KP to renovate Bollywood’s Kapoor Family Haveli for tourism

The properties that once shone above the Peshawar skyline are now in a dilapidated state.

Known as the city of flowers, Peshawar was once home to the Indian cinema legends. The town owns ancestral homes of many pioneers of the Indian film industry Bollywood, such as Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and even Shah Rukh Khan.

The properties that once shone above the Peshawar skyline are now in a dilapidated state.

One such traditional house is the Kapoor Haveli, owned by the Kapoor family of India in times past.

The mansion is now “set to receive” a renovation under special projects by the Pakistani authorities.

The Haveli was completed in 1922 by Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor, father of Prithviraj Kapoor, the first member of the Kapoor family to join the film industry in 1928.

One generation of the Kapoor family was born here. After the partition, the family migrated to India, and despite several attempts until he died in 1988, Raj Kapoor would never return to his ancestral home.

His sons have made various attempts to save it from demolition.

In 2018, Rishi Kapoor called Pakistan’s foreign minister in this regard and was confident it would be converted into a museum.

But since his demise in March, there have been demolition threats to the two-story, almost 1,400 square foot home.

Randhir Kapoor, the eldest son, expressed that even though it is Pakistan’s prerogative, he hopes it would restore the house in memory of the Kapoors.

“The Kapoors do not own the Kapoor Haveli. It could have been Prithviraj Kapoor’s Haveli [grandfather], yet not ours. We will be glad if they decide to keep it in the memory of the Kapoors. Raj Kapoor will always live on,” he said.

He confirmed that he and his younger brother visited the ancestral home in 1990, and brought soil from its courtyard.

“We felt emotional that our forefathers were born there… we brought the soil and spread it in our farmhouse here… this way a part of our history will live on,” he said.

Sohail Hashmi, a New Delhi-based heritage activist, said the Kapoor Haveli project could be a joint venture by archaeology departments of both the nations.

“In the subcontinent, we share our heritage, and it is the one important component which defines who we are,” he expressed.

Kamran Bangash, the provincial minister of information, said they would renovate the Kapoor Haveli, as well as the house of Dilip Kumar, and convert them into museums based on public-private partnerships the government may buy the property entirely.

“This project will be another golden feather in KPK’s tourism team. We want to welcome international visitors and assure them that the city that has dealt with terrorist attacks in the past has risen to its grandeur and glory with utmost safety.”

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  • KAPOOR FAMILY ( PRTHIVI RAJ KAPOOR) was from SUMUNDRY District Faisalabad. Peshawar was the home of his wife Ramsarni Mehra. The house shown in the picture is his maternal Granddad’s house..

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