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Shekhawati Information Guide - Shekhawati Travel Guide - Shekhawati info Guide - Shekhawati City Guide - Shekhawati Tour Guide - Shekhawati Travel Tour Guide Rajasthan

 Shekhawati  :
Shekhawati means the land of Shekhs. Its name is derived from Rao Shekha, who belong to the Kachhwaha family of Jaipur who ruled from 1433 - 1488 AD. Shekhawati is a historical area which is situated in the north eastern part of Rajasthan. It is situated in the triangle between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. It is dwelling of India’s mercantile community, the Marwaris, Marwaris are now running their own businesses in different parts of the country and the world. The marwaris built various havelis. Shekhawati is well-known for painted havelis that represent a rich artistic custom of the region. Shekhawati was a part of the Jaipur state earlier, now it covers the districts of Sikar and Jhunjhunu. Languages which are spoken in Shekhawati are Rajasthani, Marwari and Hindi.

In the area of Shekhawati the prominent attractions are the wonderful havelis which were built by the Marwaris who were the rich merchants of the region. Founded to ensure protection from the heat of the harsh and long summers these havelis exhibits a distinctive architectural style and have attractive wall paintings. Havelis of Shekhawati were painted in maroon, green, blue, indigo and yellow colors in the mural style of Shekhawati. The style of mural painting is known as ala gila. The colours mixed into a paste were applied on to the damp wall with a plaster of lime paste through polishing, burnishing and beating.

Jhunjhunwala Haveli: Jhunjhunwala haveli displays a prominent gold leaf which is a painted room positioned to the right of main courtyard.

Murmuria Haveli: The paintings of trains, cars, George V, and Venice were executed on the walls of this haveli during the 1930s by Balu Ram, one of the last working artists of the region. In pictures - like Lord Krishna with his cows in the English courtyard and a young Nehru on a horseback, holding the national flag - this haveli uses a unique theme blending the East with the West. The haveli also features a long frieze depicting a train with a crow flying above the engine and much activity at the railway crossing.

Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli: This haveli has a painting which exhibits Lord Shiva on his Nandi bull and Indra Dev on an elephant.

Goenka Double Haveli: Goenka Double Haveli exhibits two gates which have a monumental façade of horses and elephants. Havelis balcony, walls and storeys are decorated with different paintings and patterns which vary from religious patterns and traditional Rajasthani women to Europeans wearing stylish hats and other Victorian finery.

Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli: Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli is situated in the south of town of Shekhawati where the ornamentation of the inner and outer walls is finest in Shekhawati. Blue washes in the haveli depicts 20th century restriction of the erotic scenes that were commonly acceptable one hundred years ago.

The subjects of the Shekhawati wall paintings (1830 AD - 1900 AD) were altered over the period of time but were based on variety of themes.

Historic: Historical tales of rulers and scenes of great battles, and photographs of well-known rulers were painted in the chhatris of the wells or in the castles of the Rajput feudal chiefs who look after small feudatory states in this area.

Religious: The main entrance and interior spaces of the haveli consists of religious and fabulous images. Indian religious myths and tales were the main subject of these havelis so that whole canvases could be covered with the marriage parades of gods. In the circular ceilings below grounds the myths of Krishna and Ras Leelas can be seen.

Secular: External walls of Shekhawati are painted with the aspects of daily life and were clearly inspirational and depicts their lifestyle clearly. These include scenes of processions of caparisoned elephants of celebrated lovers such as Maru and Dhola and trompe I’oeil paintings which creates suspension of belief in disbelief. Among the paintings wonderful representations are a camel straddling a small window, the women peeping out of windows and a staircase turning into an elephant with the balustrade in its trunk. The turn of the 19th century saw the appearance of new designs due to the British Raj’s influence upon the Indian culture. Wall paintings of Shekhawati were collapsed by 1930 which resulted in the migration of the Marwari families.

Floral: The work was very simple earlier, very few colours were used which consists of floral motifs. Then, floral work was generally reserved for arches and pillars. The floral designs were used to create frames and unite a complete section, within which There are canvases of paintings. Only floral representations of foliage can be found in the few Muslim havelis.

Places in Shekhawati
Important tourist places in Shekhawati are Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Fatehpur, Dundlod, Lachhmangarh, Khatu Shyamji, Chirawa, Mukundgarh, Mandawa, Nawalgarh, Pilani and Shakambari. There are various heritage hotels in Shekhawati. Some of these historic hotels are perfect illustrations of the fortifications of the area. These are the true fortunes of Rajasthan’s open air art galley.

Jhunjhunu: Jhunjhunu is the capital of Shekhawati, it is one of the biggest town of the district. It was built in the mid 15th century AD by the Kayamkhani Nawabs and remain under their control. In 1730 AD it was taken over by the Rajput ruler Sardul Singh. Jhunjhunu has some magnificently painted havelis. Ishwar Das-Mohan Das Modi, Khaitans and Nar Singh Das Tibriwal are easily reachable from Jhunjhunu. Most well-known temple of Jhunjhunu is Rani Sati temple. The most attractive monument of Jhunjhunu is the Khatri Mahal (the Wind Palace) which dates back to around 1760 A.D. Sri Bihariji Temple is famous for its lovely murals.

Sikar: The largest "thikana" (Feudal state) under Jaipur is Sikar, which was founded in the late 17th century. Important places to visit in Sikar are the fort and temples of Raghunath, Gopinath and Madan Mohan, Madho Niwas Kothi, Biwani Haveli, Jain temple, Jubilee Hall, Sodhani Haveli. Sikar also has a large market which is worth to visit.

Fatehpur: Fatehpur was built by Fateh Khan, a Kayamkhani Nawab in the mid 15th century. Fatehpur is well-known for beautiful havelis and supreme wall-paintings. Havelis of Fatehpur offers a blend of the Indian and the western styles of architecture. Some of the prominent havelis are Singhania and Chamariya havelis. Many wealthy merchants are attracted towards Fatehpur due to its central location. It is one of the finest sources for observing some of the supreme art in the region.

Lachhmangarh: The foundation of Lachhmangarh was laid by Raja Lachhman Singh of Sikar in the early 19th century. modeled to resemble the city plan of Jaipur, Lachhmangarh offers a bird’s eye view of the town. Lachhmangarh is one of the most magnificent forts in the Shekhawati region. The town of Lachhmangarh has a lot of unusual subjects which are painted on its remarkable havelis.

Khatu Shyamji: Khatu Shyamji is well-known for the Shri Shyamji Temple which was constructed in white marble.

Shakambari: Shakambari is enclosed by hills on three sides. It is a perfect place for picnic. It is well-known for its 7th century temple which was devoted to Shakambhari Mata.

Nawalgarh: The foundation of Nawalgarh was laid in the 18th century. Nawalgarh has the finest of Shekhawati’s paintings. Two palace and forts hotel of Nawalgarh with fountains and garden along with a host of temples are well-known for their architecture and wall paintings. Famous havelis are Bhagats, Dangaichs and Poddars.

Mandawa: The foundation of Mandawa was laid in the 18th century, it is the heart of the region of Shekhawati. Some of the wonderful havelis in Mandawa are Ladia havelis, Saraf havelis and Chokhani. A medieval fort dominates the town of Mandawa which is now changed into a heritage hotel. This fort has a painted arched gateway which is decorated with Lord Krishna and his cows. A Shiva temple with a rock crystal lingam is also a prominent place to visit.

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