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your are visiting at: Home / Indian Cities / Shekhawati

About Shekhawati
State : Rajasthan
Shekhawati gets its name from the Rajput Kachhwaha chieftain Rao Shekha Ji. The descendants of Rao Shekha Ji are called Shekhawat. The story of Shekha's birth is rather interesting to understand the origin of Shekhawati. Mokal JI and his wife were much troubled as they had no son for several years. They heard about the miraculous powers of the Sheikh Burhan, a Muslim Saint. They decided to pay the man a visit. After they received the blessings of the Sheikh, a son was born to the couple. In honour of the mendicant, the couple named his son Shekha.

Shekhawati History
The turn of the 19th century saw the appearance of new motifs, an outcome of the Raj’s influence upon the Indian culture. Now cars, replaced elephants and traditional Indian miniatures mingled with naturalism of western paintings to produce interesting hybrid results. The mythological themes depicting gods, lithographs and photographs.

Trains,cars,balloons,telephones gramophones, English men in hunting attires and portraits of the haveli owners primely dressed were painted all over the walls-thus making the havelis
Doondlod Shekhawati RajasthanFatehpur Shekhawati RajasthanMandawa Shekhawati RajasthanJhunjhunu Shekhawati Rajasthan
interesting for both Indian and foreign travelers.

Place to See
Founded in the early 19th century by Raja Lachhman Singh of Sikar, this town is planned on the lines of Jaipur, with roads at right angles and roundabouts. The grant Char Chowk Haveli is reminiscent of the prosperous Marwari way of life. The fort, Sawant Ram Chokhani Haveli, Mirijamal Kyala Haveli, Bansidhar Rathi Haveli, Kedia Haveli and Sanganeria Haveli adorned with beautiful frescoes.

The seat of the Poddar families, among other, Nawalgarh is known for the high quality of its paintings, even in the richly frescoed Shekhawati area. Its Poddar School has some excellent old work, as well as walls that have been restored in recent times using the same style of frescos for which the region is famous. Nawalgarh was founded in 1737 by Thakur Nawal Singh, a warrior-statesman of some eminence. The town has a colourful bazaar and a fort, now a little disfigured, yet worthy of attention. There are numerous havelis; prominent among them are the Aath (eight) Haveli Complex, Anandilal Poddar Havlei, Jodhraj Patodia Havlei, Bansidhar Bhagat Haveli, Chokhani Haveli and Hotel Roop Niwas Palace.

One of the principal feudal principalities of Shekhawati, the havelis of this charming small town are beautifully painted, and some of them are over two hundred years old. These include the Goenka Haveli that is well known for the exquisite quality of its frescoes.

One on the most finest of the small towns in the Shekhawati region, this feudal settlement not only has a royal castle, but innumerable havelis where the painted facades offer a great variety of surprises. Mandawa was founded by Thakur Nawal Singh, a descendant of Rao Shekha after whom the entire region is named. It is today also a major center of a handicrafts and furniture industry. A painted archway decorated with Lord Krishna and his cowherds leads to the Bazar. The Mandawa Family's collection includes ceremonial costumes and precious arms with handles of jade. The havelis worth visiting are those of Chokhani, Saraf, Goenka and Ladia.

Founded in the mid 15th century by a Kayamkhani Nawab, Fatehpur's frescoes are unrivalled. The ones done on the walls on the Devra and Singhania Havelis, splendidly combine Indian and Western styles. These carry inimitable mirror work at the entrance ways, with Japanese tiles carrying Mount Fuji's paintings. The Ram Gopal Mahavir Prasad Goenka Haveli, Hukmi Chand Choudhri Haveli, Jalan and Bharatiiya Haveli are well worth a visit.

Alsisar & Malsisar

Located on the northern most tip of Shekawati, these towns were founded in the late and mid 18th centuries respectively. The style of the frescoes here and lively colour combinations are a treat for the eyes. Also the forts in Alsisar & Malsisar, as well as the temples and the Jhunjunwala havelis are magnificent. Besides painted havelis, wells and reservoir with ornamental traditional architecture are worth seeing in both the villages.

Birla Museum of Science & Technology - Pilani
At Pilani, in the campus of Viday Vihar is located the Birla Museum of Science and Technology. The museum contains the latest science equipments, models of material science and illustrative diorama, working models, charts & Photographs explaining the principles of the science. It also throws light on the various aspects of engineering science. Sharda Peeth marble temple dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of learning also worth a visit.

Fairs & Festivals
Khatu Shyamji Fair
Khatu Shyamji is famous for its Shyamji temple. There is steady stream of devotees the year round. But lakhs of them gather at the annual fair from Phalgun Sudi Dashmi to Dwadashi. Apart from being a place of pilgrimage, a large number of people come for the Jadula ceremony (the first time all hair is shaved off the head) of their children. Legend connects the place to the epic Mahabharata war. Krishna, it is believed took the form of a Brahmin and asked for the head of Babhruvahan (Barbrick). He then placed the head on hillock os that it could watch the war. Pleased with the sacrifice, Krishna, then blessed Babhruvahan to be worshipped as Shyam himself in Kaliyug.

Shekhawati Festival
The Shekhawati Festival held on 10th & 11th Feburary every year is organized jointly by the State Department of Tourism, District administration of Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu, and the M.R. Morarka GDC Rural Research Foundation. Shekhawati, already famous for its frescoes, is fast becoming a rural tourism destination too. Traveling on horse back, the tourists get a closer view of the countryside and the people. And they return with an indelible imprint of not only the friendliness of the people but also of the agricultural revolution sweeping the villages. The region now exports 80 percent of its crops whereas only a few year ago it could meet only 10 per cent of its requirement through local production for a broad-based discovery of Shekhawati's culture, the festival is spread over a number of venues Nawalgarh, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu. The programmes include a one day tour of the region, camel and jeep safaris, farm visits, rural games, cultural programmes, haveli competitions and fireworks. The driving force behind this festival, the M.R. Morarka GDC Rural Research Foundation, has pioneered integrated rural development since 1993 and has identified tourism as thrust area for creation of employment opportunities. The festival and other efforts of the foundation have convinced the haveli owner of the need to preserve their priceless heritage of frescoes.

How to Reach
Air : Jaipur is the nearest airport, 120 km away from shekhawati.

Train : Mainline railway joining Delhi, Jaipur,Bikaner crosses Shekhawati.

Road : Shekhawati is 120 km by road from Jaipur. THis is the most convenient way to tour Shekhawati and surrounding areas.