About Us

The Deccan Heritage Foundation is a charitable organisation registered in the UK (Registered Charity No. 1142905) and in India. DHF India is registered in India as a Section 25 charitable company. American Friends of the Deccan Heritage Foundation, launched in May 2013, is a charitable organisation under Section 501 (c) (3) of the IRC.

Our goals are to preserve, restore and promote the heritage of the Deccan region of India, and in particular its plethora of monuments, through conservation projects, cultural promotion, and educational programmes. A major part of our mission is bringing the Deccan's rich heritage to a new generation of Indians as well as foreign visitors.

We were incorporated in the UK in 2011, but our story begins decades earlier.

The DHF’s founding members — Mary Anne Cordeiro, George Michell, and Helen Philon — came together through a shared connection to the Deccan and a desire to preserve its heritage for future generations. Inspired by their individual experiences with the region, each has a deeply personal drive to protect the Deccan’s plethora of historic sites and ensure their value is understood by the people who live with that history every day.

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The DHF was launched at a reception generously hosted by HE Ranjan Mattai, High Commissioner of India in London on the 21st of May 2014 at the High Commission, India House, London.

Words from our Friends

The Deccan has always been a place apart, quite distinct in character from the rest of India. The great city states of the region — like those of their contemporaries in Renaissance Italy — were always more cosmopolitan and open to new ideas than their more conservative neighbours. Perhaps it was the unchanging Deccan plains that led the inhabitants to value above all the strange, the fantastic, and the otherworldly. Today their art and architecture is little known beyond a few specialists and much under-valued. In places many important artefacts are being destroyed to make way for the region's hyper-development. The work of the DHF could not be more valuable or more urgently needed if this irreplaceable heritage is to be saved for future generations. - William Dalrymple