The Haveli of Haider Quli Khan was a true delight during the Mughal reign located adjacent to the Fatehpuri Mosque that lies in Katra Bariyan region of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. This Mansion spreads over a huge area measuring in numerous square feet and now converted into a commercial and residential complex but still retains its original name.
Legend has that Haider Quli Khan sometimes spelled as Kuli Khan was the Commander of the Imperial Artillery posted in the Deccan region ruled by Mughal Emperor Muhammed Shah also named by historians as ‘Rangeela’ which means ‘Merrymaker’. Muhammed Shah was the 4th son of Emperor Bahadur Shah-I who ascended the Mughal Throne of India at the young age of 17 from 1719 to 1748. While a few state that he was a just a Coolie or Luggage carrier who’s luck changed after her saved the life of the Emperor’s son and in appreciation the King gifted him this Haveli.
During the Mughal reign of the Deccan Emperors, Nizam-Ul-Mulk who was the Governor or Deputy for the entire Imperial Empire of India greatly influenced the decisions of the Emperor and this was disliked by Haider Quli who was too ambitious and wanted to be the Wazir. Haider Quli spited the Nizam by meddling with the revenue and civil matters of the Empire though he was extremely wealthy after amassing a huge wealth from the Jagirs and the Government of Gujarat. Despite many incidents of warning by the Nizam, Haider still managed to confer enough trouble by disobeying orders during his postings in Gujarat where he made himself very powerful and carried on activities that can only be ordered by the Emperor. These treacherous and devious actions were greatly despised by the officials and his followers. Eventually, Haider Quli died in 1724 and was succeeded by his two generations.
Today, one can only notice the remains of Haider Quli’s Gateway near the Fatehpuri Masjid that is situated in one of the lanes of the main Chandni Chowk Road. You can reach this Gateway by walking on the right hand side of Chandni Chowk Road that leads you towards Red Fort. After you cross Katra Bariyan, take the first turn on your right hand side to arrive at an area also known as ‘Metal Verandah’ and continue on this lane till you are welcomed with Gateway of Haider Quli built by him during the 18th Century AD.
The only tourist attraction left is the dilapidated state of the Haider Quli Gateway made of sandstone and a portion of the Haveli also known as the mini Haveli along with a small part of the garden inhabited by Mr. Narain Prasad who is the chairman of the Women’s Indraprastha College and three generations of his ascendants who managed to retain a piece of this historical site amidst the streets of Chandni Chowk. The Imposing Haveli that was built at the centre of a courtyard and a vibrant garden which is hardly seen today may have added to the old charm of this town if it were just properly maintained and firstly conserved by the government of Delhi. However, it does form a part of the heritage walks conducted on a daily basis between 0730 hours and 1030 hours.