The grand outdated havelis of Rohtak

Sunit Dhawan

Characterised by earthiness and well-known for its rewari, the historic city of Rohtak in Haryana has relics of historic and medieval settlements, apart from some magnificent buildings of architectural significance. Giving a peep into the wealthy cultural heritage of the city are the grand outdated havelis of the city, which is also known as the political capital of the state.

The ornate facades with pictures carved in stone, huge wood door units, cusped arches, vaulted roofs, sandstone pillars, hanging balconies, apart from lovely gildings of those havelis stand as proof of an impressive previous.

Though many such havelis have been decreased to ruins owing to the shortage of upkeep over the previous few a long time, a few of these stand tall as wonderful specimen of the outdated world appeal.

“The havelis of Rohtak date back to the Mughal era. Some well-to-do residents of the area probably got impressed with the construction of the Red Fort and Jama Masjid in Delhi and constructed their own havelis,” observes art-historian and writer-photographer Rajkishan Nain.

He notes that garhis, sprawling outdated settlements established by outstanding residents, have been succeeded by havelis with the appearance of time and discount in land-holdings.

The historian laments that successive governments have, nevertheless, did not preserve the fantastic heritage of the state.

Pradeep Bhagat, former Principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, who has studied the havelis of Rohtak district, factors out that the havelis current an environment friendly mixture of aesthetics and utility.

“The havelis have a well-defined orientation which facilitates proper ventilation in terms of air and sunlight. These are beautifully designed and have adequate space to entertain guests and visitors at the entrance while ensuring privacy of the women of the family. There are ample storage spaces and provision of water,” he states.

The grasp architect remarks that in the present day’s architects can study loads from the artisans and masons who constructed the havelis. These buildings, which have withstood earthquakes and different pure calamities, keep heat in winters and funky in summers with none synthetic heating or air-conditioning system.

“Unlike the dull and drab modern-day buildings, the walls of havelis were adorned with paintings, frescos and other art works,” he says.

Noted historian Ranbir S Phaugat, who has been documenting the cultural heritage of Haryana for almost three a long time, rues that the area’s heritage buildings are decaying as a result of lack of conservation and upkeep. “It is shameful that the state has no resources for scientific conservation of havelis which are withering away with time. These heritage buildings should be listed properly, conserved and maintained,” he asserts.

The historian opines {that a} majority of havelis in Rohtak have been constructed by native residents belonging to Muslim, Jain and Agarwal communities between 1870 and 1945. Most of those havelis are situated on the Railway Road, Naya Padao, Civil Road and Babra Mohalla within the outdated Rohtak city.

Apart from Rohtak city, a number of cities and villages, which have been a part of the outdated Rohtak district, even have splendid havelis.

“These include Beri, Dujana, Dighal, Birdhana, Jhajjar, Machhrauli, Salhawas, Maatan, Majra (Dubaldhan), Kahnaur, Nigana, Kalanaur, Rohad, Farmana, Meham, Sonepat, Sisana, Rohat, Bhatana, Zafrabad, Kakroi, Sanghi, Khidwali, Behalba, Bhaini Chanderpal, Madina and Dabauda,” says Phaugat.

Dr Rajendra Sharma, Professor of Political Science at Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, who has a eager curiosity in historical past and antiques, feels that disintegration of the joint-family tradition and lack of curiosity in the direction of cultural heritage among the many occupants of havelis has led to the demolition and commercialisation of those heritage buildings. Endorsing his views Vipin Goyal, an antique-collector, observes that the house owners of a number of such havelis are able to promote these and shift to trendy homes.

Architectural marvels

Climate management: Apart from being breathtakingly lovely, the havelis had inherent climate-control mechanism characterised by two-feet-thick partitions product of lakhauri bricks plastered in lime mortar, excessive ceilings and applicable and efficient air flow.

Water-harvesting mechanism: The havelis had satisfactory provisions for water like water-tanks and wells, and a few even had water-harvesting programs to gather rainwater from the roof and preserve it within the nicely or tank on the bottom for future use.

Quake-resistant buildings: These age-old havelis have witnessed quite a few earthquakes and pure calamities however have stood the check of time owing to their substantial foundations, correctly chosen development materials and environment friendly designing.

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