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Traditional Homes

Havelis are traditional grand mansions found throughout North India, especially in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan.  These homes were largely built to accommodate extended families and were heavily decorated to denote the wealth and status of the family name.  Like any dwelling, havelis varied in sizes:  some very small with only a few rooms to grand mansions with up to 50 rooms.  A typical grand haveli could have up to ten or more separate "apartments" within with as many as twenty bedrooms.  Normally grandparents, parents, uncles, unmarried aunts, unmarried daughters, sons and their families would occupy each apartment as well as extended family members and finally servants would have their own living chambers.  A central courtyard would be the common area for all these family members to congregate in.  Here are some examples of these traditionally built beautiful havelis built a few hundred years ago by wealthy merchant families in the north Indian states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

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