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Mandawa is located in the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajsthan. It is known for its forts and Havelis. It is situated in Rajasthan around 190 km from Jaipur, and 250 Km from New Delhi. The fort town of Mandawa is well connected with the other places in region through a good road network. It is a small and busy little market town that was settled and fortified in 18th century by the dominant merchant families of the region. The wealthy businessmen of the village constructed many havelis and baolis with colorful paintings adorning walls. However, with time, the merchants moved on and migrated to other areas, leaving the beautiful havelis in the shadows of anonymity. Still, the magnificence of these havelis did not diminish and now they have become a major tourist attraction in the region.
The beautiful wall paintings that decorate the havelis of Mandawa in Rajasthan, India, have seen the themes changing from time to time. In the earlier days, mythology dominated the themes of the frescoes, displaying local legends, animals, portraits, hunting and wrestling scenes, etc. 19th century saw the themes being changed to reflect the British Raj influence on the Indian culture. The traditional subjects were exchanged for cars, trains, balloons, telephones, gramophones, English men in hunting attires and portraits of the haveli owners immaculately dressed etc.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS OF MANDAWA : The biggest tourist attractions in Mandawa are the old havelis. The major places to see in Mandawa include its beautiful havelis, a castle, a temple, etc. Apart from these another major feature of Manawa is its massive fort, now converted into a heritage hotel. Given below is a list of the places to be included in Mandawa, Rajasthan sightseeing tour
Mandawa Fort: Mandawa is a small town in the heart of Shekhawati region. The place is known not only for its havelis but also for its Fort Palace. The structure of the palace reminds of the cultural and social importance of this region in the past. Of the havelis, the most important are the Chokhani, Ladia, Binsidhar Newatia, and Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli. Another haveli, the Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, is known for its curious paintings. There is a painting of a boy holding a telephone and a European woman in a car driven by a chauffeur. The Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli is famous for its erotic images, now mostly defaced. Other havelis of Mandawa include the Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, Lakshminarayan Ladia Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli and Chokhani Double Haveli, etc.
Mandawa Castle: It is located in the middle of the town; the Mandawa castle has now been converted into a heritage hotel. It offers some excellent views from its ramparts. It was founded in mid 18th century, has interesting murals. However, once the castle served as the residence of a noble. It is built as per the medieval theme; the castle of Mandawa is adorned with beautiful frescoes. The rooms of this palace are decorated with Lord Krishna paintings, exquisite carvings and amazing mirror work. The Durbar Hall of the palace houses a number of antiques and paintings.
HAVELIS: There are number of fascinating havelis in Mandawa, all of them adorned with beautiful wall paintings. Some of the main havelis are as follows
Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli: This haveli has a painting depicting Indra Dev on an elephant and Lord Shiva on his vehicle and Nandi bull etc.
Goenka Double Haveli: This haveli has two gates and its portico adorned with elephants and horses.
Murmuria Haveli: The paintings of this haveli include a train with a crowded level crossing, with crow flying above it. Another impressive picture is that of Nehru on a horseback, holding the national flag.
Jhunjhunwala Haveli: This haveli is decorated with striking gold leaf painted room.
Mohan Lal Saraf Haveli: The picture of a Maharaja stroking his moustaches beautifies this haveli.
MANDAWA EXCURSIONS There are many worth visiting cities for Mandawa excursion tour as follows
Nawalgarh: It is situated 37 km from Mandawa. This city is famous for some of the most brilliant paintings of the Shekhawati region. The havelis are very famous for its frescoes and exquisite architecture. Some famous havelis include Anandilal Poddar Haveli, Aath Haveli, Hodh Raj Patodia Haveli, etc. Apart from havelis you may visit forts and beautiful palace.
Parasrampuria: This town is located 43 km from Mandawa that consists some of the oldest Shekhawati paintings. The main attraction of this town is the 18th century Shyamji Saraf Haveli.
Mukundgarh: It is located around 25 kms to the southeast of Mandawa. There is a magnificent fort and some beautiful havelis to see. Dundlod: It is situated around 30 kms to the southeast of Mandawa. This town houses a massive fort, a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, stained glass windows, and an array of antiques. You may find an impressive library and number of structures within the fort.
Jhunjhunu: It is the largest town in Shekhawati. The major attractions of this town are Modi Haveli, Kaniram Narsinghdas Tiberwala Haveli, Narudin Farooqi Haveli, Mohanlal Ishwardas Haveli, Bihariji Temple and Khetri Mahal etc.
SHOPPING IN MANDAWA
If you have penchant for art and painting, Mandawa is the perfect place for you. It is famous for its beautiful paintings. The paintings that once adorned the massive havelis are now being recreated by the skilled craftsmen on cloth or paper. These paintings are perfect for using as home decoration or souvenir. Other popular shopping items include intricately carved wooden furnitures such as decorated chests, chairs, cradles, low tables, stools, etc. You can also shop for metal utensils, bangles, tie and dye fabric etc. The best showrooms include government emporia and many private outlets that offer excellent variety. However, you are recommended to bargain a bit while buying from the private shops.