"Unki gali se jab hum guzre,
khayal na tha ke dil wahin reh jayega
Chalo issi bahaane hi sahi
Deedar tera ho jayega."
"While passing through your boulevard
Oblivious of my heart being left there
Maybe for this very reason
I shall see you again."
I am sure you all must be wondering why the travel blog has this poetic beginning. Please don’t get me wrong, readers, it’s the enchantment of the place I visited recently. Ghalib ki Haveli can turn even a prosaic like me to a poet. Such is the charm of the street where I left my heart, Qasim Jaan Gali, Ballimaran, in the bustling and ever thronging Chandni Chowk, Delhi-110006 where the greatest poet of all times, Mirza Ghalib once lived. Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Gurudwara Sheesh Ganj Sahib or Gauri Shankar Temple, we all must have been there or read about these places. Precisely we can associate Chandini Chowk only with these places that stand tall in front of these small, timeworn structures that were once an address of the celebrated people from Mughal Era.
Every bit vintage, the street leading you to the Haveli not only adorns exquisite shopping material but also hosts the landmark, Ghalib ki Haveli which is like a temple to all the poetry lovers. As I walked through the congested street that was zesty and vibrant despite being primeval, standing right at the wooden arched door that opens to the courtyard, I was completely spellbound with the kind of affinity I developed forthwith.
Haveli of Mirza Ghalib was housed with shops inside it until the year 1997 when the high court passed orders to preserve it as a museum in tribute to the legendary poet and his contribution to Indian literature. Built in old Mughal style, the peculiar open courtyard, arches and lakhori bricks, it's tastefully done. While refurbishing, the government has definitely tried their best to give it an original Mughal touch with curtains and jharokhas in one section. From the life-size projection of the poet with his hukka, his costumes, his original handwritten books, board games, hobbies, and weaknesses are all inscribed on the walls of the museum. The walls are emblazoned with artifacts and some of his selective proses. You can find many of his belongings that survived all odds and are up on display for generations to witness and be proud of. In commemoration of the great poet, his statue has also been instilled with pictures of a few of his contemporaries.
Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, famous by the name Ghalib was the most influential poet of the 19th Century from the Mughal era. Perhaps he was the last great poet of the Mughal era. After moving from Agra to the capital, Ghalib spent the last phase of his life in this Haveli from 1860-1869. He has been the most epigrammatic poet in the Urdu language. "Had Ghalib written in English, he would have been the greatest poet of all times amongst all languages,” says eminent litterateur Ralph Russel. He was a poet with an immense philosophical depth that can apparently be gauged through his words etched on the walls of the museum. Not every person has the prowess to understand his wit. He knew not only to play with words but with ideas too.
Not so fancy but definitely worth a visit even for a person who knows nothing about poetry. Visiting Ghalib Ki Haveli was an absolute delight for this has been like living a brief moment with Ghalib Saab soaked in his lyrical paradise. It’s said that the poet never dies and so does his muse, they dwell in eternity and remembered as legends, sometimes lovers.
PS: Due to dim lighting in the haveli, I couldn’t get my best shot with Ghalib Saab. Who knows, he might want to see me again :P
FAQ’s when visiting Ghalib Ki Haveli
Timings: 11 AM to 6 PM
Lunchtime: 1:30 PM-2:00 PM
Closed on Monday and Gazetted Holidays
Address: Qasim Jaan Gali, Ballimaran, Chandini Chowk, Delhi
Entry Fee: Free. Photography is allowed, with no extra charge.
Nearest Metro Station: Chawri Bazar Metro Station, walking distance from there or you can also hire a rickshaw.
Avoid going by your personal vehicle as there is a major parking constraint.
Facilities: Public toilet inside the monument however, keeping hygiene in mind using the washroom at the metro station would be a better option.
Eateries: When in Chandini Chowk, you don’t have to worry about food. Many eating joints around.