Telangana BJP Chief Implied Domes Are Islamic Structures, but Romans Introduced Them in Architecture


Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee

Last Updated: February 13, 2023, 09:15 IST

The design of the newly built secretariat of Telangana. (Image: News18)

Weighing in on the controversy triggered by Bandi Sanjay Kumar’s threat to demolish the Telangana Secretariat, architects say domes were introduced by the Romans who wanted an imposing element to act as a roof for their voluminous buildings

Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar stoked a new controversy when he said he will demolish the newly built Secretariat if the party comes to power in the state. He said the domes of the building reminded him of the Taj Mahal and the structures reflected the culture of the Nizams.

The BJP leader claimed that the domes were built to appease AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, and promised that if the saffron party was voted to power, it will rebuild the Secretariat to “reflect Telangana’s culture”.

But are domes, part of buildings like the Supreme Court and Rashtrapati Bhavan, exclusively Islamic structures even though some ancient temples have them.

Throwing light on the issue, architect Pingali Naga Praveen said: “It’s the Romans who introduced domes in architecture. They wanted an imposing element to act as a roof for their voluminous buildings. Islamic architecture borrowed those elements for visual aesthetics. The profiles of these domes are different.”

Explaining the design significance of domes, he added: “Domes are usually seen as power symbols as they increase the scale of the visuals to larger grandeur levels. It is also used as a capping element for a building to be seen with the sky as the backdrop. The Deccan region is full of such domes. So a Secretariat building getting them is nothing exclusive.”

Commenting on Bandi Sanjay Kumar’s remarks, conservation architect GSV Suryanarayana Murthy said: “There can be criticism on architecture at any time and by anyone… But no need to talk about destruction of any art work in India, irrespective of politically different views on architecture and buildings. Domes are, in fact, part of Indian architecture.”

Besides this controversy, the design of the Secretariat has been criticised by some architects. Oscar and Ponni Architects, the architects of the building, have said the architectural style of the Secretariat is predominantly classical Deccan Kakatiya. They have mentioned the Neelakanteswara Temple, the Hanuman Temple at Salangpur and the Wanaparthy Palace as design inspirations.

“The new design is bad to the core in terms of scale and aesthetics. The architects termed it as Deccan Kakatiya. Only they can explain what exactly it means,” said Praveen.

Another architect took to Twitter with another view. He shared a side profile of the building and wrote: “New Secretariat from the side. Seems the Patron and the Architects were so obsessed with the front & back elevations, they forgot how it will look from the side! No classical building has two dominant domes of equal size – probably they aimed for a quixotic world first here! (sic)”

Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy has called upon people to break open the gates of Pragathi Bhavan where the poor cannot enter. Responding to these comments by political rivals, KT Rama Rao, the MAUD minister and son of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, had said: “One man said he will demolish Pragathi Bhavan and another is saying he will demolish the secretariat. We speak about laying foundations, while they speak about digging graves. I ask all my friends to think about the consequences if the state falls into the hands of these anarchic forces.”

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Kakoli MukherjeeKakoli Mukherjee, Chief Subeditor, has been a journalist for eight years. She writes on health, people, culture, technology and books….Read More



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