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Amaravati to get stupa-like high court, Kohinoor-shaped assembly

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-07-2017 Yunus Y. Lasania

Hyderabad: Taking inspiration from the Kohinoor diamond and the region’s Buddhist roots, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has given the final go-ahead to design the state assembly and the high court buildings in the upcoming capital Amaravati in the shape of a diamond and a stupa.

The decision was taken on Wednesday at a meeting where Naidu and his cabinet colleagues reviewed the final designs.

Representatives from the British architecture firm Foster+Partners, which has been appointed as the master architect for Amaravati, presented detailed designs for the new assembly building, the high court and the city infrastructure plan on Monday, after having worked on inputs provided by the Capital Region Development Authority.

An architect of international repute, who specializes in conservation and is involved in projects in Hyderabad, questioned the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision.

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“The Telangana fisheries department in Hyderabad is built in the shape of a fish, so will you design a sewage type of structure for the sewage department? Constructing an assembly or high court building is about functionality, and not design. Only tombs, which have no function, need designs like that,” he added, requesting anonymity.

An initial proposal was for the high court to be designed like a diamond and the assembly like a Buddhist stupa, according to a statement released by Naidu’s office.

The chief minister then suggested interchanging the two designs, structuring the state assembly like a diamond and the high court in the shape of a stupa.

“The stupa signifies happiness, and justice is the greatest happiness I want my people to feel, reflected by the high court. The assembly building, at the centre of the city plan, should be inspired by the historic Kohinoor, which happens to be born in this very land,” the statement quoted Naidu as saying.

I. Lakshmi, former head of the history department at Osmania University, said that one cannot associate the Kohinoor diamond, which is believed to have been mined in the Kollur mines in the Guntur region in the 13th century, with Andhra Pradesh alone.

“AP and Telangana regions both came under the Kakatiya dynasty, which was ruling at that time,” she said.

About Amaravati’s Buddhist past (3rd century BC), Lakshmi said that it was not even a city and just a township back then, and its glory had faded by the onset of modern times.

“They could have then developed Rajahmundry in the Rayalaseema region in that case, as it was the capital of the Chalukya kingdom during the 11th century,” she added.

Andhra Pradesh has been seeking to build its own capital after the state was bifurcated in 2014 to carve out a separate state of Telangana. Hyderabad is to serve as the joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana until 2024 when it will be transferred exclusively to the latter.

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