India – Bichli Haveli Project
History of the Site
Built about 140 years ago, the Bichli Haveli is the traditional ancestral home of the Mehta family, one of the noble families of the former Mewar state. Situated in the old city of Udaipur in Rajasthan, it is close to all the famous bazaars, palaces, and lakes for which the “White City” is known. The Mehta family still owns the property six generations after it was constructed, but it has sat empty since 1992. With 46 rooms, 3 stories, 2 courtyards, and 8 staircases, it is a large space with enormous potential. In 2016, Restoration Works International began pursuing a partnership with the Mehtas to restore this magnificent piece of Indian heritage and convert it to a purpose that will be beneficial to the surrounding community.
The Bichli Haveli Restoration offers a great opportunity to help Indian people preserve an important part of their cultural heritage and daily life. Our committed Indian partners are central to the success and sustainability of this project. Our partners include the Mehta family and the haveli community.
The Bichli Haveli Project will restore and rehabilitate a 140-year-old haveli located in the old city of Udaipur, transforming it into a community and heritage resource center with revenue-generating accommodation to ensure its ongoing operation. In addition to the restoration of the Bichli Haveli, the project aims to bring benefit to the community in which it is located.
- Restore and rehabilitate the Bichli Haveli
- Establish a community engagement program including alley greening, composting, graywater treatment and provide public meeting and play spaces
- Train and employ Udaipur’s migrant women laborers to create teams of skilled restoration specialists who can use these skills in the future
- Provide economic benefit by hiring local staff and supporting local suppliers and services
- Demonstrate to the larger community the viability of restoration as a tool of community renewal and improvement, and provide them with the resources to embark on similar initiatives