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Sharell Cook

Visiting the Painted Havelis of the Shekhawati Region

By February 17, 2013

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Painted haveli.
Inside Nadine Le Prince haveli, Fatehpur.
Sharell Cook.

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.

Find out more about the Shekhawati region in this guide to visiting the Shekhawati havelis, or see my Shekhawati photos on Facebook and Google+.

More About Rajasthan Travel:

February 18, 2013 at 2:32 am
(1) Archana says:

Have seen the pictures in Facebook! Thanks for sharing the info and the pictures! Visiting this place is surely in the list of places I plan to visit!

February 18, 2013 at 3:04 am
(2) goindia says:

Thanks, Archana. :-) I’m glad you liked them. Yes, definitely do go… it’s a lovely peaceful place away from the hoards of tourists, and really captivating.

February 20, 2013 at 8:57 am
(3) MARTY says:

I have been leadfing photo tours to this area for 23 years, the Havelis, castles and palaces are out of this world, pure luxury and a fantastic people

February 20, 2013 at 9:57 am
(4) goindia says:

I agree with you, Marty!

September 3, 2013 at 3:16 am
(5) Surendra Singh Rathore says:

Also read book on Shekhawati Haveli Paintings
Shekhawati Haveli Paintings : A Cultural Introduction- A book written on Shekhawati’s popular Havelies and their Paintings.Because the foreigners see paintings but they do not sufficiently understand the thematic aspects of the subjects presented. Perhaps the escorting guides also do not or can not give adequate information. In this book author, Sh. R. P. S. Rathore, HOD-English Department, Podar College, Nawalgarh tried to explain the thematic aspects as are required by a common man. This book includes The structural Pattern of the Havelies, Why the lord ganesha on the Haveli Doors, Hindu Avataras-The thought behind Avataras/The Hindu Trinity/The Partial Avataras/The Full Avataras, Themes in the Paintings, Forts/Chhatris and Notable Havelis in Shekhawati, The colours and the methods used inthe paintings etc

September 3, 2013 at 3:40 am
(6) goindia says:

Thanks so much for the great recommendation! :-)

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