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Delhiwale: No. 20, Connaught Place has seen better days

The building at Barakhamba Road, though damaged and in a dilapidated condition, hasn’t been yet replaced by a business tower.

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2018 12:17 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
delhiwale,delhi,connaught place
No. 20 at Barakhamba Road is one of the very few residences still standing at Connaught Place.(HT Photo )

The big hole on the front wall is looking like a gaping wound. The ceiling is so damaged that supporting metal rods are exposed.

To say the place has seen better days is putting it mildly.

But this crumbling bungalow, with thick leafy Neem trees protectively leaning over it, isn’t as ancient as you might think.

Built in the early era of Connaught Place, No. 20 at Barakhamba Road is one of the very few fine residences still standing at Connaught Place.

Not yet replaced by, say, a business tower, its sorry state nonetheless evokes the faded grandeur of Connaught Place as a colonial project.

It wouldn’t be prudent to step inside this private property because of its fragile state and also because it’s a private property.

But by carefully examining the bungalow from outside itself — with its balconies, imposing columns and cracked walls — one senses the early years of bustling Connaught Place. Completed in 1933, the vast building enterprise honoured the 1st Duke of Connaught who was Queen Victoria’s third son.

Surprisingly enough, the front garden still thrives. Someone has cut the grass and watered the plants. A clear view of the lawn can be sighted from the street itself — nowhere else at Connaught Place can a private garden be viewed so clearly.

Best to turn up in the evening when the house is awash in the golden glow of a setting sun. But beware the black dog inside.

First Published: Aug 20, 2018 12:17 IST