Inside Nadine Le Prince haveli, Fatehpur.
A worthwhile but often overlooked destination in Rajasthan is the Shekhawati region. Located in the triangle between Delhi, Bikaner and Jaipur, it's full of old havelis with intricately painted frescoes on their walls.
After much deliberation, I decided to take my mother to Shekhawati on her recent visit to India. She'd never been anywhere in India except Mumbai, so what made me choose Shekhawati over all the other remarkable destinations in India -- of which there are so many?
One of the main deciding factors was that my mom loves, and is really good at, drawing and painting. Hence, I thought she'd appreciate the artwork on the havelis and especially enjoy staying in one (I was right, she was in awe of the gorgeous Mandawa Haveli hotel). The Shekhawati region also provides an experience of life in rural Rajasthan, totally different to the crowded city life she'd seen in Mumbai (one thing we did was go on a camel cart ride into the famed Shekhawati sunset).
Shekhawati is also easily accessible from Jaipur. I hired a car and driver from V Care Tours and Travel in Jaipur, and it made getting around a breeze. The roads from Jaipur to Shekhawati are surprisingly excellent, and it only took us a bit over three hours to get there. Going via Jaipur also meant that my mom got to do some sightseeing in the "Pink City", including Amber Fort and the Hawa Mahal.
In addition, I'd decided to take her for a special birthday lunch at the Rambagh Palace hotel, which is consistently voted the best hotel in India and Asia. As to be expected, it wasn't cheap (there's a minimum spend of 2,500 rupees per person, plus tax, if you're not staying in the hotel) but it was totally worth it.
Needless to say, my mom was overwhelmed (in a good way!) and amazed by the trip, and is looking forward to exploring more of India.
More About Rajasthan Travel: