In a few days, the last surviving piece of architecture of the Hyderabad Nizam’s administration will pass into history. The 128-year-old Saifabad palace that stands at the heart of the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Secretariat, will be among the structures that will face the bulldozer. This is because Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao considers the Vaastu of the entire Secretariat complex inauspicious for Telangana and therefore wants to build a brand new Secretariat from scratch, after raising the present one to the ground.
For the record, Telangana Rashtra Samiti leaders argue that having a modern integrated administrative structure will help.
Vaastu is the ancient treatise of architecture that determines how an office, home or any structure should be constructed, taking into account the direction of wind, light and the astrological chart of the head of the house or institution. KCR has gone on record to say it is the Secretariat’s bad Vaastu that was an impediment in the progress of united Andhra Pradesh first, and now Telangana. In March 2015, KCR said, “Definitely this Secretariat has bad Vaastu. History is proof that no one has prospered because of this. Let Telangana not suffer.”
While several blocks in the Secretariat are new blocks, constructed in the last decade, the erstwhile Saifabad palace built in 1888 by the sixth Nizam, Mahboob Ali Pasha is a designated heritage structure. Historians say the decision to build it was driven by a desire to have his footprint outside the old city area of Hyderabad as all the other palaces were on the other side of the Charminar.