A Passion to Preserve | Dhawalpura Kothi

My obsession with old constructed buildings introduced me to Dhawalpura Kothi – the grand mansion, now a legacy of Chanda Krishna Rohatgi and Meenakshi Rohatgi. A charming Kothi tucked away in the old lanes of Patna City.

Welcomed by a huge old wooden doors- the sharp and deep wooden texture and the rusted iron buckles revealed its age. It was ancient. Passing by the bagicha- the land full of mango and litchi tress, climbers and creepers hanging to them as it was not being maintained for years, stands tall the white washed building. The grand Dhawalpura Kothi.

I love old buildings; they often have special architectural details that you just don’t find in newer construction – high ceilings, thick walls, claw footed tubs, odd little wooden closets, built in furniture, old colorful textured glasses and iron detailed designs.

An octogenarian clad in white kurta-pajama, wrinkled face with sharp features, tall and well groomed hair- Chand Krishna Rohtagi , would not have looked less charming than a Bollywood star in his younger days, welcomed us with a cold smile. The lady in crisped pink cotton sari with those 80s floral print and a huge distinctive red bindi, standing by his side was his pillar of life.

 

The Dhawalpura khoti is an abode of love birds- the khothi has witnessed the love story of Mr. and Mrs. Rohatgi. They both fell in love and got married. Any home can be castle when the king and queen are in love.

The old standing tall Dhawalpura kothi was constructed in 1990 after it got damaged in massive earthquake in 1898. A wonderfully impressive cast iron fanlight or surmount comprising floral scroll work over windows/doors and a grand central circular feature set within a classic arch profile add colour to the Kothi- it took 12 years to complete the baronial building on the same foundation. Royalty it speaks!

The building retains in the same construction and design without letting the modernity and luxury touch its ancestral charm. It was repaired, retouched but was not reconstructed. Mr. Rohatgi, despite of being unwell, passionately took me to a small yet detailed tour of Kothi.

The façade with white cast iron and wood benches, over the years, have witnessed harsh dry air of summers, the first rain of monsoon and the bone biting cold of Patna. The place is perfect for an evening tea complimented with a good book.

Mr. Rohatgi, an IIT graduate and owner of Pradeep lamps, has ran his business successfully from this beautiful Kothi.The Gaddi– the place from where the businessman ran their business, has an intricate carved teakwood and black iron pillars, record rooms on the either side and pictures of forefather for blessings. The gaddi construction gives you a fare idea of how business was a serious affair.

The corridor overlooking the breath taking construction, which is a perfect blend of design and architect; is the most exquisite part of Kothi. A perfect place to witness the ochre sky, chirping birds, enjoy your morning tea and bid the day goodbye. The antique cast iron railing with sinuous pattern and wooden blinds makes this place lively.

 

The terrace– the newly constructed area of the Kothi is sweet hideout of the couple. For Mr. & Mrs Rohatgi colour of love is white- simple and pure.  The kitchen area modified into study room and workstation is now a white washed hut-shaped airy space.

The terrace garden with Classic Coalbrookdale bench painted black – rising majestically from a beautiful lush green terrace. A quite place to read, listen to the sounds of a summer garden or lose yourself in views of the stars. Picture Perfect it is!

The library with over thousands book staked on the shelves according to the interest includes history, travel, philosophy medicine, biographies, law and fiction.

A house is a just a concrete without the home décor. The spotless white curtains with over 300 years old glasses, lamps and chandelier completes the Kothi. The décor from across the globe compliments heavenly beauty of the Kothi.

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