Times of India | Mughal Azimganj Serai lost inside zoo rises from its ruins with help from Aga Khan Trust for Culture

The project is a joint collaboration between the Delhi government’s Department of Archaeology and Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).

Officials said decades of neglect left the structure in dilapidated condition and major part of it is covered with thick vegetation and foliage. Currently, the primary attention is on the vaults, which is a painstaking exercise that involve massive reconstruction in some parts.

Sunder Burj-Central Axis: Aligned on axis with Sunder Burj and culminating at the foot of Azim Ganj Serai, … It was established at the onset of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture project that the Outstanding Universal Value of the Humayun's Tomb complex lay not only in the grandeur of Humayun's Tomb but in the fact that this was an ensemble of 16th century garden-tombs (Via http://archeolognewsaround.blogspot.com)
Sunder Burj-Central Axis: Aligned on axis with Sunder Burj and culminating at the foot of Azim Ganj Serai, … It was established at the onset of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture project that the Outstanding Universal Value of the Humayun’s Tomb complex lay not only in the grandeur of Humayun’s Tomb but in the fact that this was an ensemble of 16th century garden-tombs (Via http://archeolognewsaround.blogspot.com)

NEW DELHI: The 16th century Azimganj Serai is on its way to a complete revival. The monument, which is located within the Delhi zoo complex, was in ruins for decades.

It has 108 vaults, of which many were crumbling away. And the work to consolidate and stabilize the structure started in phases nearly two years ago. They are being repaired, and restored wherever necessary said sources.

The serai is being conserved for the first time.

“Emergency conservation works focus on consolidating the standing portions of the structure to the extent that no further collapse occurs during the monsoons,” an official said, adding, “Much of the serai has collapsed due to over a century of neglect and now that the Delhi government has taken it under its care, our immediate concern is to ensure that no further deterioration takes place. For this, it will be necessary to reconstruct structural elements.”

The structure falls on what was historically the Grand Trunk Road and is one of the largest Mughal serais in Delhi. Historians said though during Mughal era, serais were built all along the road, GT Road connecting Calcutta with Lahore and beyond, this is the only serai in Delhi to be free of encroachment. The structure, which spans over 275 square yards, comprises a walled enclosure made up of random rubble masonry. The main entrances are on the east and the west. The Serai is 111 m square, comprises a large courtyard with a well around which stand 108 two bay deep rooms.

Historians said Grand Trunk Road passed through present-day Sundar Nursery, and the area was historically known as Azim Bagh, which was attached to the serai. The structure stands amid an array of medieval monuments and within the buffer zone of the Humayun’s Tomb, said an official. “The conservation work will require master craftsmen to spend at least 1,50,000 man-days and will revive traditional building techniques like lime and stone. The work will be undertaken using traditional building materials such as stone and lime mortar, and traditional tools and building techniques used by 16{+t}{+h} century builders,” an official said.

With the survey and documentation complete, it has been declared a protected building under department of archaeology, which entered into an MoU with AKTC. to undertake vital conservation work in the serai.

Earlier

Cultural Diplomacy -  India’s National Monuments Authority seeks Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s expertise in protecting national heritage


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