Plea to declare Quila Mubarak endangered site

Patiala Heritage Society Vice-Chairman S.K. Misra, who is also Vice-Chairman of INTACH, said a request in this regard had already been submitted to the front by ITACH and added that the purpose behind approaching the front was to focus international attention on the fort. He said presently INTACH was doing the documentation work of the fort in collaboration with the Patiala Heritage Society. He said at present there was no record of its architectural layout as well as areas which were particularly endangered.

Meanwhile, sources disclosed that much progress could not be achieved in restoring the fort in past. due to a piecemeal approach. Due to this problem in the fort, particularly the Quila Androon dwellings of the erstwhile rulers of the state, were addressed on an emergency basis. Till now the conservation Department of state government has replaced roofs which have collapsed or were on the verge of collapsing. This experts said had occurred because the ground water in the area had gone down tremendously in past few decades. While this reduced the moisture and protected the walls of the fort from getting damaged. It severely affected the wooden supports on the roofs which were infested with termites.

Besides providing structural strength, experts said there was need to restore the wall paintings in various chambers of Quila Androon. At present only one chamber was in a good condition after having been partially restored by a conservation laboratory based in Lucknow. The failure of the state government’s own conservation wing in taking up the task of restoring other chambers which were in a pathetic condition had resulted in many of them becoming unrestorable now. Presently the only restoration work is being carried out in a building situated outside the Quila Androon which was known as the ‘ranwas’ and used in the later days to accommodate guests. Restoration of this building is being done by the A.S.I. Archaeological Survey of India and is nearing completion.

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