Hindu Rao’s House
On the main Rani Jhansi Road, almost opposite to the Ashokan Pillar is Hindu Rao Hospital, one of the oldest hospitals of Delhi. The hospital’s main building is popularly known as Hindu Rao’s House. The history of the hospital’s main building is of special interest, as it was built in the early 19th century on a large scale, as a residence of the dynamic officer, William Fraser, who also later became the city’s Resident.
The author William Dalrymple in his book the City of Djinns, mentions that Fraser was not a typical British officer. He liked Indian culture, tradition and people and kept himself aloof from English social life. It is one of the reasons why he built his residence here far from the wealthier European sections of the town. However, in 1835 A.D., Shams-ud-Din Khan, Nawab of Ferozepore, murdered Fraser. The house was then bought by Hindu Rao, a Maratha nobleman and brother-in-law of Maharaja Daulat Rao Scindia of Gwalior. Since then the building came to be known by the name of Hindu Rao, even though the owner of the house soon changed when a British family bought it after the death of Hindu Rao. Later, the house became the headquarters of British forces in 1857 during the First War of Indian Independence and withstood the fierce attacks of the nationalists. In the early 20th century, the house was converted into a hospital for English nationals. It has continued to function as a hospital after India gained independence, and till date, it serves the needs of the people of Delhi.
Apart from the above history, the place where the house or main building of the hospital is situated has further historical importance, as it is the same site where Timur the Lame camped centuries ago, when he came and looted Delhi in 1398.