Tombs are solemn sites … but if you look at the form … the geometry there is a lot to admire and smile about. On a hot summer day during IPL 2017 I decided to spend a morning before the game to explore the Qutb heritage park which has several tombs of the Qutb Shahi family. The first tomb we come across is in remembrance of Abdullah Qutb Shah (1626-72)
It is one of its kind tomb complex with the whole dynasty of kings that ruled over a few centuries lies buried at one location comprising nearly 70 structures.The area is conserved with funding from Tata Trusts and Aga Khan network. Near the ticket counter you notice an incomplete tomb and there are many more to explore inside the park. And then the tomb of Abdul Hasan Tana Shah (1672-99) He was contemporary of Chhatrapati Shivaji and signed a treaty of Bhaganagar with the Maratha King.
The tallest structure on the right hand side is the tomb of the Hayat Baksh begum which also has a great mosque adjacent to it. Almost every tomb has a mosque dedicated to it. We see a unique Deccani fusion of Hindu, Afghan and Persian style of architecture.
When we walk past the great mosque we notice two smaller tombs built on a platform. They are attributed to two court consorts … Taramati and Premvati. Towards the centre of the park we see another big tomb … dedicated to the Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah who ruled between 1612-1626. Towards the South east corner of the Muhammad Qutb Shah’s tomb we can see two smaller tombs … one belongs to Hakim and the second to the commander. Hakim’s tomb was going through facelift when I visited.
Then we come to perhaps the most fascinating part of the tomb complex… Hamam.. the mortuary bath … a bit morbid … but wonderful play of light and shadow created by geometry of walls … creating an enchanting ambiance.
I could not visit the tomb of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah and Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah(1580-1611), though the latter was visible from a distance. These tombs are under renovation and were not open for visitors. Jamshed Quli Qutb Shah’s (1543-55) tomb is a bit tower like and different in form.