Old age charms of old havelis of Delhi


Although Delhi has many well-known tourist spots, there are some which are not frequented by the visitors. In the present article, the author describes some old havelis of Delhi which take the visitors back to the grandeur of Mughal era and British period. Read to know more.

Delhi is a historical city. Since the day of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata, the city has been developing. New rulers developed new areas the city has grown. Needless to say, there are many historic monuments and buildings which attract the tourists not only from India but also from various parts of the world. Tourists come to Delhi to visit Old Fort, Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Safdarjung's Tomb and Jantar Mantar. Delhi also displays Rashtrapati Bhawan, North Block, South Block, India Gate, Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park and Garden of Five Senses to the visitors. The tourists generally visit all these places to get a general idea about the historical importance of the capital city of India.

Although Delhi is frequented by many tourists both from other places of India and also from abroad, there are many such places in Delhi which are little-known to the tourists. But these places are also no less beautiful. For example, in Delhi, there are many old havelis which take us to the grandeur of Mughal India and British India. In the present article, we will visit some of these charming old havelis of Delhi.

Mirza Ghalib ki Haveli (Haveli of Mirza Ghalib)

In the narrow lanes of Gali Qasim Jan, Ballimaran, the tourists will find the haveli of one of the greatest poets of the late medieval period of India. Mirza Asadullah Baig Ghalib was a well-known poet who wrote in Urdu and Persian.The visitor will be able to see glimpses of the life of Poet Ghalib in the heritage building. Ghalib's personal belongings, his hand-written ghazals, some of the books from his personal collection and some of his photographs have been artistically placed inside the haveli. The tourists will go back to late eighteenth century/early nineteenth century inside the haveli.

Hakim Ajmal Khan's Haveli

Again in the crowded by-lanes of Ballimaran, this haveli of the very famous 'Hakim' (Unani practitioner) is located. Hakim Ajmal Khan was a famous Unani practitioner in Delhi during the early twentieth century. He was also one of the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia in 1920. In this historic haveli, Mahatma Gandhi and many other freedom-fighters used to meet. Today, this historic building is being looked after by the descendants of Hakim Ajmal Khan. It still preserves the old world charm with old portraits and antique furniture.

Chunnamal ki Haveli (Chunnamal's Haveli)

Chunnamal Haveli, located at Katra Neel, Chandni Chowk, is one of the most famous Havelis of Delhi. This Haveli is still inhabited but preserves the charms of the bygone era. It was home to one of the wealthiest men of Delhi during the nineteenth century, Lala Chunnamal. Although the ground floor of the historical building by commercial shops, the first and second floors with chandeliers, old portraits and antique furniture take us to the age of late Mughal and early British days. It is a must visit for the tourists interested in the history of Delhi.

Master-ji ki Haveli (The Teacher's Haveli)

This famous Haveli of Delhi is located at Sitram Bazar. This Haveli was the home of famous Sanskrit scholar, Ram Kishan Gupta. So, it is known as Master-ji ki Haveli. It is an excellent evidence of Mughal architecture. The entrance of the Haveli with intricate designs, spacious rooms, balconies with plants and antique furniture give a unique sense of ambiance. This haveli is still being looked after by the current generation of Guptas.

Final words

Delhi has many unknown and little-known architectural wonders, which, no doubt, have the ability to attract the tourists with interest in historical monuments. It is expected that tourists coming to Delhi would visit these old havelis of Delhi to have a feel of the lifestyle of bygone eras.


Article by Partha K.
“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.” - George Gordon Byron

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Comments

Author: K Mohan12 May 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Old age palaces or Havelies which we call them in Urdu are more enchanting, big and colossus. Some of the palaces in Hyderabad too are bigger and enchanting with lots of hand works. The Chowmohalla palace, the Falaknuma Palace, the Madina buildings in Pathergatti and the Golkonda forts are some of the rarest buildings constructed by Nizams and they are still appreciated and admired. So I can understand the same kind of construction and charm would be retained in old Delhi palaces too.

Author: Partha K.14 May 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

I thank Mr. Mohan for reading this small article in which I have described four historical buildings of Delhi, where people still live. These building make us remember the old-world charms of the late Mughal period or early British period. Many interesting historical episodes in the rooms of these historic havelis.

In this connection, I would request Mr. Mohan and other readers of this article to go through another article penned by me titled "Some lesser-known historical monuments of Delhi". In that article, I have tried to describe another five historical structures of Delhi.

I would be very happy if these articles create interest in the readers about the almost-forgotten or little-known history of the ancient city of Delhi.



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