Hyderabad: Nearly three months after the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) decided to give a new outlook to the historical Monsieur Raymond’s Obelisk, also known as Raymond’s Tomb, at Asmangadh in Malakpet, work is yet to start.
The tombstone was built in the memory of Michel Joachim Marie Raymond, who served as a General in the Nizam’s army. In 1786, he initially joined the army of the ruling Nizam of Hyderabad as an ordinary solider. During his service, he not only gained the trust of Nizam, but also the people he served, and eventually rose to the power of a General as he earned the loyalty of his commander.
He was a favourite of the people of Hyderabad with both Hindus and Muslims liking him. As a symbol of their love, Muslims called him ‘Musa Rahim,’ while for Hindus he was ‘Musa Ram’, which could explain the origin of the name Moosarambagh, the area where his tomb is located.
After Raymond’s death on March 25, 1798, the Nizam built the beautiful structure made of black granite with a pavilion on a Palladian model with large attractive pillars. A tall obelisk with a studded black marble on its face, inscribed with the name Joachim Raymond, along with his initials ‘J.R’ was also built in front of the pavilion. The Nizam also constructed graves for Raymond’s pet dog and horse in the same premises.
That, well, is history. The present has the lime mortar coating peeling off or being chipped off from the pillars, with visitors doing their own artwork on the pillars, carving their names all over and with other ‘inscriptions’.
One can see names carved crudely on the marble beside Raymond’s initials on the obelisk. Apart from that, a few rocks inside the compound have ‘paintings’ of different religious figures.
Tucked away in what has turned into a residential locality, the tomb is currently frequented by students who get together inside the monument’s vicinity to play games and to click photos. Besides them, local residents too frequent the place for a walk or to enjoy their evenings. While these could be fine, there are many more who use the space to dry chillis and other stuff. All this while the monument itself is bereft of the attention it should get.
“We heard that they are going to renovate this place with beautiful gardens, but we haven’t seen any official on the site so far,” a local resident said.