List of Havelis and Palaces

Haksar Haveli

The Haksar Haveli was once a legendary landmark of Old Delhi amidst the lanes of Sitaram Bazaar and near Ajmeri Gate that was residence to Kamala Kaul Nehru, wife of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.

The Haksar Haveli belonged to the parents of Kamala Nehru, Rajpati Kaul and Jawahar Mal Kaul who were a simple and traditionally conservative Kashmiri Haksar Brahmin Family. It is known that between 1850 and 1900, a large number of Kashmiri Brahmin Pundits had migrated to places like Allahabad, Agra and Old Delhi which include Dar, Kaul, Katju, Kunzru, Rehu, Raina, Takru and Zutshi Brahmins. These Brahmins and the ascendants of Kamala Kaul Nehru built massive Havelis in Old Delhi and made it their home and a few of are still visible amidst the by-lanes of Sitaram Bazaar and the areas of Gali Kashmiriyan named after these Kashmiri Brahmin clan.

Back in 1916, the families of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Kaul arranged their marriage and on 8th February 1916, the family of the groom came to this very Haveli with their 'Barat' as they call in the Hindi Language which means, when the groom travels from his residence to the bride's house with great pomp and celebrations coupled with dance and music to marry and take his Bride home. The entire clan of the Nehru family attended the wedding ceremony and function at this Haveli where both tied the wedding knot.

This Haveli did not see much of the Kaul Family after this event. They lived here only for a few years and later sold it in the 1960s to Shri Ratan Khandelwal. After the demise of Shri Khandelwal, his descendants sold the Haveli to a Commercial Builder who converted it into a Commercial Complex.

The Haveli was visited by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, daughter of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru and also the Prime Minister of India way back in 1983 where she spent over half an hour and got very emotional. Before and after this special visit, it is not known whether any of the Nehru-Gandhi clan ever visited this Haveli before it was sold.

Today, only fragments of the courtyard may be noticed of this lost heritage property and Haveli that was once the hub of cultural events like classical music programs, Mushairas and Qawwalis. It forms an integral part of the 'Heritage walks' conducted by Tour Agencies though you might get only a view of the huge shopping complex but can definitely imagine what the Haveli may have looked once in those bygone days.

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