For old times sake

Murals inside the Qila MubarackNeck-deep in cross-checking dimensions, getting drawing and drafts ready, doing the condition assessment and completing the architectural documentation are Atit Kumar and Balwinder Kaur, the site and consultant architects, INTACH. ‘‘We took up this project in June 2005 and have made a pretty encouraging progress,’’ smile Atit and Balwinder, former students of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, who show you around the massive fort, pointing to the t damaged areas. ‘‘We’ve practically made this our second home and have braved many tough conditions to carry out the work here, but the entire process is both engrossing and stimulating,’’ smiles Atit, a gold medalist. Though the initial restoration will begin with the Darbar Hall, according to Kaur, no changes will be made in the original carvings and design. Deterioration in the wooden planks and seepage and dampness in the walls has taken it toll on the fort, with many rooms falling to pieces and the beautiful work on the ceiling too getting affected. ‘‘The layers of whitewash have hidden the original carvings, which will be brought to light and these cement repairs and electricity additions which mar the soul of the place will have to go,’’ asserts Atit.

The fort, the foundation of which was laid way back in 1763, boasts of different styles of architecture and construction — Rajput, Mughal Rajasthani, tinged with Gothic and Colonial. ‘‘The paintings too will be restored and graffiti in my opinion is a major defect. The fort will hopefully be back in its original and purest form,’’ signs sings off Atit, getting back to making the past perfect.

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