Haveli Dharampura in Delhi

Built in 1887, what is now the 28 room heritage hotel Haveli Dharampura in Delhi, was once a stunning private residence.  

For more than 100 years it was lived in and loved. At some point during the 20th century, a second storey was added.

But decay set in, the love was lost, and soon the rot began.

The historic haveli, lay abandoned in a deteriorating condition.   It needed urgent conservation initiatives to reinstate its pristine glory. 

Declared dangerous

Declared a dangerous building by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the building was crumbling.  It suffered severe dampness because of rising water levels on all floors. This, along with natural ageing weakened the ancient woodwork. 

Then in 2010 the haveli was rescued from dereliction by a rich and powerful family who had the vision, and the cash, to turn it into a stunning boutique hotel.

The rooms were badly organised and divided into smaller rooms to accommodate, toilet, kitchens etc.  Badly corroded service connections including open pipes, hanging wires added to the chaos.

It was calamity a waiting to happen. The original roof had collapsed, thus shattering the whole building and creating a bigger renovation task. 

Priority given

While restoring the haveli, 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 for historic pieces of evidence adopted in various international charters for the conservation of heritage sites and monuments.

The new repairs followed traditional methods of indenting, replacing damaged stone with new in the same material with the same carving and refitting undamaged stone in its original location.

The haveli was beautifully restored and decorated with intricate designs of woodwork on the rooftops.  Sculptures and Hindu goddesses engraved in stone and steel, were given ride of place.   Antique balconies and jharokas opened up to the busy roads of Chandni Chowk.

Great reviews

Haveli Dharampura opened in 2016 to much applause and great reviews. Guests began to book and waiting lists were established.

Now just 8 short years later the hotel is no longer loved.  Its staff are still willing but clearly poorly led by management whose heart is not in it.  And we suspect that the cash has dried up.

The floors are dirty, the paint is peeling and the fabric deteriorating. Repairs are of the make do and mend variety. This magnificent building is once again heading towards decline and ultimately again dereliction.

If you want to stay at this hotel, do so quickly.  We fear it will not be around much longer.