The 120-year-old Victoria Memorial Homel will be repaired at a cost of Rs.12 crore by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (Pics. Courtesy wikimedia commons)
The Nizam-era historic building, the Victoria Memorial Home, will be renovated by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority with the objective of preserving the heritage structure of the city.
The 120-year-old building which is located in Saroornagar in the city at present houses a residential high school and an orphanage will be repaired and restored by HMDA at a cost of Rs.12 crore.
As per HMDA the reason for undertaking repair is that the building is in a dilapidated condition and the authorities want to restore it to its original glory in a year’s time.
Built in 1904, the building is categorised as a Grade II-B heritage structure and requires restoration and repair at a large scale. A plan has been prepared by M/s. Kshetra Architect and renovation will include addressing issues of dampness and seepage, damaged lime plaster, restoration of missing architectural elements and damaged sections of the structure. Apart from this plumbing works and electric lines will also be repaired.
Of the total of 12 crores required, Rs.4 crore will be contributed by the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Department and Victoria Memorial Home, while HMDA will be providing Rs.8 crore.
The building located in a 70-acre campus was initially meant to be a hunting lodge and palace and the drawings for it were finalised by Mahboob Ali Khan, the Nizam in 1882. It was completed 1903 and christened as Mahal-e-Saroornagar but the Nizam abandoned it because of a superstition. He fell ill after he visited the unfinished building.
The palace building is rectangular in shape and its dimensions are 420 feet in length, 285 in width and 32 feet in height.
In 1904, when the British Resident asked the Nizam to set up an institute in memory of Queen Victoria who died on January 22, 1901, the Nizam issued a royal firman to set up Victoria Memorial Orphanage at the Saroornagar Palace.
Interestingly it was in 1953 on the request of the then Prime Minister Jawaharal Nehru the word “orphanage” was replaced by “home”.