The city of Old Delhi didn’t just have the Red Fort but was constructed to house over two lakh people that traveled from Agra to Delhi with Emperor Shah Jahan. Many of them were rich traders, aristocrat and nobles who constructed huge mansions (havelis) that mirrored the royal fort and the household.
These havelis had rich ornate exterior with intricate relief work, beautiful multiple courtyards, inner chamber for women with retinue of servants and rooms as many as forty in number. The Havelis had not only expensive luxury goods from Central Asia and India but also from Europe with huge Belgian mirrors and Italian tiles furnishing their havelis. Many of these havelis even have secret passageways that are rumored to connect directly the chambers of Red Fort!
The owners of such a haveli were no ordinary people. They had enough wealth to resurrect Old Delhi enough after numerous plunders. These wealthy patrons not only financed the Emperor but even the East India Company in the 19th century. In present time, the havelis now stand crumbling, forgotten and encroached by local commercial traders. However, some havelis have seen positive action and have successfully conserved the heritage to recreate the bygone era of aristocracy, grandeur and lavish lifestyle.
Join this walk to step back into the time through stories as you imagine the glory of these opulent Havelis and experience the aristocratic life in the Mughal times.