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Havelis converted into cafes opposite historical monuments in Jaipur


Admiring the architectural splendour of Hawa Mahal while sipping a cup of coffee and relaxing under an umbrella — this is becoming a favourite hangout choice for Jaipurites as well as tourists in the Pink City. Cashing in on the location and the breathtaking view that their terrace provides, the residents of the haveli located in front of the monument have converted their terrace into two rooftop cafes, The Wind View Cafe and The Tattoo Cafe. Adjacent to each other, both the cafes are located in the same building or haveli, and they have become popular among visitors for their picture-perfect location, within a short span of time.


Deepak Garg, the owner of The Wind View Cafe told us that the idea (of opening this cafe) struck after the makers of the film Shuddh Desi Romance putting up a makeshift cafe on the adjacent terrace (now The Tattoo Cafe) to shoot for a scene between the lead actors Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra. “The terrace has, for quite sometime, been used for shootings, be it for films, TV or commercials. Sometimes, tour guides – who knew about the view – would bring tourists to the terrace so that they could click good pictures. But it was when the makers of Shuddh Desi Romance made the makeshift cafe on the adjacent terrace to shoot for a scene that the idea of opening a cafe struck my mind. My family already owned a jewellery shop on the ground floor of the haveli. So, I asked the owner of the haveli to rent out the terrace to us. We launched the cafe in October last year and since then it has become a favourite spot for people for photography. Social media pe to humara cafe hit hai!” says Deepak. The cafe has a small kitchen and serves continental and fast food to the people.


The owner of the haveli in front of the Hawa Mahal set up the Tattoo Cafe in December. Apart from the view of the beautiful monument, this cafe also provides an additional service – – tattooing. Karan Pandey , the owner of the cafe tells us, “My wife and I are professional tattoo artists; we used to have a small tattoo studio in C-Scheme. But I wanted to open a tattoo cafe for a long time where customers can come, get themselves inked and enjoy a cuppa or two.My wife was apprehensive about it initially as we were getting good footfall at our studio in C-Scheme and she was not too sure if our business would do well in the walled city.”

“Then I had a word with my father, who owns the haveli, and he gave me permission to open the cafe on the terrace,” says Karan Pandey. He adds, “While we are mostly getting foreign customers, the cafe is slowly becoming popular among the locals as well.”

Both Karan and Deepak feel that it is the view that these cafes offer, more than the food they serve, that draws customers to the cafes. “Sometimes people come and sit for hours without ordering anything. They just click pictures and leave,” says Karan.

Right now, the biggest challenge that both the cafe owners are facing is the uninvited guests – the mischievous monkeys! “There are a lot of monkeys in this area. You can’t do anything about it. Yeh kabhi bhi aa jate hain and we have to shoo them away ,” says Deepak.


Actor-model Rishee Mighlani enjoying the weather at The Stag Cafe & Lounge in Jaipur (BCCL/Shalini Maheshwari)

Another cafe in Jaipur that is offering a gorgeous view of a historical monument is The Stag Cafe & Lounge, which has been started by two childhood friends, Faraz Naqvi and Raman Yadav . The cafe is situated bang opposite the Amber Fort, on the rooftop of a 120-yearold haveli. Faraz, an MBA graduate, shares, “Both of us wanted to become entrepreneurs. Amber Fort is a popular tourist spot and we noticed that there were no good cafes nearby for tourists. Even our friends coming from different parts of the city to Amber often used to complain about the fact there is no cool place for them to sit and relax. That is when the idea of opening a cafe came to us.” Raman, an engineer, adds, “My brother had purchased this 120-year-old haveli a few years ago. Thus, we thought of renovating the haveli and opening a cafe on the rooftop. Since this haveli is bang opposite Amber Fort, we were sure that a cafe on its rooftop would offer an eye-popping view to the customers.” But the launch of the cafe was not with out its own share of hiccups. Faraz shares, “There are hills around this cafe, so at times, you can spot leopards. We had hired an interior designer from Delhi to work on our cafe’s interiors.

Within a few days of her starting the work, she spotted a leopard near the cafe. The next day she told us that she is withdrawing from the project and went back. That’s when we decided that we would do everything on our own. We took help from the internet, friends, and family and did the interiors on our own.” And what’s the story behind the name? Does it hint at stag entries? “Not at all,” Raman replies, “Actually, stag means an adult male deer. In Hindi, we call them barasingha. Near Amber Fort, you would of ten spot them. So we decided that we would call it The Stag Cafe!”


Because of the stunning backdrop that these cafes offer, they have become a hit location for pre-wedding shoots. These are also the places where youngsters declare their love and propose to their partners. Faraz says, “We get a lot of bookings for prewedding shoots and even wedding proposals. Our cafe opens at 10 in the morning but sometimes, we have to open it early in the morning, especially during sunrise, because the view during sunrise is extremely beautiful. Kabhi kabhi humein phone karke log request karte hain saying things like: `bhaiya, please aap cafe early morning khol dena, mujhe meri girlfriend ko wedding ke liye propose karna hai rooftop pe’. We don’t say no to them as we feel it’s their special moment and we can make it extra special. While we don’t charge for normal photography , there are charges for pre-wedding, film and TV shoots.”

Recently , the cast and crew of Savdhaan India had shot at their cafe. A few months ago, singer Shibani Kashyap had also come to the cafe to shoot for one of her music videos. Similar is the story of the cafes situated in front of Hawa Mahal. Deepak says, “We charge a very nominal amount of Rs 500 for half-an-hour for pre-wedding shoots. Then we serve them (the couple) coffee which is complimentary.”

Source: Times of India

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