The Hemrajji Haveli, also known as Koolwal Haveli is located across the narrow road right opposite the Koolwal Kothi, or Hemrajji Kothi. It is older of the two,where our ancestors started their life as merchants. They had to live between Mumbai and Nawalgarh, because this town had no work opportunities. Till 1960 this place was maintained, as my ancestors lived here at least six months every year. There was a working kitchen of at least twenty people daily.
This needs to be restored soon as the various paints and structures are very very old.
Nevertheless, its charm and beauty is still intact and I am delighted as I move from courtyard to courtyard. It also has this various levels of terraces which make it feel like a Bhool-Bhuliya
The Haveli has many courtyards, an outer one for business and visitors, and an inner ones for the family and for women. Sometimes a third courtyard is used by the servants, who leave the courtyard from separate entrances. Separate inner courtyards and sets of rooms provide privacy for the women as purdah system was the traditional way of life.
The havelis are named after the lineage of the family that built them, commemorating the ancestors who originally come from that place. The havelis are built such, that protects the family from the extreme dry heat and very cold winter season. Temperatures can go up to 50* C and low to 4-5* C
This is a tour of our Haveli with my camera. Its nearly impossible to capture the magnificence in a frame. Among my numerous photos, I have only put up some which are relevant to this post. I plan to post the pictures of the last seven generations of our family, together with all the information which I am able to collect. Do keep visiting:)
The Hemrajji Haveli, also known as Koolwal Haveli is located across the narrow road right opposite the Koolwal Kothi, or Hemrajji Kothi. It is older of the two.
This is the main gate on the entrance. A lot of history is recorded in the form of paintings
It has retained its old charm, even though some paint is peeling off. Earlier in the years, when this Haveli and Kothi lay empty with just a guard, many tourists bribed the guard and walked off with priceless family paintings, and parts of the ancient doors, and whatever they could lay their hand on. Greed has no limits
Marwari havelis are not as exuberantly decorated with silver and gold work as the Rajput haveli on which they were modeled. They carry vivid wall paintings and vibrantly colored fresco depicting scenes from religion, folk tales, Mughal rulers and battle scenes to European train engines.
This is an inner courtyard, where I am sure, many of my Great Grand Aunts, and other women must have had great times working and spending time in great gossips
A beautifully painted window
Despite not having been maintained, the colours shine bright, as if defying all neglect
Each part and corner is made as if its meant to be photographed
A sunset with the charming peacocks on the terrace of the Haveli
Flying peacock on the terrace
Various motifs depicting some part of history or legend, Religious motifs
Radha Krishn Leela
A view of the many court yards within this Haveli.
There are many layers of constructions, very interesting and attractive.
Enchanting as ever. This Haveli must have withstood at least 150 seasons, yet maintained its charm and attractiveness
The slant entrance to the Haveli gate is called a “Khurra”. It was made so that an elephant can climb to the main entrance
Very unique way of showing ownership and respect.
Shri Hemrajji is my great Grandfather, Pari Bai is his sister – a child widow who lived 70-80 seasons in this Haveli, Babu Loknathji who is my father – He is 86 years today and lives in Bombay, Shri Anandilalji, who is the founder of this Haveli and my Grandmothers Grandfather. Wow! Mohini Devi is my Grand mother.
These few pictures have stayed in good condition, the rest have faded with time and it would be disrespectful to put them up here
A view from the inside of the Haveli court yard. The gates are always heavy and large for protection, so a small gate is always built in it which gives access to people on a regular basis.
I am enchanted and taken back in time of my ancestors
Note the rusted cage yet hanging on the door. Who must it be from my family who was fond of caging birds? I wonder
These are motifs drawn on either side of doors on festivals, mainly rakhi. These particular ones must be very old as these walls are never painted. One of my ancestral Great Grandmother or Aunt must have done this. It feels extremely nostalgic as I walk around capturing these memories in my camera. I am drawn to these memories even though I have never lived here. It feels like home.
There are not many people left from that era who would be able to give greater details. I should have written about this at least 20 years back when there were many family members where I could collect details from. Even so, I can feel the closeness and nostalgia engulfs me as I try to picture our family as they lived their lives here.
Locks were made on the top of a door, which had to be shut with a latch and then locked
An empty room, very desolate, very sad. What would it have been like in earlier times when my family lived here! Many festivities and celebrations must have taken place here.
These are view of various corridors around the area
In the photo below I’d like to bring to your notice the brown wooden ‘Patta’ (like an elevated form of wooden bench).
This one in particular is one of the assortment of wooden ‘Pattas’ used to make ‘Papad’ at home. Making of Papad was a community sort of thing and the entire afternoon spent on it. Several of these wooden ‘Pattas’ were used to roll the papad dough which was made by two of the strong staff people(as it needed to be pound with iron hammers for a good half hour per lot).
This one Patta is lying yet soon to be cleans up as visitors and tourists throng the place
As I stand on the topmost part of the terrace, it give a good view of the various other Havelis around. It is very hot in the month of April, which does not give me much time to explore. Going out is only possible mornings before 11 am and later in the evening after 5 pm.
🙏 Hoping you have enjoyed the photos. If you feel like using or sharing please remember to give the due credit and appropriate link.
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