Mirza Ghalib is a 19th century Urdu poet and an iconic figure of Asia. His poetry is considered as of a high stature. He is what Shakespeare is in west. His poetry has a great depth and his hold on the Urdu language is beyond what could be defined in words.
He was born in Agra. At the age of 11 he moved to Delhi where he spent rest of his life. At the age of thirteen, Ghalib married Umrao Begum. Ghalib ki Haveli n Ballimaran, Old Delhi was the residence of this great poet of Asia and now serves as a heritage site.
I have been to Old Delhi many a times and every time it has given me a feel of pre-colonial times. The remains of those times are still alive, although the area is much congested and filthy now. But still, walking through the narrow lanes and having some delicious food is definitely making it a place where one can go again and again.
Besides those congested lanes and packed shops there are still some old historic buildings which are being taken care by Delhi government. Once such heritage building remains the Ghalib Ki Haveli.
As you walk down from the main road of Chandni Chowk and enter into Ballimaran market you have to pass through some shops to reach to the Gali Qasim Jan. In this lane you would find this historical building.
An old heritage building with semi circle brick arch entrance and on the gate is written as Ghalib Memorial. Just entering into the building on your right hand side remains a small room where the statue of Ghalib stands tall. On the walls the couplets of Ghalib’s poetry and some of the old pictures of the building are decorated.
As you enter further you would find a courtyard and small rooms where one more statue of Ghalib is places and some of the house hold utensils of Ghalib are also on display.
Government of Delhi took possession of Haveli in 1964 but soon auctioned. The Haveli than served sometimes as a small manufacturing unit and for some times a marriage hall.
Finally in 1999 the part of Haveli was again taken by the Delhi government and renovated. Now this heritage site is under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), they have developed it into a memorial museum and have put on display some of the things used by Mirza Ghalib.
Every day hundreds of visitors come to visit this historical building and pay homage to this great poet of all times. My visit to this place was also a great memory. I would say if you happen to be in Old Delhi you should visit this historical building and read some of the great poems of Ghalib written on its walls.
Where Gali Qasim Jaan, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Nearest Metro Stop Chawri bazaar
Time 9 am to 5 pm (Monday closed)