People dump waste indiscriminately and one can spot a few pigs in the shallow waters below. As of now, the State government has embarked on an extensive cleaning process of Musi. As part of it, an official said they would take up restoration and repairs of the bridge. It is important to note that Puranapul is listed as a structure under Regulation 13 of HMDA’s list of protected heritage monuments, which the State government had earlier claimed that the law was nullified. However, during the Errum Manzil judgement, the High Court had made it clear that the provisions of Regulation 13 are still in force, thus giving Puranapul and several other structures, the status of protected monuments.
The Puranapul bridge, the name itself acknowledge its historic importance, which ought to have been displayed with pride to tourists, now sports a vegetable market.
Around 200 odd vegetable and fruit vendors conduct their business on the 600 feet long and 35 feet broad bridge by paying up some money to local persons every day. “We are doing business for last 10 years on the bridge. A few years ago we were asked to vacate the place and then we demanded alternate arrangement. Since then no official came to us,” says Sushma, a vegetable vendor.
It is said, many stone walls surrounded Hyderabad, but with the Mughal conquest they were brought down and new ones constructed in their place. Many of these were destroyed during the floods in 1908 and only two of these remain. One of them is the Purana pul Darwaza which is said to be constructed in the 15th century and the other is the Dabeerpura Gate.
From what remains of the Musi river it is indeed difficult to imagine it was a river once upon a time, leave alone the possibility of it flooding.
However, the legend is that Prince Mohammed Quli, the younger son of Ibrahim Qutb Shah came to know that his young son was crossing the dangerously flooding river Musi to meet his love Bhagmati who lived near Charminar and he decided to construct the bridge.
The bridge was repaired on the eve of World Tourism Day on September 27, 2002 and christened ‘Pyaranapul’ (bridge of love) in memory of Mohd Quli Qutb and Bhagmati whose romance led to its construction.
A few years later, again in 2009, the corporation planned to lay cobble flooring on the bridge and make functional the Puranapul Darwaza (gate) which is one of remaining 13 gates that served as the entrance to the city. However, nothing has been done so far. It was closed for traffic as officials felt the bridge got weak and could not handle heavy traffic.
When contacted, department of archaeology and museums officials said that they cannot do anything as the bridge was not placed on the heritage list. #KhabarLive #hydnews