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Gondola discovered at Chhatar Manzil still awaiting excavation

Senior officials of the UP’s archaeology department said that none of the stakeholders, who are experts in excavation work, have come forward to take up the excavation of the gondola discovered at Lucknow’s Chhhatar Manzil that could throw more light on the city’s past and the lavish lifestyle of the nawabs.

lucknow Updated: May 19, 2019 14:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
chhatar manzil excavation,gondola discovered at chhatar manzil,UPSAD
The discovery of the gondola was made on May 8 when excavators and experts from the UPRNN stumbled upon a partially visible wooden structure.(HT Photo )

The excavation of the gondola that was discovered at Lucknow’s Chhatar Manzil early this month is in a limbo, with none of the stakeholders having taken up the task.

Now, the UP State Archaeology Department (UPSAD) — custodian of Chhatar Manzil — has written to the Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam (UPRNN) — construction agency of the ongoing excavation — to suggest an agency for ensuring the “safe excavation” of the gondola, which could also be a royal boat.

“As of now, we haven’t finalised the agency that will excavate the gondola found at the Chhatar Manzil,” said AK Singh, director state museum who has holds the additional charge of director UPSAD.

Senior officials of the UPSAD said that none of the stakeholders, who are experts in excavation work, have come forward to take up the task that could throw more light on the city’s past and the lavish lifestyle of the nawabs.

Officials further said that the UPRNN or the UPSAD could rope in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) or the UPSAD excavation wing to safely take out the gondola. Recently, a team of the NRLC had visited the excavation site to ensure the preservation of the ancient boat, which measures 42 ftx 11 ft.

The discovery was made on May 8 when excavators and experts from the UPRNN stumbled upon a partially visible wooden structure, which was later confirmed to be a gondola.

The boat is among the major discoveries made at the Chhatar Manzil ever since excavation work began there in 2017. At first, an entire storey lying buried underneath the monument was discovered. This was followed by two waterways leading to the structure.

So far, the excavators have dug up to a depth of 19.5 feet. Pillars, walls, brackets, doors, windows and many such structures have been unearthed at this over-200year-old nawabi era monument.

The faculty of architecture, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, is the consultancy for the Chhatar Manzil restoration and conservation project.

First Published: May 19, 2019 14:18 IST