taken up by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) at the adjoining KR Market metro station.

According to ASI officials, not only the roof, but the east-facing wall has also developed cracks. The palace is one of the oldest monuments in the city and several other factors like the age of the monument, the deterioration of materials as well as climate are other reasons for the cracks to develop, sources said.

Last year in 2018 heritage activists in Karnataka had cried hoarse over the deteriorating condition of the Gol Gumbaz after the building started to develop cracks on its dome and corner minarets. Even the walls and the parapet of the building have now developed cracks, allowing rain water to seep in and posing serious threat to the strength of the structure.

The plaster has been peeling off. This is evident especially along the staircase and on walls where one can see huge holes. Its white colour is turning to brownish. No major conservation work has been taken to protect the building in the recent past, leaving it to suffer irreversible damage.

Until now, officials have only taken up cosmetic conservation work. This will not help save the monument. In April 2019, ASI officials sought funds of up to Rs 1 crore after inspecting the mausoleum to carry out restorative work. They had said that they would make sure to use original materials used to build the structure and refrain from using any modern materials or machines to maintain the novelty of the monument.

Will it be restored to its former glory or will negligence chip away at it slowly?


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