One drop can soak your soul,
A flood may leave you dry,
To the faith and foibles of Man a witness,
The river cerulean keeps flowing by,
Came the conquerors to the jewel of the East,
Fell in love with the nature of the beast.
Some remained and some departed,
But sliced a sword through a nation parted,
Stories and fables and places in time,
Will bow one day to the sound of it’s chime,
Relics will remain, steeped in mystery,
Amidst the flux standing, as mile posts of history.
When something stands for centuries, bearing mute testament to the metamorphosis of a place, a people, the very fibre of life and being of a populace, it then ceases to be a mere structure. The hands of man might have once given it shape and strength, but over time it assumes a permanence contrary to natural law, an invisible cloak of transcendence.
The Shikwa Haveli stands as such. And has done so for the last 700 years. It has towered through times of grandeur, crawled through periods of obscurity, gasped through near ruination and re-emerged as a beacon of hope for the local population, the pride of a distinguished family and a comforting continuity of a bygone way of life. It is home to the ex-UN diplomat husband-writer journalist wife-student son trio of Shariq, Alka and Sahil, who have doggedly and painstakingly restored, recreated and resuscitated this, their ancestral legacy. A mere hour and a bit’s drive from the howling chaos of the capital city, on the banks of the ‘Blue Yamuna’, through a steep, winding and narrow road in the village of Katha right off the Delhi-Saharanpur highway, a large arched doorway will open for you to step back into time and into a warm welcome by the hosts. And thus begins your Gold Class, heritage luxury homestay.
It is as much the charm and old-world warmth of the hosts, the comfortable luxury and undertones of grandeur as it is the whispers of antiquity wisping through the walls and all they enclose that makes your time at Shikwa a memorable experience. The rooms and suites, the lovely gardens, the sprawling rooftop, the various interestingly named lounges and private areas, Shariq’s engrossing history lessons and Alka’s industrious endeavours with the entire village’s eco-system, all come together to define the commitment and heritage that Shikwa stands for. It is not just a heritage luxury homestay experience, it is an immersive journey of history marching through the present, onto a wholesome future.
Red Coral welcomes you to the Shikwa Haveli homestay experience.