Reflection of My experience:
Morning 9:30 Am of the day 25th February 2023, we started introducing Culture, Heritage, diverse functional markets, neighbourhood of Dharampura, people, politics and transformation of historical city fabric of the Shahjahanabad to my fellow participants from Germany and Kathmandu.
From next day onwards we as a group of diverse professional backgrounds began to explore the specificity of the Dharampura neighbourhood, the place majorly originated by the dominant Jain community people who are bankers for the Mughal rulers.
The dharampura settlement is famous for series of Haveli’s where the typology of the house has a central open court enclosed by the internal rooms, which was designed to maintain micro climate of the house and neighbourhood which gives thermal comfort to the people throughout the all the seasons of extreme climatic condition of the Delhi.
Over the years the physical nature of the built environment transformed a lot starting from the commercialization of combined family residential haveli’s into commerce driven spaces for the needs and aspirations of local residents to generate economy for their livelihoods.
However temporally the spatiality of built fabric changing but the social life of the people which is strongly associated with chabutra is deep rooted in their everyday life. A chai Tapri (shop) along the dharampura street binding people together for their social interaction and the chabutra space surrounding these shops having a significant spatial and personal association between people and the space. The people’s spatial memory of the chabutra is agelss. The modern lifestyle demand is transforming the neighbourhood into character less built spaces by ruining the heritage value of the settlement. But to preserve and restore the heritage value of the dharampura needs awareness among locals, government policies, and financial support and incentives to make this place vibrant with its spatial significance.
My experience with our excursion team is memorable Co-learning among our varied professionals, we together explored and had fun.
Harish Arupula is an architect and currently pursuing his masters (M Arch.) in Urban Design at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in New Delhi. His design and research interests are inclusive design of the public realm, place making by democratization of public space, built and nature interface (nature within the built environments), people-centric design, and design of sustainable neighbourhoods.