Hyderabad: 2nd phase of ramp work at Moula Ali gets delayed

Hyderabad: The second phase of works to build a driveway (ramp) atop the Moula Ali shrine are nowhere near completion in spite of beginning months ago. The work has been prolonged due to the tough job at hand for the state government.

The ramp works at the centuries old hilltop shrine at Malkajgiri, popularly known as Koh-e-Moula Ali shrine, started in 2014 after the Telangana government had sanctioned funds for the ramp works. Authorities planned to take up the works covering 550 steps in two phases.

The first phase of the ramp works in 2017 covered a distance of 230 steps and cars can now directly reach halfway up the Moula Ali shrine, for the ease of those going to pray there. A budget of Rs 20 crore was allocated for the second and final phase of works which began in 2021.

Government officials said the works were planned to be completed by the 2022 end but it was not possible because it is to be executed carefully as there is a religious place on one side and an urban area on the other side of the hill. “If any small mistakes happen, it would result in conflict resulting in a slowdown of the work. A diamond cutter is put to work to cut the rocks and it is to be carefully done. Rocks cannot be blasted using detonators,” said an official of GHMC.

AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi along with the senior officials of MA&UD and other GHMC officials visited the Moula Ali shrine and inspected the ongoing works. “Around 40 per cent of the work is now completed and the remaining will be done hopefully by year end. It cannot be done hurriedly due to various reasons and budget related issues too,” said the official.

After the completion of the second phase of the works, the visitors can drive up to the hilltop where a big parking space is being created. The works were necessitated after it was noticed women and elderly faced problems in reaching the hilltop shrine.

There are also arrangements for parking of about 50 cars and 250 two-wheelers. The Moula Ali Dargah and Ashoorkhana date back to the time of Ibrahim Qutb Shah who ruled between 1565 and 1580 AD.

However, the development work on the huge rock is coming at the cost of the city’s history, given that the site’s very shape is being altered.

History of Moula Ali

It is said that Yakoot, after reaching on top, saw Imam Ali (cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed), only to then wake up from his dream. However, he then went up the hill for real, it is said, and saw the hand print of Imam Ali branded on a part of the rock. The hand mark was then supposedly hewn out of the rock and placed in the great arch at the site, which everyone goes to today. The Moula Ali shrine has been importance since then, and predates Hyderabad.

Ibrahim Qutb Shah was also the father of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, who eventually built Hyderabad in 1591, with the Charminar being the first or foundational monument of the new city built then. The Qutb Shahi empire was vanquished in 1687 during an eight-month long battle with the Mughals, lead by emperor Aurangzeb.

The Nizams of Hyderabad, who were essentially high-ranking Mughal officials, eventually became governors of the Deccan. The first Nizam, Kamruddin Khan, took over as the governor of the Deccan in 1724, and ruled from Aurangabad, which was the first capital of the dominion.