United States Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster on Wednesday visited the historic Qutb Shahi Tombs Complex in Hyderabad.
Juster, along with the officials from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and Government of Telangana's Department of Archaeology and Museums, toured the premises of the Qutb Shahi Tombs and had an opportunity to witness first-hand the restoration work being carried out there.
AKTC Project Director Ratish Nanda and Department of Archaeology Director NR Visalatchy briefed the Ambassador on the project and the restoration works being carried out through the support of various donors.
Ambassador Juster applauded the team for their passion and dedication in preserving Hyderabad's rich cultural heritage and raising public awareness of it.
Kenneth Juster and US Consul General in Hyderabad, Katherine Hadda
In 2014, the project also received a grant from the US Department of State's Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation to carry out excavation work on the site, which concluded in 2016.
The US sponsored an excavation project at the famous tombs with a grant of $101,612.
The discoveries from the project included the discovery of a 16th century enclosure wall of first Qutub Shahi ruler Sultan Quli's tomb. The wall was found nine feet under the ground.
The US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) was set up in 2001 to support for the preservation of cultural heritage in various countries.
The state government plans to propose the tombs along with Golconda Fort as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2018.
The complex houses mausoleums of rulers of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty (1518-1687) who had Iranian lineage.
The dynasty is credited with establishing the city of Hyderabad, and building some of its iconic structures, including the Charminar and the Mecca Masjid.
The tombs complex is spread over 104 acres area with 72 monuments - 20 major including seven tombs and 52 minor monuments.