Shekhavati

Shekhavati is not the name of particular city or town. In fact, it is the name of an entire region in northern Rajasthan, which was once controlled by the King Rao Shekhaji. There are a number of small towns and villages, closely clustered together. 


Unlike other places in Rajasthan where the main attraction is generally forts and palaces, Shekhavati is known for its painted walls. The whole region is dotted with elaborately frescoed havelis(mansions) in a fine state of preservation. It was as if we had stepped into an open-air Art Gallery.

 

These havelis were built mainly in the latter half of the 20th century by the Marwari merchants of Shekhavati, who ventured out primarily to Calcutta and Assam. With their business success came a spirit of one-upmanship, and each sought to outdo the other with the lavishness of his haveli - some of them are even painted in pure gold!


The towns of importance are Nawalgarh, Dundlod, Mandawa, Mukundgarh, Singhana, Fatehpur, Lakshmangarh and Bissau. A few of these havelis have now been converted into heritage hotels, although most of them are looked after by old family caretakers for their busy seths who visit them once in a while.


Shekhavati also has a number of small fortresses and a deer sanctuary at Tal Chhapar. The best way to visit and view this region is either on a Horse Safari or a Camel Safari.