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Shubhyatra >> Rajasthan Yatra >> Shekhawati


Districts : Sikar, Churu and Jhunjhunu
Location : 185 km from Jaipur. Bordered with Haryana
Famous For : Beautiful Fresco Paintings
Best Time to Visit : October-March

Painting on a Wall at Shekhawati Region
Painting on a Wall at Shekhawati Region

To See : Motiram Jasraj Sigthia Haveli for Frescoes, Keshargarh Fort, Mahansar Fort, Step Wells and Cenotaphs.
Places To Visit : Mandawa Village, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Mahansar and Bissau Towns.
What to Enjoy : Observing Unique Architectural Style Frescos, Great Art Work of Floral and Geometric Designs by Rural Folks and Rural Culture of People.
Famous Festival : Shekhawati Festival in Month of February, Bissau Festival, September-October.
Adventure Thrill : Horse Safari -7 Days safari, organized by Rajasthan tourism beginning at Nawalgarh and terminating at Salasar.
Must Watch : The Magnificent Paintings on the Walls of Houses and Forts.
To Shop : Paintings, Paper and Cloth Murals, Decorated Chests, Chairs, Cradles, Wood Crafted Utensils.
Getting There : Air : Sanganer Airport Jaipur( 184 km / 3 ½ hr). Connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore.
Rail : Jhunjhunu (26 km), Dundlod, Mukundgarh (14 km), Nawalgarh (26 km).
Road : Lies within the angle between NH-8 and NH-11. Routes Connect Delhi to Jaipur and Jaipur to Bikaner.
Inside Tip : Capture pictures of the artistry on the walls of Shekhawati Monuments.
Where to Eat : Castle Mandawa Indian, Continental and Rajasthani Food, Mukundgarh Fort Multi-Cuisine, Roop Niwas Palace Rajasthani, Indian and Continental, Apna Dhani and Dera Dundlod Fort Traditional Food.
Staying Options : Fatehpur Hotel Haveli, Dundlod - Dera Dundlod Fort, Nawalgarh Hotel Roop Niwas Kothi, Mandawa  Castle Mandawa, Jhunjhunu - Khetri Mahal, Mukundgarh Mukundgarh Fort.
Important Distances : Mandawa (169 km NW of Jaipur), Mandawa (275 km SW of Delhi), Ramgarh (34 km W of Mandawa), Fatehpur (21 km SW of Mandawa), Nawalgarh (28 km SE of Mandawa).

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Shekhawati - The Designer's Imagination

Enjoy a vacation in the rural city of Shekhawati. The erstwhile fort rises from the drab desert landscape silhouetted against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. Its not untill you cut inches to centimeters, you realise it is enveloped by a town with two and three storey buildings, narrow streets, market place piled with vegetables and brightly coloured fabrics. As you travel more closer you will see seven princes, stuck forever on a wall, holding identical swords and look grim, perhaps because they have been standing like this for over 60 years. Welcome to the magical land of Shekhawati, the only place in India where the walls have always been used as a canvas, where paintings speak more than locals itself.

Travel to Shekhawati to know more about the history of this semi-arid land that took a significant turn in the fifteenth century, when Rao Shekha annexed some lands from the Muslim Nawabs of the Kaimkhani clan. As history flipped through its own chapters, old trade routes dried up and new ports shifted under the British domain. Blending perfectly their luck with their buisness acumen, the traders of this north-eastern district of Rajasthan, flourished like boiling milk in open. With a zeal to do something different, they chose instead to have frescoes painted on the walls of their houses. Soon, this swelled into a fortune that covered facades, interior walls, arches, ceilings and pillars, embracing every available space - and turning Shekhawati into a huge open-air art gallery that delight every connoisseur of art who come here for a holiday in Shekhawati.

Every Painted Walls Has Its Own Story

Take a Shekhawati tours to see the popular Shekhawati painting in Rajasthan India. The only reason a traveller visits the Shekhawati region, besides relaxing in a heritage resort or riding a horse, is to go fresco-hunting. The whole terrain is a huge treasure trove of paintings and colourful murals. The content of the paintings, religious to begin with, changed to secular subjects as time passed, portraying historic details and social bedlams before turning almost comic and kitschy as part of the colonial interface. The early Mughal influence, manifested in floral appliques and geometric designs and later blended with the Rajput blueprints. Come to the famous rural city of Shekhawati and enjoy a rural stay in Rajasthan.

