• Sethi House Museum

Sethi House Museum

Have you ever been to the Sethi House Museum? If not, you’re in for a treat! This architectural marvel is home to some of the most stunning exhibits in the city. Sethi House is the center of attention, one of the under rated museums in Pakistan, though Mohalla Sethian as a whole is significant in terms of visits from both foreign and local travelers.

But what makes the Sethi House Museum Peshawar so unique? Let’s take a closer look.

About Sethi

Early in the 19th century, a family of Punjabi Hindu traders known as the Sethis moved from Jhelum to Peshawar. Their connections extended to Russia and Central Asia and relied on regional and global trade. The Sethi family was heavily involved in charitable work in Peshawar and had helped build the Lady Reading Hospital, the Islamia College Mosque, and wells for the underprivileged. The Sethis’ downfall began in 1917, during the Russian Revolution; when their businesses suffered setbacks, they never recovered, causing them to leave Central Asia and return to Peshawar.

History of Sethi House Museum

After moving from Jehlum Punjab to Peshawar in the early 19th century, the Sethi family involved in international trade built the masterpiece at Sethi Mohallah, where approximately seven Havelis were constructed in almost the same style, signifying an affluent Sethis passion for aestheticism. The local architecture of Bokhara, Uzbekistan, and Muslims all inspired the Havelis. The Sethi family, known for their work in the wood and furniture industries and whose trade reached Central Asia, introduced innovations in the design of homes, mansions, and other structures. As is clear from the Sethi House, demonstrating their unmatched architectural talent and ardent devotion to Muslim art and architecture.

The Sethis’ fate changed for the worse at the beginning of the 20th century when they experienced severe economic shocks due to the Bolshevik revolution and had their businesses negatively impacted by the Soviet Union’s adoption of a new currency. As a result, they sold their homes to boost their economy and revive their businesses. The KP government bought Sethi House in 2006, considering its exquisite architecture and illustrious past. After all repairs and renovation in 2013, the Archeology and Museums Department converted it into a museum. It was now open to visitors in 2010.

Who Built Sethi House Museum?

The 33 marla Sethi House, constructed by Sethi Karim Bakhsh, consists of three distinct areas: a basement, a courtyard, and a first floor. Its construction began in 1835 and was probably completed 49 years later, in 1884.

Unique Architectural Masterpiece House

The Sethi House Peshawar is a unique architectural masterpiece. It would be unfair to discuss Sethi architecture without bringing up the exquisite woodwork, which may be what distinguishes these homes from others. The intricate floral patterns on the doors, windows, and arches are proof of the skilled craftsmanship of the time. These additions highlight how highly one should regard the workers who put unmatched effort into the intricate design. What’s so unique about Sethiyan Di Haveli? It’s the way the different spaces are interconnected. A sense of flow and continuity makes it feel like one ample open space; even the ceilings have intricate designs with colorful glasses, which add to the overall effect.

One of the most exciting features of the Sethi House Museum is its design to incorporate the local climate. The use of high ceilings and large windows helps to keep the rooms cool in the hot summers, while the thick walls provide insulation against the cold winters.

Features of Sethi House

The Sethi House Museum in Peshawar, Pakistan, is a protected heritage site that is well worth visiting for anyone interested in South Asian architecture. One of the museum’s attractions is its unique architecture, which features motifs and striking colors that showcase Bokhara’s Islamic and vernacular architecture. The house’s most notable feature is a sizable wood resting area known as Takht-e-Sulaimani. Let’s dive into its more features.

Basement Rooms

Its basement has roomy living areas for hosting guests, and holes in wooden ventilators are angled at a particular angle to ensure adequate lighting all day. The basement contained a sizable safe or bank where the Sethi family kept their valuables and money.

Chinikhanas & Beautiful Fountains

The interiors feature elaborate fireplaces and the ubiquitous Chini Khana, a distinguishing feature of Peshawar’s historic homes. During Peshawar’s sweltering months, a small fountain in the middle of the courtyard aids in cooling the entire Sethi House.

