“Work on the dome chamber and restoration of plaster motifs and medallions has been completed. The focus is now on restoring the parapet wall which used to exist before the 19th century intervention. We got clues from archival images from 1860. Using them, we are restoring the parapet wall to its original form,” says Ratish Nanda of Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The tomb had an unsightly metal parapet before the conservation effort began. But before taking up work on the parapet, the conservation architects had to focus on the dome, adding water spouts to the terraces and restoration of stone masonry which was in a damaged state.
Flooring and parapet was a challenge for craftsmen and artisans from across the country who are working on the project. They had to dress 2-metre long granite blocks weighing 5-6 tonnes, haul them and then fix them in their place using traditional methods.
One of the earliest paintings of the tombs complex shows the massive domed structure built in 1602 that soared to a height of 48 metres with an arcaded crypt. In the later part of the 20th century, the arcade was bricked up creating faux lattice.
“With the restoration of the old style parapet wall the tomb can be seen in its correct context. We have also removed the earlier interventions where the arches at the lower level were bricked up during late 1980s,” says Mr. Nanda.