HAVELIS IN JAISALMER
Location : On Ancient Trade Route in the Thar Desert, Bordered with Pakistan.
District : Jaisalmer.
Highlights : Architectural Houses of Merchants and Ministers in the Court.
Best Time To Visit : October to March is best. Avoid Summers.
Salim Singh ki Haveli, Jaisalmer
|Famous Havelis :||Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli, Nathmal-Ki Haveli.|
|Don't Miss :||Exquisite Paintings on the walls of the most ornate Patwon -Ki-Haveli. Also buy Paintings and Artifacts from the Family living in Nathmal-Ki-Haveli.|
|Location of Havelis :||Patwon Ki Haveli 1 km NE of Gopa Chowk, Salim Singh Ki Haveli Old town 300 m East of of Gopa Chowk, Nathmal-Ki Haveli ½ km North of Gopa Chowk.|
|Getting Around :||Bayda Bach -6 km N, Mool Sagar- 9 km N, Akal Wood Fossil Park -18 km SE, Sam -42 km W, Khuri-40 km S, Barmer -153 km S.|
|Getting There :||Air : Nearest
Airport : Jodhpur (280 km / 5 hrs)
Rail : Jaisalmer Station. Delhi Jaisalmer Express 19 hrs Journey. Mumbai connected up to Jodhpur. Jodhpur Jaisalmer Express - 8 hrs.
Road : NH-8, NH-11, NH-14, NH-15 to Jaisalmer. 18 hrs from Delhi, 14 hrs from Jaipur, 5 hrs from Jodhpur, 6 ½ hrs from Bikaner.
|Important Distances :||884 km SW of Delhi, 670 km via Bikaner, 280 km NW of Jodhpur, 352 km SW of Bikaner, 624 km W of Jaipur via Jodhpur.|
|What to Eat :||Trio Indian and Western Delicacies, Rang Mahal Hotel - Lal Maas, Safed Maas, Kersangri, Dhanraj Bhatia Sweets Ghottu Laddoos, Ristorable Italiano La Purezza Beer, Bhang Shop Bhang-Laced Lassis, Cookies and Cakes.|
|Staying Options :||Hotel Killa Bhawan, Hotel Jaisal Castle, Desert Boys Guest House, Narayan Niwas Palace.|
Along the narrow medieval lanes of Jaisalmer, incensed with the acrid aroma of l'eau de Jaisalmer, arise the famous haveli of Rajasthan, the abode of the Jain merchants who were as dexterous on the pages of time, as they were cogent in business. Their homes are sonnets in sandstone, exquisitely carved and pierced incredibly into variant patterns, and though they are opulent and ebullient, the result is in perfect synergy, never vitriolic to the eye. Take up royal haveli tours in Rajasthan to see the famous havelis.
Tahe a tour of heritage havelis in Rajasthan beginning with the Salim Singh Haveli is named after its first owner, the Jain diwan Salim Singh Mohta, who was reviled in his time for his Machiavellian cunningness. The most impressive feature of the mansions are a pavilion that seems to float on top of the building and a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks. Wander onto the balcony, glance up at the wall, and you will find a man scowling back from under his turban. It is a black and white photograph from some long gone time, set in floury plaster amidst a traditional Mughal design. In its antiquity, the image looks like it is only beginning to form, floating up from obscure liquid depths to meet your eyes. Walk outside to the voluminous courtyard, a grubby staircase leads up to the room on top, still bedazzling with its walls of blackened, befogged mirror; the Moti Mahal, where dancing damsels once created newer harmony every evening, watch from surrounding balconies. The walls of many alcoves retain traces of artwork, sparse enough to look like early studies for paintings. Though its facade is relatively austere, the haveli is apexed by ornate chhatris and jaalis, whose intricate geometric patterns are strikingly Islamic. But you will also find accents that seem quintessentially Hindu, like bell-shaped stone pandants fringing the balconies. No doubt, the mansions are splendid example of the harmony that existed between sects and varied belief, in these corners during the medieval times.
Enjoy a heritage haveli tours of Rajasthan and walk along the cobbled stone pathways to reach the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. There are actually five different houses, conglomerated in a voluminous courtyard, built for the five sons of Guman Chand, a trader of jewellery and fine brocades. Even in those days, the family was famous simply for being wealthy. It isn't an exaggeration to claim that no house built for human habitation anywhere in the world features carved stone decoration that surpasses the delicacy and intricacy of the Patwa haveli facades. The havelis are redolent of pleasures lost, wealth and easy living gone. In one Patwa alcove, the empty rooms are topped with gilt ceilings. On the walls you see faded paintings of women, men with broad mustaches and colorful turbans, battles and hunting trips. To walk up the five stories is to imagine a house filled with vigor, now replaced by fluttering pigeons and the squeaks of bats. Another superb example of the creed harmony that existed, is a room which has a crescent moon beside the central jharokha, with an oval sun complementing it across the window. The interiors are bearable even on very hot days because of the high proportion of stone to open space (stone heats up very slowly, air very fast) and good ventilation through the jaalis.
The simultaneity of collectively owned culture and privately owned property can sometimes seem dysfunctional. A sharp contrast to this hypothesis is the Nathmal haveli, a 19th century mansion and a 21st century curiosity. The architectural plan as well as the decoration of this lace-like house is attributed to two brothers, Hathi and Lalu, one of whom carved the left side and the other the right. The Nathmal haveli is in many ways emblemetic. Since his descendants still live here, you will find signs of use everywhere. They might not allow you beyond their ground floor shop, but you can still gaze at the building's exquisite facade, taking in minutely carved jharokhas and jaalis as delicate as filigree, singing the 1880s opera of glory.
Highlights of Rajasthani Havelis
Mansions of Fortune
Salim Singh ki Haveli - The Finest In Fine Arts
Patwon Ki Haveli - Imagination In Stone
Nathmal Haveli - Architectural Marvel or Magic
Shop Till You Drop
Rajasthan & The Taj
Wildlife Safari Tour
Mahal - White Wonder
Delhi - Eternal Capital
Sikri - City of Victory
- Out of The World
Madhya Pradesh -
Centre of Attraction