Thursday, January 21, 2010

Havelis of Shekhawati, Rajasthan.


The Sonthaliya Gate, Mandawa.

When we decided on our winter vacation destination as Rajasthan, we immediately knew it had to be in the lesser explored regions of Shekhawati. Shekhawati region is known for their heritage Havelis.

Haveli- Is a huge private mansion in India or Pakistan.

The Rajasthani havelis were constructed by the wealthy Marwari community in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan in the 19th century. A haveli typically has two courtyards one for the men and the inner one for the women, the walls were adorned with beautiful colourful frescoes painted by commissioned artists.

The themes were usually images of Gods, Goddesses & animals.

Mandawa, Ramgarh, Fatehpur are dusty little towns in the Shekhawati area that have many old havelis, which in their glorious days would have been a treat to the eyes, but even today have not lost their timeless beauty.

The huge old havelis in Mandawa.

A handful of these havelis are being restored and given a new lease of life by private organizations, historians & architects. Some of them have been converted into heritage hotels.

Nadine Le Prince is a french artist whose love for Indian cultural heritage has inspired her to restore a haveli built in 1802 by a rich tradesman of the silk road.

Beautifully restored courtyard at Nadine Le Prince Haveli Cultural Centre, Fatehpur.

Ramgarh Fresco, a restored haveli, earlier known as the Khemka Haveli is 100-years old and has been renovated by the Khandelwal family who wanted to showcase the beauty of the frescos and the architecture to the visitors.
Amazing hand-painted frescos at Hotel Ramgarh Fresco
We had a lovely thali lunch here:-)
The traditional haveli courtyard.

In my next post, will showcase another restored haveli~ A lovely place where we stayed, soaked in the winter sun and listened to the folk music of the desert...:-)

( Images by Arch)

18 comments:

Isabel said...

You chose a 'less explored region' and found a true treasure trove! I'm looking forward to your next post on the haveli you stayed in.

Anupama Puneeth said...

Thank you Archana for this wonderful post. It almost felt like being there...only wish it comes true :-)
The thali...hmmm you made me hungry !

Patricia Torres said...

Lovely post... this is why I want to go to Rajasthan again.. and do more than Jaipur... Plus.. leave the kids behind ;-)

purplehomes said...

Lovely post and as usual great pics...luv rajasthan too and their crafts ;)

Preeti Kashyap said...

lovely Archana! I have a (chettinad inspired) house in bangalore and I was looking for someone who could do some painting on my ceiling (just like the ones in old south india temples). Want it only in my puja room and living room. The patterns are simple (not like the ones in the temple). Do you know anyone who could help me? Even rajasthani wall painting like the one in these haveli's will work great! Let me know!

Arch at Rang said...

Thanks all:-)

Preeti - Let me check and get back to you:-)

vineeta said...

Aaah...! I was waiting for this post :) And its such a treat because though Shekhawati was in the probable list- we didn't finally do it. Brilliant photographs as always & I know where is my next stop in Rajasthan. Looking forward to more Rajasthan posts :)

Sudha said...

Everything about Rajasthan seems so vibrant and colourful...food included!!

super post as usual!!

Thea said...

These post is oh-so-beautiful... :) When we were visiting relatives near Jhunjhunu in 2008, we nearly got forced by them to visit Mandawa as well... unfortunately we just had a couple of hours time and so we visited the Fort, only... Now I see, that we def. have to come back and see the town as well... Great work, thank you so much for the inspiration.. :)

elsbeth said...

What a wonderful post about gloriously painted Havelis. I have never been to India. They must be in a local colour tradition? And seemingly in a more timeless, regionless style at the same time. So dreamily depicted! Thank you for this!

Dora said...

Hi dear i loved your post..It was a eye delight. I also like exploring new horizans. keep the good work going

OrangeJammies said...

Oh thank you for featuring this. I have long been toying with the idea of a trip to the Piramal Haveli (now a Neemrana Hotel) in Shekhawati. You've certainly make me think harder about taking that trip! :0)

Anitha said...

Hi Archana,

Hope you had a great time :) Lovely post and pics.
Hope to see more posts on this lovely land of sun, sand and vibrant colours.

~Anitha.

Chandan said...

Shekhawati has long been on a must visit list Arch. Hope u guys had a blast. Thanks for the lovely pix
C

Adreal said...

Good blog with good images and good details. Please keep on posting the more stuff. I will like to hear more from you.

belindaschneider said...

wonderful pictures! i just booked my first trip to india/rajasthan in april and we will be going to mandawa!!! perfect timing!! will look for the ramargh fresco for sure. thank you.

pRiyA said...

I am so glad I came across this and the Chettiar Mansions links on the sidebar. These are things that I've heard about so often and it is great to see your pictures of them.

Madhu Nair said...

Hi Archana,
I got to your blog while googling for Ramgarh related info. I did not know about Ramgarh Fresco. It looks like a fab place to stay.

Here is a link with the pictures we clicked at Ramgarh.
http://10yearitch.com/states/rajasthan/photo-tour-of-ramgarh-shekhawati-rajasthan/

Let me get back to reading the rest of the blog.

Cheers,
madhu