The Old Heritage Haveli In Jaipur | Street Photography

I was in the UNESCO Heritage Site in Jaipur – the walled city area a couple of days ago for street photography in Jaipur. While passing through a bylane, I noticed this old Haveli and quickly snapped it in this frame. Jaipur is one of the best places for street photography in India.


Later, when I shared this with a couple of people, the reactions were diverse. Someone liked it because it was an authentic scene while others thought there is no narrative or it doesn’t convey a story.

My thought differs. In my opinion, the building is akin to the protagonist. If you look carefully, the arched doorway in the courtyard contains beautiful frescoes. This Haveli must-have been beautiful in its heydays. The marks of shoddy repair work are evident in many places.


This courtyard must have been a vibrant place; courtyards served as a living area. In the current times, it is nothing more than a parking lot for the scooters and bikes. Parked on the left side of the arched gateway is an old scooter which has been unused for years. Presumably, it has not been disposed of because there are many memories attached with it; too hard to part away with? It is suffering its lingering death.

Even though the house is not well-maintained, it holds many memories and emotions. While many old Havelis/homes have been demolished in the walled city to make way for modern construction, some owners have decided to cling on to old structures. Why? Home is not just a building or a shelter, it is a feeling. What do you think?

Reasons for the bad state of Havelis in Jaipur & Rajasthan

A significant number of Havelis in Jaipur and elsewhere in Rajasthan are in dilapidated & damaged state. The following remain the reasons for such a critical state of Havelis.


  1. Dispute of ownership among family members. Over a period of time, the families grow and division of property remains a great source of stress. In traditional Havelis, demarcating equally is difficult leading to frictions. In some cases, people add more floors to the present structure in a modern style. This is inconsistent with old architecture and causes damage to the old structure.
  2. Lack of funds. This is another substantial reason for Havelis in the current state. Renovating Havelis needs a huge amount of money which many people cannot afford.
  3. Lack of government support is on top adding to the issue. Skilled workers using old construction techniques are unavailable. Even if one is able to secure such people, a large sum is required for repairs.
  4. A need for modern facilities like a kitchen, attached toilets with bedrooms, etc. leads people to make major changes to the structure.

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66 thoughts on “The Old Heritage Haveli In Jaipur | Street Photography

  1. Arv, I do believe that this image has a story, I mean just the architecture by itself is telling it’s own story of the past. The open door is inviting and the motor cycles tell that are at least 3 male ( or female , haven’t seen female motor cycle riders in India) living or staying in this Haveli. I have shot so many similar images in India. I stayed in a Haveli in Ahemadabad where the outside looked just like this one, inside it was filled with historical marks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cornelia, those are logical deductions. There are many female riders in the city. I’m surprised why you couldn’t find any during your trip. I’m glad you have experienced a stay in haveli. Have you posted pictures from your trip?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Each house, haveli or palace has a story and lots of emotions. I had stayed in Lakshmangarh in a big haveli for almost 10 months and different portions were shared by owners and rented families. Each portion had its own charm and tales. And that area is full of such magnanimous havelis, but sadly mostly are empty and in bad shape.
    By the way I had visited once “Saat chauk ki haveli” in Jaipur long time back. Just can’t imagine now the luxury of living in such a huge house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There aren’t many Saat Chowk Ki Haveli in Jaipur. Only wealthy and influential could own one!
      The Shekhawati region has many magnificient Havelis but very few are still inhabitated.
      Even here there are many Havelis with multiple tenants. The dynamics of such buildings are different. Well, there is something unique about these old houses. Ins’t it so?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I really wonder what made people built such huge mansions. Once I had stayed in such one big haveli in Agra (owned by one of our relative). There they call it ‘kothi’. The vocabulary for different parts of these mansions used to be completely different. These houses definitely had many told untold stories of big joint family members.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You answered it partly. These huge mansions served as a residence to many people. Those were the days of big joint families. I agree there are many stories but no one to narrate them. You mentioned some connection to Chhoti chaupar, did you grow up in the walled city area?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We were near Zawaahar nagar for a short period, then Shastri Nagar and finally Mahaveer Nagar. I used to teach in Pareek College in Chomu so had to catch bus from Choti Chopad. Before that I was at CISF campus Devli. Jagah jagah papad bele hai… 😁😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Shreya. I agree, walled city is one of the most beautiful areas of the pink city. Unfortunately, unchecked construction has become a big menace
      Do you reside in the walled city area?


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