Based at the foot of the majestic Golconda Fort, the Quli Qutb Shahi Heritage Park is located in the historic city of Hyderabad in the Deccan plateau region of south-central India along the river Musi. Hyderabad has been the successive capital of the Qutub Shahi dynasty (1500s–1680s), the Mughals, (1680s–1720s), and the Nizams (1720s–1950s). In 1956, it became the capital of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh.
The Qutub Shahi Heritage Park is listed on the tentative World Heritage List. It is one of the most significant historic medieval necropolises anywhere in the world, comprising of over 70 structures mausoleums, mosques, step-wells/ water structures, a hamam, pavilions, garden structures – all built during the reign of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty who ruled the Hyderabad region for 169 years in the 16th – 17th centuries. Only 43 ha. site, including the 20 ha. core monument zone of the necropolis now remains.
The tombs, mosques and other structures standing here were built in a unique architectural style which is an integration of Persian, Pathan and Hindu forms, built in granite and lavishly embellished with lime- stucco ornamentation. Each structure, especially the tombs stand within wide terraces, and together comprise a magnificent ensemble. As per archival records, the tombs were once furnished with carpets, chandeliers and velvet canopies on silver poles. Golden spires were fitted over the tombs of the sultans to distinguish their tombs from those of other members of the royal family. During the Qutb Shahi period, these tombs were held in great veneration but after their reign, the complex fell into neglect.
Of these 70 structures, ten major monuments comprising grand tombs of the Qutb Shahi rulers - Sultan Quli Qutb-ul Mulk, Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah, Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Muhammad Qutb Shah, Abdullah Qutb Shah, Tomb of Hayat Bakshi Begum and its grand mosque, the largest baoli and the majestic mortuary bath are proposed to be undertaken for conservation works over the first five year period by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Department of Archaeology & museum, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority, Hyderabad through Sir Dorabji Tata Trust funding.
The Qutb Shahi Tombs Complex, presently nominated to the World Heritage List is proposed to be developed as an Urban Heritage Park to showcase, ensure long term preservation and enhance understanding of the 70 monuments that stand within its boundaries. Future connections with Golconda Fort will allow this site to serve as a starting point for the Qutb Shahi Trail of Hyderabad leading to significant interest in heritage amongst the local citizens and tourists.