Hyderabad: Eminent heritage artist, Sahebzada Nawab Mir Azmath Ali Khan, passed away in Hyderabad on Sunday midnight. He was not suffering from any illness but died after he fell from the cot he was sleeping. He was 74. Mr. Khan is survived by wife, three sons and four daughters. A scion of the royal family, he was known for his sketches depicting historical monuments. Over the years he produced a wealth of drawings of famous monuments across the world.

Though his lineage went back to Nawab Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikandar Jah Bahadur, popularly known as Nizam III, he did not put on any airs. As artists go, he was simple and down to earth. He held close to 40 solo exhibitions of his works in India, US, UK, Germany and Saudi Arabia. The artist in him was captivated by the beauty, majesty and scale of architecture of India, Middle East, Turkey, Europe and Egypt. For students of art and architecture there is a lot to learn from his sketches and paintings.

Mr. Khan, who worked at the J.B.R. College of Architecture, used just pen and ink to portray historical edifices. He came into limelight following his resolve to sketch monuments in public places to create awareness about the need to preserve heritage. Mr. Khan launched the ‘save heritage’ mission in Hyderabad during 2012 by portraying the historic Makkah Masjid and the nearby Charminar. The on-the-spot sketches attracted lot of attention. Those who saw him work were amazed by his dexterity and speed. With deft strokes he managed to bring out the tones and shadows in his sketches.

This artist-architect also published four books on World Architectural Heritage, Mosque Architecture, Rendering in pen and ink and Rendering in pen and pencil. Some of his eye catching sketches include: Al Hamra Palace, Spain, New Makkah gateway, Jamial Azhar, Cairo, Taj Mahal. Closer home he drew extensively the architectural heritage of Deccan. He also sketched the Thousand Pillar Temple, Nasik Temple, Alampur Brahma temple complexes.

An artist of international repute, Mr. Khan’s drawings figure in the private collections of Queen Elizabeth, Ronal Reagan, Garry Martin, Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti of Mukallah and A.P. Legislative Assembly. As a consulting architect to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he designed several prestigious palaces, commercial buildings and mosques.

“Azmath sab was also a strong advocate of separate Telangana. His demise is a great loss to heritage lovers, architects and artists of Telangana”, said Vedakumar Manikonda, chairman, Deccan Heritage Academy.

J.S. Ifthekhar

J.S. Ifthekhar is a senior journalist with nearly four decades of experience. Ifthekhar cut his teeth in journalism at the Indian Express before he moved to The Hindu. He was also associated with the Siasat Daily, Telangana Today, Deccan Chronicle, Onlooker magazine, Newstrack, Detective Digest and a few news agencies. He has written on different subjects and aspects of Hyderabadi life. However, his passion remains literature in general and Urdu poetry in particular. He is equally concerned with culture, heritage, civic affairs and problems confronting the man in the street. As a journalist he has taken up cudgels on behalf of the underprivileged and many of his stories in The Hindu saw the government promptly taking corrective measures. Ifthekhar has authored two books - Hyderabad - The Nawabi City on The Move and Haj - The Spirit Behind it. He has also translated two books from Urdu to English. Currently he is working on his third book - Poets and Writers of Deccan.

Loves to write and writes to live. Can't imagine doing anything else.

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