Azimganj Serai is the earliest Mughal period Serai in Delhi and stands in the National Zoological Park, just north of Government Sundar Nursery. Years of neglect had led to major collapse and loss. Conservation works on the Azimganj Serai are being undertaken on behalf of the Department of Archaeology of the Delhi Government and include the reconstruction of the partially collapsed chambers.
The project has demonstrated a successful model of public-private partnership for conservation. Unlike in the developed world where there is significant civil society engagement with conservation effort, conservation of national monuments has to date been restricted to the government agencies. The ongoing AKTC project is the first such initiative where monuments of national importance are being conserved by a private philanthropic group.
This project is being undertaken in Public-Private Partnership between the ASI and AKTC as part of the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative, which pioneered a return to craft-based approach to conservation in India, thus ensuring revival of craft skills, creating almost half a million days of employment for craftsmanship and respecting the original builders’ intention.
Department of Archaeology, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, which is responsible for protection, conservation and maintenance of monuments in Delhi, which beyond the purview of Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India. Following an earlier grant by Department of Archaeology in 2011, which was utilized for the conservation of the tomb of Sayyid Yasin standing in the World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb Complex, in 2013 conservation works commenced on the conservation of the 16th century Azimganj Serai. The grant from State Archaeology has been utilized for the conservation of this historic and earliest Mughal period Serai in Delhi, which will revive its lost culturalsignificance and architectural integrity of this historic serai.