This essay examines the ways in which the private, domestic landscape of historic Delhi changed between 1847 and 1910. I look at Delhi's ubiquitous introverted courtyard house, the haveli, during a time of dramatic cultural dislocation. Modernity and the British colonial presence together had the consequence of fragmenting sprawling princely mansions to modest dwellings and tenement houses or redefining them as more rational and efficient homes. Tracing the transformation of the haveli in form and meaning serves as a mirror to the changes in the city during the time. In Delhi, monolithic and oppositional categorization of "traditional" and "modern" masked more complex identities as the quintessential "traditional" city grew and changed in ways that were distinctly "untraditional." The landscapes of domestic architecture reveal a city struggling to define itself as modern-on its own terms.
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Research Article| March 01 2001
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Jyoti Hosagrahar; Mansions to Margins: Modernity and the Domestic Landscapes of Historic Delhi, 1847-1910. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 March 2001; 60 (1): 26–45. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/991677
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