Walls Decorated with Mirror Work

The walls of Sethiyan Di Haveli are decorated with Mirror Work which is a real sight to behold. According to legend, the mirrors reflect natural light and give the rooms a light, airy feel. If you’re ever in Peshawar, visit the Sethiyan Di Haveli and look for those stunning walls.

Carved Woodend Doors and Windows

Its intricate floral patterns on the doors, windows, and arches are a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the time’s craftspeople. The workers who put extraordinary effort into the intricate details of the distinctive design, creating Sethi House architectural wonder, deserve praise for these embellishments.

Beautiful Ventilators

To ensure adequate lighting throughout the day, holes in the wooden ventilators had angled at a particular level. Because of its flawlessly constructed ventilating structures, the Sethi house is a role model for contemporary green architecture.

Beautiful Red Brick Stairs

You’ll first see a beautiful set of red brick stairs as you enter the museum. Towards the Tehkhana, wide, roomy stairs spiral downward. The stairs lead to the basement, which offers a great view of the main hall. And speaking of the main hall, it’s just as impressive as the stairs. Each room has its unique charm, and you’ll find something new to admire every time you visit.

Big Courtyard

One of the most significant characteristics of the Sethi Houses is the big courtyard or Sehan. Placing the rooms around the big courtyard allows for easy light and airflow while also providing sun protection. The majority of light and air comes from here, which also assists in regulating the house’s microclimate because the house’s exterior mainly presents a solid blank with few openings toward the streets.

Glass Work on Ceilings

Have you ever seen a ceiling that was made entirely of colorful glass? If not, you should check out the Sethi House Peshawar. The museum is home to some of the most exquisite glasswork in the world. The ceilings are a sight to behold. The glasswork is simply stunning and a prime example of how beauty can be functional.

Facilities Offered By Sethi House Museum

Sethi House Museum Peshawar also provides some facilities to its visitors, so let’s look at them.

Corporate Meeting Rooms

The museum provides the facility of Corporate Meeting Rooms to the guests and visitors. It is a place that offers respite from the hectic city life; one can sit back and enjoy a cup of tea while admiring the old architecture.  

Wedding Shoot

The Sethi House Museum Peshawar provides a facility for Wedding Shoots for the people to capture their memorable moments. In addition to being a beautiful wedding shoot venue, the Sethi House Museum is also perfect for photo shoots. The stunning architecture and grounds make for a truly unique and memorable experience.

Whether planning a wedding or looking for a beautiful place to take photos, the Sethi House Museum is worth visiting.

Sethi House Museum Entry Tickets & Timings

The entry fee of Sethi House Museum for a student is PKR 20, while the cost for an adult is PKR 50. Visitors must pay additional charges for any photos and videos they take inside the house. Sethi House Museum Peshawar remains open for visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM except for Fridays.

Location of Sethi House Museum Peshawar

Sethi House Museum Peshawar is located in a small alleyway called Sethi Mohalla near the historic Ghanta Ghar in Peshawar, about a ten-minute drive from the bustling Qissa Khawani bazaar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the owner of Sethi House?

The Sethi House, built by the wealthy Sethi family in 1886, is a masterpiece of architecture that reminds travelers of the glory of the past. But currently, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the owner of Sethi House Museum.

Why is Sethi House Museum Famous?

Sethiyan Di Haveli is famous because this architectural marvel is home to stunning courtyards, intricate carvings, and beautiful mosaics. Today Sethi House Museum Peshawar attracts visitors from all over the world who come to admire its beauty and learn more about its architectural features and rich history. 

Conclusion

The Sethiyan Di Haveli, as a public space and a popular tourist destination, will help people understand the value of heritage buildings in the context of cities. It will teach people how important it is to preserve and restore them so future generations can enjoy them. This lesson will be beneficial not only for the province but also for the entire country. The knowledge gained from the restored haveli will lead to a deeper understanding of the traditional urban habitat and the elements that gave it significance to previous generations of residents. Sethi House Museum Peshawar communicates a message beyond the region’s current violent environment and points toward a culture of peace. 

The Sethi House Museum is open to the public, so check it out if you’re in the area. It’s worth a visit!