Amidst the bustling streets of Ballimaran, famous for its shoes and eyewear market, lies the quaint Haveli which once housed India’s finest poet, Mirza Asadullah Khan, also known as Mirza Ghalib. There are numerous ancient havelis in the old city of Delhi and on the first appearance there is nothing unique about Mirza Ghalib Haveli, except for the fact that it was an abode of finest Urdu poetry. Mirza Ghalib is believed to have spent his final days in the Haveli before his death in 1869. The haveli originally belonged to a physician who was an ardent fan of the legend. Once, Mirza Ghalib died and the owner of the haveli dies, the house has witnessed numerous residents. Today, a forgotten museum in Delhi dedicated to Mirza Ghalib, the house has been a witness of the creation of various famous poetry.
Mirza Ghalib was born to Mirza Abdullah Beg in 1797 in the alluring city of Agra. Ghalib’s father died when Ghalib was 5 years old. Ghalib was married to Umrao Begum at the age of 13, Ghalib left Agra to move to Delhi, where he spent all his time until his death in 1869. Ghalib witnessed the political shift from Mughal to British Era and his poetry beautiful depicted this change. Ghalib till date is a world-renowned figure and a major contributor to promoting Urdu poetry and Shayari. Ghalib’s physical presence may have ceased to exist but his works, preserved in books are some of the most sold books in the world.
History of the Attraction
Ghalib was presented with the haveli as a gift by a local Hakeem(physician), who was a fan of Ghalib’s work. After Ghalib’s death, the owner of the Haveli, Hakeem used to visit the Haveli every evening, not letting anybody else stay in the Haveli. Post his death, there was no legal owner of the Haveli. The Haveli witnessed numerous temporary residents. The haveli was later acquired by the Government of India who auctioned it to Mohammed Ali Farooqi at a bidding amount of INR 22,400. The Haveli was rented out to tenants but after Mohammed Ali died leaving no heir behind, the haveli again changed ownership. The haveli has served from being a poetry abode to a coal storage to a small manufacturing unit to being a Baraat Ghar (wedding hall). A small significant portion of the haveli was acquired by the Delhi government under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India in the year 1999. Today, haveli cum a museum in Delhi exhibits the life of the famous poet. One of the most underrated museums in Delhi, the Ghalib Haveli exhibits the list of favourite cuisines of the poet. You can also witness the traditional attire of Mirza Ghalib. There also small exhibits of his famous works displayed on boards. The museum also exhibits the last ever photo taken of the famous poet. The haveli has the original sandstone floors and you can witness the Mughal era architecture inside the Haveli.
The nearest metro station to the museum of Ghalib is Chawri Bazar from where you can either walk to the haveli or take a rickshaw.
Things to Do in & around Ghalib Haveli
The museum tries to recreate the life of the famous poet. You can witness his traditional attire and his favourite cuisines. There is also a portrait of the Mirza Ghalib. The haveli is situated in the heritage neighbourhood of Old Delhi. You can explore the nearby monuments like Red Fort and Jama Masjid. If you are looking to shop in Old Delhi, there are various markets in Chandni Chowk and nearby areas. Old Delhi is also famous for its street foods and eating joints like Paranthe Wali Gali. There is also a national library in Chandni Chowk. There are also spiritual worshipping places of various religion - Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Christian, Sikh. Ballimaran is also famous for its eyewear shopping and shoe shopping.
Opening and Closing Timing of Ghalib Haveli
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.
There is no entry fee for Ghalib Haveli
Best Time to Visit Ghalib Haveli
Though it’s open throughout the year, the best time to visit is during winters as the summers in Delhi is pretty hot.