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A Study on Old Havelis: Lost Heritage of Saharanpur

Aayushi Verma1, Prof. Ila Gupta2

1Department of Humanities and Social Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Uttrakhand, India, 247667. Email: ayushi03verma@gmail.com

2Department of Architecture and Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttrakhand, India, 247667

 Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

Abstract

From centuries, our tangible and intangible cultural heritage is considered as an inspiration for life which passes down from one generation to the next. Cultural heritage has its value and place in the heart of society. In cultural heritage, architecture is a showcase of our rich tradition which is our legacy from the past to the present world. Concerning this, Saharanpur is internationally famous for wood carving and closely associated with the socio-economic life of the district. These particular art forms have evolved for centuries as an inseparable and intimate part of its culture. Moreover, the other significant feature of Saharanpur is old havelis (mansions) which were constructed with imperial influence. Old havelis of Saharanpur demonstrate the glimpse of Mughal art and architecture, a characteristic Indo-Islamic-Persian style. Gradually, old havelis of Saharanpur are slowly losing its authenticity due to unawareness of people and their lack of knowledge about the cultural ethos which is attached to it. The art and crafts of these havelis are slowly fading away due to lack of proper infrastructure and initiatives for maintenance. Government has not yet taken enthusiasm for protection against slow demolition of this cultural heritage. Therefore, most of the havelis of this area have torpedoed and rests of the old havelis are on verge of vanishing. Hence, government must take preventive measures and initiatives for restoration and preservation of these havelis. The aim of heritage conservation is to ensure that the cultural significance of heritage places is retained for future generations. This paper makes an effort to create an overview of the architectural heritage buildings (havelis) of Saharanpur and highlights the certain recommendations for safeguarding these old havelis.

Keywords: Haveli, Saharanpur, Cultural Heritage, Conservation

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