While one may not make much of the narrow lane leading up to Haveli Dharampura, the door opens to a large, inviting courtyard and a burst of colors. Previously a neglected space, the haveli has been brought to life by architect Kapil Agarwal and Vijay Goel, a member of parliament who hails from this area of Chandni Chowk. The task was not easy. There were rooms filled with debris and objects left behind by previous generations who inhabited the space. There were crumbling towers and broken balconies. Yet, what stands before you will make you wonder if that is, indeed, the truth.
Over a mammoth duration of six years, the haveli was painstakingly recreated. Today, it is a heritage hotel with 13 grand bedrooms that have attached bathrooms and splendid sit-outs. With charming views of the Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, the location for a relaxing cup of tea could not be better.
However, the biggest draw is what the haveli offers in terms of food. With ample vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, Lakhori – the Indian restaurant – offers a great culinary journey. From the classics like the gilouti kebabs to the chicken tikkas, the restaurant preserves the taste of Delhi and offers it with a treatment befitting a luxury traveler. Look out for the chef’s main course preparations like the mutton korma and the kofta dogala (a special type of kofta preparation with tomato and cashew gravy). The assorted naans with flavors like date and olive are a special treat, adding just the right bit of punch to your meal. The food will convince you that you are, indeed, experiencing some of the best that Purani Dilli has to offer.
As you end your meal (food is offered in the way of a set menu), indulge yourself with three unusual varieties of kheer – beetroot kheer, paan kheer and dates kheer. If you’re not a kheer person, the kulfi will more than compensate.
The three floors that make up the Haveli Dharampura are a sight to behold. With mosaic and motifs showing the influences of the time it was built, the architecture is a rich reminder of the city’s heritage. Sometimes, the haveli hosts kathak performances, and the plan is to transform Haveli Dharampura into a cultural center with music, art and film screenings. With Delhi fast losing itself to modernization, the haveli is a beautiful example of the timeless charm of Purani Dilli.
Monday to Sunday 10:30 AM to 10 PM