The Department of Archaeology was established in the year 1914 by H.E.H.Nawab Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan, the VIIth Nizam. It is now named as ‘The Department of Heritage Telangana’ The department is renowned and known for its activities related to archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of Telangana state. Maintenance of ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of historical importance is the major activity of the department. On the advice of the Director General of Archaeology of India, Prof. Ghulam Yazdani was appointed as its first Director.
Mr. Yazdani arrived in Hyderabad on April 26, 1914 and at once set himself to organize his office and to specify to Government the nature of his duties. His proposals were fully approved by the Government vide Proceedings No.19/7 MISC.OF 27th June 1914.
The duties of the director were defined as:
- To preserve authentic specimens of the monumental antiquities of the Dominions.
- To excavate such sites and areas as are likely to throw light on the past history of the state.
- To arrange for the systematic collection and location of movable antiquities.
With a view to disseminate the knowledge among his beloved subjects, His Exalted Highness had graciously sanctioned the scheme for the establishment of a Museum in Hyderabad which he personally inaugurated on the 13th March 1931, contributing his personal collection of antiquities and Art objects recovered from his Dominions, for display.
After formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1956, the former Hyderabad Archaeological Department was redesignated as the Department of Heritage Telangana and subsequently it became known as the Department of Heritage Telangana in the year 1960, till 1st June, 2014. After bifurcation, the State of Telangana was formed with effect from 2nd June, 2014.
Main Activities of the Department
The Department of Heritage Telangana is the premier organization for archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of Telangana state. Maintenance of ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of historical importance is the major activity of the department.
- Protection and preservation of historical monuments and sites (under A.P Ancient and Historical Monuments and-Archaeological Sites and Remains Act No. VII of 1960)
- Exploration and Excavation
- Epigraphical survey and Publications
- Establishment and upgradation of Museums
- Conservation of protected monuments and acquisition of treasure troves under the Indian Treasure Trove Act 1878 (AP T.T. Rules, 1959)
- Registration of antiquities under the Antiquities and Art treasure Act of 1972.
For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites, the entire state is divided into 3 Circles. The department consists of Directorate Office located at Gun foundry in Abids road and Regional Offices at Warangal (Warangal and Khammam), Karimnagar (Karimnagar, Adilabad and Nizamabad) and Mahabubnagar (Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda) and State Museum at Public Gardens Hyderabad.