Our aim is to conserve and protect the architectural beauty of what has been handed down to us by our fore-fathers. We attempt to give you the opportunity to get a feel of the Mughal era through the architectural beauty of Haveli Dharampura. The Haveli is a masterpiece of architecture from the past and in restoring this beautiful structure we have attempted to keep its aesthetic value intact, and restore it without intervening with its basic beauty from the Mughal era.
The historic haveli, which was built in 1887 AD, lay abandoned in a deteriorating condition and needed urgent conservation initiatives to reinstate its pristine glory. Once declared a dangerous building by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the building had developed severe dampness because of the rising water level on all the floors. This, along with natural ageing had weakened the ancient wood work.
The rooms were badly organised and divided into smaller rooms to accommodate, toilet, kitchens etc. The service connections including open pipes, hanging wires etc added to the chaos waiting for calamity to happen any time. It also led to the collapse of the original roof, thus shattering the whole place and creating a bigger task for renovation.
While restoring the haveli, top priority was given to retaining the original character and maintenance of the same. All conservation work followed basic principles such as minimum intervention in the historic fabric and respect historic evidences adopted in various international charters for the conservation of heritage sites and monuments. All new repair followed traditional methods of indenting, replacing damaged stone with new in same material with same carving and refitting undamaged stone in its original location.
The goal behind renovating this haveli was to engage traditional ways of construction with modern knowledge to preserve the architectural heritage. Protection of the potential archaeological deposit in the land was always a top priority. At all times, drawings and photographs of archival quality have been maintained of the physical works carried out during renovation as a documentation of precious history. All the old furniture found before renovation has been carefully preserved and new one designed keeping in mind the elegant style of the period the haveli belongs to. Extra vegetation growing in the haveli was removed with necessary herbicides approved by the conservation architect.
All the workers have worked under secure conditions and all safety measures were adopted at all times with extreme caution. Fire detection measures includes smoke alarms, fire sprinklers, etc. have been installed to ensure complete safety of a one and all. Even today, inspection of the building is carried out by Mr. Vijay Goel and the conservation architect at regular intervals to oversee the maintenance and repair progress.
It took nearly 6 long years, 24/7 working by 50 odd workmen under regular and personal supervision to achieve the result which we can all see today. The Haveli now stands completely restored and reinstate the belief that where there is a will there is a way. There is a renewed hope for the thousands of others Havelis in the lanes and by lanes of Shahjhanabad.
The roof earlier demolished now comprises of 3 or 4 layers of wooden purlins sandstone with or without wooden planks and lime concrete layer on top.
IPS flooring, terrazzo flooring and sandstone flooring has been done now.
Cracked walls have been reconstructed with lime mortar and small kiln-fired bricks called “lakhori” bricks.
Decorative wooden band (panpatta pattern) below the purlins was retained to preserve and restore the historical style of the Mughal architecture.
Broken or missing and severely dilapidated brackets were restored, maintaining the original pattern and material.
Proper electrical layout has been prepared for the whole building under the guidance of the conservation architect.
Decay of wood over the years caused severe deterioration of window frames, shutters and doors. Antique polish work was used to maintain the traditional look of the building and these windows and doors were repaired and replaced to the original position.
Broken or missing glass panes were replicated as per original design to enrich the original courtyard space look.
Front door completely renovated.
Marble jaalis and columns on the first floor renovated. Grime oily deposits cleaned.
Damp proof courses, flashing ventilation systems and other measures have been taken to prevent further dampening of the haveli.
Extra layers of lime wash that hid beneath the decorative floral designs were removed to reveal the original designs.
Synthetic paints were carefully removed by manually scrapping with sand paper.