A 400-year-old Qutb Shahi Sarai was demolished during a 'road-widening demolition drive' at Amberpet in the quiet of the COVID-19 lockdown hours on Tuesday. The Sarai was a part of a group of Qutb Shahi era buildings like the Jama Masjid, an Ashoorkhana e Abbas and the Ek Khana Masjid (now demolished). The Sarai is the second historic building in Amberpet to be demolished by the GHMC without any notification to authorities in recent years.
In 2017, controversy was stirred up when some officials demolished the historic Ek Khana Masjid for road widening. The Masjid authorities complained that the board was not informed about the demolition by the demolition team. Despite not being listed as a heritage structure, both buildings were of great historical importance.
Sarais were an essential part of Qutb Shahi architecture and highway infrastructure. Qutb Shahi Sarais had accommodation lodges and water as free facilities for travelers and were built on important highways, and Mosques were also built alongside the Sarai for the worshippers. Sarais can be found at numerous places like Shaikpet, Puranapul and Hayatnagar. Amberpet gets its name from the Dargah of the sufi saint Hazrat Ambar Shah Baba. Amberpet village lied on on the historic east-west road that leads to Uppal Kalan (present day Uppal). The Jama Masjid of Amberpet was the second largest congregational mosque in Qutb Shahi Hyderabad after the Jama Masjid at Charminar.
"All historic monuments are our heritage whether recognized by any government authority or not."
-Anuradha Reddy, INTACH Hyderabad Convenor.
Sources said, 'Upon demolition, the iconic Qutb Shahi arched vaults appeared after being freed from encroachments and the workers found it very difficult to break down the structure that is still standing strong to this day.' on the condition of anonymity. The Sarai first caught my eyes during my daily travel to my college at Uppal and upon digging up history I learnt that the structure was actually Qutb Shahi. As a Qutb Shahi history and heritage enthusiast it is saddening to witness the loss of such a magnificent piece of Qutb Shahi engineering.