* Picture by Hardeep Singh, Ranchi

The dilapidated Jahaj Kothi on Kanke Road in Ranchi awaits an uncertain future.

The building, which resembles an aeroplane, used to attract a large number of tourists in the past. Today it depicts a  ghost house. It lacks maintenance looks as if it is a dilapidated structure.

Historic record reveals that Arjun Rai, an engineer from Calcutta, had fallen in love with Ranchi, situated at around 2100 feet above sea level, capital of the then Bihar.

Soon he bought a piece of land on Kanke Road and built a house with 16 rooms in the shape of an aeroplane.

The building had gigantic concrete wheels on its sides. Right now it houses seven families who occupy rusting Jahaj Kothi.” They are encroachers of land and the entire building”, cribs a neighbour.

However, for instance, Tina Tirkey, a resident of Jahaj Kothi, said her great-grandfather used to work for Arjun Rai as a gardener. After Rai’s death, his family returned to Calcutta and used to come during vacations.

“The Rai family had entrusted my forefathers with the upkeep of the property. With the passage of time, the family stopped coming frequently and allowed us to stay on the premises for maintenance,” she added.

“I have grown up in this building and have seen my parents die here as well. This is our home now,” Tina said.

Speaking on the past splendour of Jahaj Kothi,s she said the building used to be the talk of the town in those days.

People from far-off places used to come for treatment at the Central Institute of Psychiatry at Kanke and stop in front of the house to appreciate its unique design.

“The building has lost its glamour and only remind us of its pristine glory. It requires a lot of money to maintain old houses, especially ones like the Jahaj Kothi. The owners have relinquished their rights and have almost stopped coming,” said a local grocer Manoj Sharma.

The building has an oval balcony with a room next to it, making the section look like the cockpit of an aircraft.

Jahaj Kothi has rooms that look like wings. The rear end has a small staircase, which resembles the tail-wing of an aircraft.

Now, the entire Jahaj Kothi has been encroached and several parts of it are in dilapidated condition.

The building can be seen from the road and has gigantic concrete wheels on its sides. Seven families now occupy Jahaj Kothi, which has 16 rooms.

Tina Tirkey, a resident of Jahaj Kothi, said her great-grandfather used to work for Arjun Rai as a gardener. After Rai’s death, his family returned to Calcutta and used to come during vacations.

“The Rai family had entrusted my forefathers with the upkeep of the property. With the passage of time, the family stopped coming frequently and allowed us to stay on the premises for maintenance,” she added.

“I have grown up in this building and have seen my parents die here as well. This is our home now,” Tina said.

Speaking on the past splendour of Jahaj Kothi,s she said the building used to be the talk of the town in those days.

People from far-off places used to come for treatment at the Central Institute of Psychiatry at Kanke and stop in front of the house to appreciate its unique design.

“The building has lost its glamour and only remind us of its pristine glory. It requires a lot of money to maintain old houses, especially ones like the Jahaj Kothi. The owners have relinquished their rights and have almost stopped coming,” said a local grocer Manoj Sharma.

The building has an oval balcony with a room next to it, making the section look like the cockpit of an aircraft.

Jahaj Kothi has rooms that look like wings. The rear end has a small staircase, which resembles the tail-wing of an aircraft.

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