Havelis - A Magic With Brush

It is best to use Mandwa (275 km from Delhi) as a base because of its strategic location at the heart of Shekhawati district. Visit the Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli displaying some excellent works of art, especially in the variety of their themes. One can see the life of the owner with a fort in the background, a women giving birth, a bird tending her eggs, a couple climbing down from a large compartment etc. It is amazing to see the crosspollination of ideas and techniques, with local artists imbibing skills from the new arrivals and adopting European designs, how cars replaced elephants and traditional Indian miniatures mingled with naturalism of western paintings to produce interesting hybrid results. Some of these havelis also portray some abstract ideas, like Indian themes against European backgrounds. A must see is the Double Goenka Haveli, which has some amusing erotica painted on the outer left wall, and other styles of Kamasutra bits tucked away in obscure corners - even painting Lord Krishna making love to a gopi. Drive another 25 km north-west of Mandwa to visit the Motiram Jasraj Sigthia Haveli. Leave your car in the bazaar and walk on the narrow lanes until you come across beautiful motifs painted on a high wooden gate. One will be bewildered to see the exquisitely carved motifs in brass, together with the facade, which is an impressive crossboard of colours. Try to figure out Lord Shiva, a mischief where one of the royals looks alike the Lord, despite a beard and a turban.

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The Saddle Saga - Journey With A Horse

Horse Safari at Shekhawati
Horse Safari at Shekhawati

After spending the whole day tracing the art, it is time to be a bit smart. Look at Shekhawati from a completely different angle, it is hard to believe that you are really in the heart of equestrian Rajasthan. Beautiful Marwari horses gallop through the bitumen roads, story of whom is part history and part folklore. Ride one of those handsome mares of Marwar - glossy black coat, with limpid eyes andbeautifully curled ears - and reach the countryside, you will see the roads winding up for you. The best plan is to just wander around at random through these small, dusty towns. There is no chance of getting lost, and there are surprises around every corner. Explore the style of living of the villagers as you pass by thatched roofed hamlets and enjoy the fascinating Rajasthan desertscape.

Plan your trip to Shekhawati during the second week of February to be a part of the colourful Shekhawati Festival. All in one, you will get ampe opportunities to discover the nooks and crooks of both Shekhawati's space and time. Let your hair down in the funny rural games, and when exhausted sit on a jute bed and enjoy varied cultural programmes. Another interesting part of this extravaganza is the Haveli competition, where havilies are evaluated in terms of paintings, designs and how much care is bestowed on them. Tourists can enjoy a fabulous 7 Nights-8 Days horse safari in Shekhawati starting from Nawalgarh and terminating at Salasar. The refeshments points generally coincides in Sherpura village and a overnight stay in Narsinghani. Shekhawati tourism in Rajasthan is the best way to see the authentic Shekhawati paintings.

Plan A Holiday Trip to Shekhawati

The famous rural city of Shekhawati in Rajasthan has thousands of rich, intricate Shekhawati wall paintings that should be honoured as a proud part of India's heritage, are now being forgotten, neglected and left away. One should hurry to catch a glimpse of the archaic scenes on older walls, as you cross the pristine sands of the desert. Shekhawati might be frozen in time, but the time doesn't freeze. It has already started its irrefutable and irreversible dance of ravaging the eyes of beauty. Remember, piece by piece the murals of Shekhawati are disappearing.

Want to take up Shekhawati travel? Access to the region is easiest from Jaipur or Bikaner. Regular buses organised by RSTDC link Jaipur and Bikaner, and one can step down at this fresco-town. While on a car, tourists can halt at Sikar and Fatehpur for mild refreshments. If you are in a group of four or five, get a private taxi and reach Shekhawati. If you are on a flight, come upto Sanganer Airport, Jaipur, and take a taxi to cover the rest 150 kms.

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Top 5 Reasons To Visit Shekhawati

Mandawa Havelis - Shekhawati

Holiday In An Art Gallery
Plan a vacation trip to the Art Gallery of Rajasthan, Shekhawati, known for its impressive array of frescoes painted on every walls. Take a horse or walk around the terrain. Visit the nearby villages to have a look at rural art. The famous Shekhawati paintings in Rajasthan India are marvels of human hands.

The Walls That Speak
Travel to Shekhawati which is known for its magnificent frescoes, the walls surely sung the great saga of the chivalry and romance of the Maharajas. Some of these havelis also portray some abstract ideas, like Indian themes against European backgrounds.

With A Horse, Along The Terrain
While on Shekhawati tourism, riding a horse is the best idea to explore the corners of Shekhawati. Enjoy the royalness associated with this princely creature. Ride it in a royal way, sit straight and let it explore the interiors for you.

Be A Part of The Shekhawati Festival
Come to the famous rural city of Shekhawati in Rajasthan during the Shekhawati festival, held in the month of February, is an attraction in itself. Enjoy the merriment of the funny rural games, discover the extravaganza in the Haveli competition, and when exhausted sit on a jute bed and enjoy varied cultural programmes.

On A Village Cruise
Explore the style of living of the villagers as you pass by thatched roofed hamlets and enjoy the fascinating Rajasthan desertscape. Meet new folks, enjoy a chat with them over a cup of tea and see life from a completely different angle.

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