Almost two years after the High Court ruled against the demolition of Irram Manzil for the construction of a new legislative complex, the old palace leaked and the plant growth spread from the ceiling to the interior . As the cast and crew of a Telugu web series scramble around the sprawling complex, parts of the ground are destroyed, while water has pooled from the overnight rain. “This is a heritage building, so we cannot do any repairs or maintenance without the approval of the heritage committee. Our staff prepare quotes to take care of the building, ”said the executive engineer responsible for the building.
The structure has become a film and web series shooting site as the rental fee is 10,000 per day. “They rent it for a week or 10 days, depending on the schedule and their needs. We insist on the conditions that they do not damage the building during filming, ”the official said.
From the outside, where the camera will pan over the palace, the building has a new arcade, Roman columns, and even insignia crafted from wood, plaster of Paris and styrofoam. Two temporary store-like structures were erected on either side of the entrance as part of the fantasy world.
“I visited the site today. Nails were driven into the walls of the building and additional structures were added which I think will damage the building further. Why can’t we restore the building first before cashing it in? Asked Anuradha Reddy of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage.
“Last year when I visited it was in better shape than when I walked in a month ago on a heritage tour. There were vines everywhere. I had no idea it was so beautiful inside. If it’s just restored and turned into a paid palace, a lot of people will be willing to pay to see it, ”says Sanjay B, an architectural photographer.
The Irram Manzil was built by Fakhrul Mulk, a trained architect and nobleman from Nizam’s inner circle in 1870. After independence, on June 25, 1951, the palace was taken over by the state government. Exactly 70 years later, the fate of the palace is still at stake.