The quaint, Grade I-listed mansion that is today Haveli Regale was constructed in the 1920s by British-inspired architects for a prominent Kashmiri business family. The edifice is styled in signature Kashmiri Dhajji Diwari elegance, also known as patch work construction, and the building has been recognized by INTACH as a historic property (JK/SGR/625). The building represents a Colonial style of architecture that became popular in the city extensions during the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in this area. Unfortunately, very few such examples remain in the State, and none in the original condition that has been maintained at this site. The building was procured by the late Mr. G.A. Burza in the late 1940s and served as the ancestral family home since, hosting a myriad of wedding events over the last half century.
The building was extensively damaged during the Srinagar floods in 2014, however, the original architecture and exceptional strength of the 16-inch stone and deodar load-bearing walls meant that the structural integrity remained untouched. Corner quoins and the roof with gables and traditional breast channeled functional chimneys are the most distinctive features of the external building, meanwhile aged long wide-plank original wooden floors, tall ceilings and crafted fireplaces adorn the interiors. The large attic space remains a sight to behold – steep roofs with projecting chimneys and dormers highlight the roof line, while intricate thick original wooden deodar trusses give visitors a glimpse of construction sensibilities of previous centuries – far more eco-friendly and functional, albeit with much more intricate design.
Following the flood, this erstwhile palatial mansion has been lovingly restored in its original style, retaining the glorious authenticity and colonial touches. Classic furniture, tasteful art, and vintage fixtures are visible everywhere, and the building provides a bounty for those with an eye for historical architecture.
The building has featured in a number of movie shoots, most recently in Salman Khan’s ‘Notebook’.