Mehmaan khana

Mehmaan khana

A Mehmaan Khana, (Hindi-Urdu & Bangla: مہمان خانہ , मेहमान ख़ाना or মেহমান খানা) is a drawing room where guests are entertained in many houses in North India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Alternative names that are used include Hujra and Baithak. These rooms were a typical feature of many Mughal era havelis palaces and mansions in the region. Many houses in the rural areas of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India still have mehmaan khanas for guests. In Bangladesh, it is more commonly known as baithak ghar or bangla ghar (Bangla: বৈঠক ঘর or বাংলা ঘর).


The term hujra is especially prevalent in the predominantly Pashtun areas of Pakistan. Pashtun hujras are used mainly to entertain male guests in a household, although sometimes community hujras are also maintained by tribal units. In individual houses, the size and trappings of a hujra are sometimes indicative of family status.[1]


The term mehmān khānā is direct derivation from Persian and means "guest house or room." In Iran and adjoining areas, the term can refer to hotels.[2] The term (also spelled memonkhona in Latin script) is also used to describe a guest room in other parts of Central Asia. The term baithak (بیٹهک , बैठक or বৈঠক) literally means sitting room in Hindi-Urdu and Bangla. Hujra is derived from Arabic and means room or cell.[1] In non-Pashtun Muslim households or North India and Pakistan, the term hujra (حجره , हुजरा or হুজরা) can also refer to a dedicated prayer room .[3] In Bangladesh, hujra usually refers to the sitting room of Imam in a Mosque.


  1. ^ a b Peter J. Claus, Sarah Diamond, Margaret Ann Mills, South Asian folklore: an encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taylor & Francis, 2003, ISBN 9780415939195,, "... In Pashto-speaking areas the term hujra [Arabic: room, cell] refers to a separate room(s) or house maintained for male guests ... The hujra may be maintained by a village collectively or by apowerful member of a village (a khan or malik); the prestige of the person(s) who maintains the hujra is directly proportional to the number of guests ..." 
  2. ^ Trenchard Craven William Fowle, Travels in the Middle East: being impressions by the way in Turkish Arabia, Syria, and Persia, E.P. Dutton & Company, 1916,, "... she gave me to understand that she knew of a mehman-khana (hotel) ..." 
  3. ^ William Crooke, North Indian notes and queries, Volumes 1-2, Pioneer Press, 1891,, "... whose Hujra, or prayer-room, has recently been found in the fort ..." 

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