SHEKHAWATI – Land Of Beautiful Painted Havelis
Shekhawati is known not only for its frescoes and beautiful wall painted havelis, thus making it open air art gallery, but also because of its business tycoons and enterpreneurial spirit of its people. This is a semi desert region in north Rajasthan and it is situated entirely in the triangle between Delhi-Bikaner-Jaipur. Shekhawati is a region and not just a town or fort; it takes its name after its ruler Rao Shekha. Shekhawati means the garden of Shekha.
The towns of Shekhawati are eminent for their amazing painted havelis. Such is the appeal of the havelis that this region is dubbed as “open art gallery of Rajasthan”. The plethora of painted Havelis in rich artistic tradition makes it commendable and fascinating. Most of the buildings are dated from 18th century to early 20th century. The Shekhawati landscape is dotted with so many havelis that tracking them is something like a treasure hunt.
Major Tourist Spots
Founded in the 18th Century by Nawal Singh, it has some of the finest frescos in the Shekhawati region. A huge fort with colourful bazaar and numerous havelis with elaborate architecture makes it an interesting destination for a 1 day / 1 night stay. There are a few prominent havelis like Anandilal Poddar Haveli, Aath Haveli, Hodh Raj Patodia Haveli etc., which are to be visited, and so are the two forts and the palace hotel Roop Niwas that is a beautiful heritage property and is renovated with modern facilities. The Palace offers spacious painted rooms, Luxurious interiors, graceful hospitality and great thematic evenings with sumptuous cuisine. The registered painting in their Art Gallery is a treat to the o visuals.
Places to visit in Nawalgarh
- Dundlod: This quaint town is in the heart of the Shekhawati region. The fort here was built in 1750. The Goenka Havelis and other havelis here are adorned with beautiful frescos.
- Mandawa: An 18th century AD town, it has a fort, now a heritage hotel. It houses interesting collection of traditional costumes and armoury, and haveli architecture.
- Fatehpur: The frescoes of this region are unrivallled specially the ones on the walls of the Devra and Singhania Havelis. These Havelis splendidly combine Indian and western styles with japanese Mount Fuji’s paintings. Other havelis are Ram Gopal Mahavir Prasad Goenka Haveli, Hukmi Chand Choudhari Haveli, Jalan and Bharatiya Haveli.
- Chirawa: The Havelis worth seeing here are Rai Bahadur Tulsian Haveli, Nemani Haveli, Mangal chand Dalmia Haveli, Tara Chand Keshar Dev Dalmia Haveli, Manoharlal Vaidh Haveli, Kakrania well and Shekhsaria well.
- Sikar: The Biyani Haveli, Sagarmal Sodhani Haveli, Madho Niwas Kothi, the Jubilee Hall and the fort.
- Khetri: Raghunath temple, Bhopalgarh Fort, Sukh Mahal and Hari Singh Temple.