Restored goodness at Chandni Chowk

Haveli Dharampura, a 19th century haveli in what was once an empire's pinnacle--Chandni Chowk--gets tranformed into a museum, library and heritage centre
Restored goodness at Chandni Chowk

Once an empire&rsquos acme, Chandni Chowk has long been a byword for urban decay. Talks of revival have come up repeatedly, only for hopes to be dashed. The overall redevelopment of the historic area, replete with grand mansions and public buildings, may take a while more, but individual efforts are bearing fruit. An example is the Haveli Dharampura, a 19th-century three-storey house that has been restored through a project led by Member of Parliament Vijay Goel and his son Siddhant, along with the project&rsquos architect, Kapil Aggarwal, and students of conservation from the Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management. The haveli was built with a mix of Mughal, Hindu and European architectural and design elements, an aspect the restoration process has retained. The process of renovation took six years. Slated to open to the public in January, it will be a performance space, a museum, a library, a heritage centre and a place where students can learn about conservation. Another incentive, a viewing gallery that will give visitors a bird&rsquos-eye view of Chandni Chowk.

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