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Painted Houses of Shekhawati India

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By DiBundy

Painted Houses of Shekhawati India

Painted Houses

Where did you go?

Shekhawati Region, Rajasthan

How did you get there?

By car from Jaipur

How long did you stay there?

Two nights three days

Where did you stay?

http://mandawahotels.com/

What did you do there?

Take a quick detour from the usual tourist sights of Rajasthan and into the outdoor painted gallery of Shekawati.

What were the highlights of your trip?

Take a small detour from the famous Spice Route of old into a relatively undiscovered part of rural Rajasthan and one of the world’s only open-air art galleries.

Painted houses fade like painted ladies of old. Their stately presence, battered shutters and pigeon filled lofts disguise an ancient beauty now fading into red tinged sunsets.

It their heyday, the famous painted houses of the Shekhawati region were the belles of the ball of the Marwari traders.

Today the outdoor art gallery of Shekhawati is a hidden jewel in the tourist circuit of Rajasthan. Small towns dotting the surrounding farmland give up unique and delightful tapestries of life painted onto the walls and eaves of crumbling havelis. It is a history both new and old, frescos painted on walls detail a period of one hundred years, a time of great change and movement.

With the arrival of the British and the East India Trading Company, many traders of this area moved to the port of Kolkata where they made huge amounts of money. They decorated their houses at home with all the fervour of the nouvea riche. The houses, reflect the personality of the Marwar, one that was open to the outside influences that came with the trade, a flexible adaptable business like people.

During the first flush of British trade, the Marwari traders employed artists to paint their houses beginning a fashion that took over the region. Often the artists were given free rein to express a world that was rapidly changing, painting trains and ships such as they had so far never even seen into quaint renditions of religious stories or family portraits.

Walking around the towns, the feeling is that you have walked into an abandoned stage, the actors and ausidence have fled and left everything covered in a thin film of dust.

You wander around picking up pieces, getting covered in dust and feel like a child on a treasure hunt.

Advice

  • Be aware that a lot of these houses are still the private homes of people.
  • Support Conservation of this heritage area.
  • Get driver who is familiar with the area
  • Best time to go Jan/Feb/March
  • Local guides are available

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