Saturday, 2 January 2021

Tantalizing Minto Hall, Bhopal, India built in honor of Viceroy Minto - back in old glory!!

Colonial building Minto hall, Bhopal. M.P. twitter.com

The fabulously beautiful colonial structure Minto Hall  is a heritage site in Bhopal, the capital city ofMadhya Pradesh. It is a public tribute  conceived by the  fourth and the last begum of Bhopal - Nawab Shah Jahan Begum to honor Lord Minto, the then Viceroy of India  and his wife Lady Minto who visited  Bhopal on official work.  The foundation stone  for the building was  laid on 12th November 1909. But the begum was not alive to see  its completion by her son  Nawab Hamidullah Khan,  A.C. Rovan was the architect of this heritage building that still carries the legacy of the Bhopal rulers and  also the impressive work of Rovan.  The work was entrusted with R. A. Dhondi and Sayyed Ali It took a long period - 24 years to complete the building and the total cost involved was rupees three lakhs.

The Begums of Bhopal,  played  no less role than others in the administration of the state, and the city and the region saw the hey day during their effective governance.  The development of the city that is famous for lakes,  impacted various realms  - urban planning, civic services, art, architecture, and culture. Among the buildings, the Minto Hall is the celebration of the last begum, her indomitable spirits, imagination and foresight .It came up to fulfil the need of a guest house for the  visiting Europeans and others near the Raj Bhawan (then called the Lal kothi..

Minto Hall, Bhopal, M.P.,India. goheritagerun.com

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.  Minto Hall facebook.com

Minto Hall', Bhopal, M.P. indiatravelite.com

Surprisingly, the building was never used for the purpose it was envisaged. It temporarily became the headquarters of the Bhopal  Army and later until 1946 Hamidia college  was housed here Subsequently, it moved over to a new building.  After India's independence in August 1947  the Minto Hall  had severed as the venue of the State Assembly till  1996,. Later  this  beautiful building remained unused. 

The renovation work on Minto Hall was launched  in June 2016 after years of debates and discussion; roughly 20 years went by before a final decision had been  taken.. It was finally opened in October 2018 after  completion of restoration work. The refurbishment cost of Minto hall was .Rs.64 crore and the entire amount was met by the M.P. government. Particular care was taken not to disturb the  heritage features of the building that is a blend of   Indian and English architecture  under the direction of  Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. 

Minto Hall', Bhopal, M.P. shutterstock.com

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.  weather-forecast.com

It was a challenging job for the conservationists  to work on the project because  they had to incorporate modern facilities and techniques without disturbing the original heritage characters. A special team of expert artists  took  at least six months  to restore the intricate Zardozi painting and carving work in central dome of the building. Care was taken to protect the original ceiling when air-conditioning work was on. This was done by using ducts (HVAC). As for fire hazards, conventional sprinkler system was avoided and in its place was put in a different system to keep the old style intact.. Care was taken to clean the outer structure with controlled blasting  technique;  besides, lime, surkhi, gur, bel and other traditional things were chosen to carry on the repair work on the walls, etc. The modern feature is the introduction of Building management System; it means, sound, sprinkler system, lights etc., can be controlled  using software.  Prior to the  restoration work, examination of wood, plaster and other materials used in construction of original building was undertaken through Geo System Research and Consultants, Nagpur. Care was taken to use the  materials  to be  be used in building's up gradation.

Minto hall, Bhopal, M.P.indiatravelite.com

Minto hall, Bhopal, M.P.indiatravelite.com

Minto hall, Bhopal, M.P.indiatravelite.com

Minto hall, Bhopal, M.P.indiatravelite.com

It was a challenging job for the conservationists  to work on the project because  they had to incorporate modern facilities and techniques without disturbing the original heritage characters. A special team of expert artists  took  at least six months  to restore the intricate Zardozi painting and carving work in central dome of the building. Care was taken to protect the original ceiling when air-conditioning work was on. This was done by using ducts (HVAC). As for fire hazards, conventional sprinkler system was avoided and in its place was put in a different system to keep the old style intact.. Care was taken to clean the outer structure with controlled blasting  technique;  besides, lime, surkhi, gur, bel and other traditional things were chosen to carry on the repair work on the walls, etc. The modern feature is the introduction of Building management System; it means, sound, sprinkler system, lights etc., can be controlled  using software.  Prior to the  restoration work, examination of wood, plaster and other materials used in construction of original building was undertaken through Geo System Research and Consultants, Nagpur. Care was taken to use the  materials  to be  be used in building's up gradation.


The officials said 30  other projects are on the anvil  and will be taken up for restoration and conservation  and  when completed, it will boost tourism to this state. It is a fact that MP has more historical forts and palaces than  Rajasthan. . 

Minto hall has taken a new avatar and will serve as  a major convention  center.  The main hall is turned into main convention hall with a capacity of 500 people. Additionally, it has an auditorium that can hold 120 people, three other small size meeting rooms with a capacity to accommodate between 24-100 people.  There is a roof-top  restaurant  with a fine ambiance  operating there to cater to the people who are after tasty food. From here you can have an enchanting view of this old city. The palatial structure has two spacious  meeting rooms, two committee rooms, a boardroom, and a media center.

https://www.mptourism.com/minto-hall.html

https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-minto-hall-to-be-unveiled-soon-as-a-convention-centre

https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-minto-hall-to-be-unveiled-soon-as-a-convention-cen