Refurbished tomb of Mah Laqa Bai inaugurated in Hyderabad

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 06, 2011 19:19 hrs

Hyderabad: The US Consul General here Katherine Dhanani today inaugurated the refurbished garden tomb of Mah Laqa Bai, an illustrious woman in the history of Hyderabad.

The US Government funded the refurbishing work of the tomb at Moula-Ali through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. The Muslim Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (MESCO) also provided important support to the project.

"It is appropriate that we fete her during the month of March, when we celebrate Women's History Month, for Mah Laqa Bai represents history's women who have contributed significantly to their society and culture but who have often been written out of history," Consul General Dhanani said on the occasion.

"The Ambassadors Fund supports a wide range of projects to preserve cultural heritage, such as the restoration of historic buildings," she said.

Hyderabad-based restoration architects - Heritage Conservation Initiative Consultants (HCIC) carried out the renovation work.

The company cleared the area of debris and restored the buildings and their exquisite decorations. They rebuilt water channels and planted trees and bushes appropriate to Mah Laqa Bai's time, US Consulate officials said. 

Mah Laqa Bai is one of the most illustrious women of Hyderabad's cultural history. Also known as Chanda Bibi, she died in 1824 after leading an exemplary life as the court dancer for the second and third Nizams.

She was among the first women to author a full collection of Urdu ghazals. She was active in the religious and political life of Hyderabad during the city's golden age, the officials said.

An exhibit on site presents the story of Mah Laqa Bai's life and cultural legacy, through poetry, paintings, maps, architecture and religious sites associated with her.

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