Shekhawati Havelis- Rajasthan
Shekhawati, literally meaning the 'Garden of Shekha'
derives its name from one of its prominent ruler, Rao Shekha. Lying in
the eastern part of Rajasthan, between Jaipur, Bikaner and Delhi,
Shekhawati was once a hot spot for trading caravan that headed towards
the Gujarat port. This inspired the merchant clans to settled down in
the region and earn the profit ensuing out of its strategic position.
This progress continued till the advent of British in India. The
Britishers developed Mumbai and Calcutta as a much better and well
equipped port which was a big blow to the prosperity of the region.
Marwari merchants who had earned a lot of wealth and respect with
their trade in the region gradually moved out to more profitable
business destinations. Nonetheless, their affinity with Shekhawati
region continued. Today, Shekhawati does not command the same respect,
yet it has an undisputable charm that leaves a lasting impression in
the heart and soul of the visitors.
Shekhawati is famous for its painted havelis, stepwells (baoris), forts and cenotaphs (chattris). The frescoes and murals that adorn the exterior and interiors of the havelis (built between 18th and 20th century) have earned the region the sobriquet of open air art gallery. Going around, visitors will be surprised to find that such remarkable artistic beauties were created in an era when technology in India was little advanced.
A trip to the Shekhawati region is an eye opener for all those who presume that Rajasthan is all about wars and bloodshed. It presents to the tourists a more colourful side of Rajasthan and its culture.
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