Bhagton ki Choti Haveli
Bhagton Ki Haveli–This gracious haveli is located in a narrow alley in the centre of Navalgarh town. It is comparatively smaller than the well known Poddar and Moraka havelis, but equally evocative. I took the opportunity to visit Bhagton Ki Haveli on a month in which the towns and cites in India were just opening up after the second Covid wave. To experience the exquisite beauty of Bhagton Ki Haveli in relative tranquility was an almost reverential experience– it’s faded hand painted frescoes, untouched by restoration are delicate in their allure and make the past seem even closer.
On its lower level, Bhagton Ki Haveli has an entrance, two courtyards, a public area and a private family area. On the upper level is another family living area. Like most havelis, the walls depict a host of eclectic murals featuring lofty Hindu religious and spiritual life alongside everyday aspects of being. At this haveli one comes in contact with images of gods, goddesses, holy sages, locomotives, flora and fauna, Indian festivals and even European memsahibs. The eclectic wall art covers almost every inch of space in the courtyard. The walls in the private rooms are kept sparse.
On the outside of the Haveli at the second level, surrounding wooded shutters are more breathtakingly intricate murals. They overlook the courtyards of other smaller havelis bolted, locked and offering no resistance to the vegetation that threatens to grow in and around them.