The Old Haveli | Street Photography In Jaipur

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?

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65 thoughts on “The Old Haveli | Street Photography In Jaipur

  1. As I enjoyed the image with narrative, I did the same with the one without it, where I could let my imagination flew with it. I love the image you shared, Arv. I found it really interesting. The shape of the building, the peeling paint, the old scooter, it showed that this building had witnessed many eras. And the courtyard, there must be a lot of stories were shared there. People chatted, laughed, and even cried. Everyone could make their own narrative with this image.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nurul, I’m glad you could creative a mental imagery. In sum, this building has its own character which is unique. I guess since you travelled widely, you can understand and imagine. You must have found many such houses in Europe?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the shoddy repair work part. The frescos must have looked beautiful in its prime days. The story of this haveli is of lost glory, typical to most old buildings all over India. Even in Bengal the houses of erstwhile zamindaars are facing the same story. Unlike Europe we do not have a culture to restore and maintain old buildings. Gradually we are losing them. I loved this post today. It touched me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it struck cord with you, Balaka. Your comment resonated well with me because earlier this week, I exchanged a couple of tweets on this very issue. We have so many heritage buildings but we are losing at a very fast pace. Someone who works in that sphere mentioned that given lack of funds we are forced to pick and choose.
      I agree with the fact that in Europe, heritage sites are well taken care of. They have been able to create a system of monetisation. This means a tourist pays for these sites. Even churches have entry fee for this very reason costing from Euro 6-20.

      have you ever written about the Zamindar houses in Bengal on your blog?


      1. I never wrote anything about the zamindar houses but there are two dedicated bloggers who have written exclusively and perhaps exhaustively about those houses. I think you must be knowing them as well. They are Rangan dutta and Amitabha Gupta. Unfortunately, I don’t see them writing often these days but they have written beautiful posts in the past.
        In Europe, I found it wierd to buy tickets for churches but now when I think about it makes complete sense. Most European cities look like they are still in the mediaeval ages while in India we are busy demolishing. Whereas our architecture is so beautiful and such culmination of western eastern and Islamic architecture.


  3. There is no place like home. I get this. I love it that some are clinging to their history and their homes.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥


  4. Very evocative as an image! Left to imagination I would say this Haveli had seen better times and today, as it lies in disrepair, it looks sad and neglected like many of its counterparts, large and small, in many cities in our country! Bangalore boasts of some very beautiful old buildings that are gradually being demolished to be replaced by swanky structures that reflect neither style nor class.
    Thank you for sharing your picture and joining us for our #ww linky party this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, this is happening across the country. In many cases, old structure is replaced by an high rise building. Whether this is right or wrong is a matter of perspective.
      Happy to join, as always, Esha

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We love the old Havelis in Rajasthan and stayed in a few that have been converted into hotels. It felt like staying in a piece of history. This one in your picture like so many others we saw, unfortunately not properly taken care of.


  6. This must have been a beauty, once upon a time! It would have been nice if it could have been maintained. But I guess there could be reasons best known to the owners why it can’t be maintained well.


  7. Love it .. the capture is so pretty.. it’s true Jaipur is a work of art specially the building from the old city. The architecture is awesome and the details of the old house were intriguing and beautiful. I still remember jharokha and big entrances to old buildings . Now that many of my relatives have moved to new homes I really miss these places they truly brought the essence of jaipur. #damurureads #myfriendalexa


      1. Great. We too have a few stone clad buildings which were built during colonial period, mostly built by the rulers. Local residents never built them. I always believe local architecture develops according to the climate. It also provides individuality.


  8. I believe you are right old buildings often are held together with the emotions of visitors past. Elegant families must have laughed, loved and danced in this house once. When the frescos were bright and saris swished to the beat of the building. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked this post, Ellen. I’m sure the family that lives here have lots of memories especially of the predecessors.
      Ever seen any Haveli, or stayed in one?


      1. Ok. Haveli refers to the old mansions that were built in certain style. Essentially, they have a courtyard, which is open to the sky. It’s not uncommon to find such mansions with multiple courtyards indicating the social standing of the owner.


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