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Shekhawati Travel Guide
Home >> Rajasthan Cities >> Shekhawati Travel Guide

Shekhawati Fact File


North – West Rajasthan, India
185 Kms. from Jaipur and 230 Kms. from Bikaner.

Major Attractions:

Magnificent Paintings on the Walls of Houses, Forts and Monuments.

Must Experience:

Glimpse beautiful unique architectural style Frescos, Visit Forts and Palaces in nearby places. Stay at grand heritage hotels and experience the Maharaja lifestyle.


Paintings, Paper and Cloth Murals, Decorated Chests, Chairs, Cradles, Wood Crafted Utensils.

Where to Eat:

Roop Niwas Palace and Casle Mandawa are famous for Indian, Continental and Rajasthani Food. Mukundgarh Fort has multi-cuisine restaurant. Apna Dhani and Dera Dundlod Fort are best option for Traditional Food.

STD Code:


Best Time to Visit:

September to March


Hindi, Rajasthani and Marwari

Getting there:

Air: The nearest Airport is Sanganer Airport in Jaipur.
Train: Two major Railway Stations nearby are Jaipur and Bikaner. Numerous important trains link these stations with Delhi, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Udaipur and so on.
Road: The best way to access Shekhawati by road is from Jaipur or from Bikaner. Both of the cities are well networked by roads with many other cities in Rajasthan and northern part of India.

About Shekhawati:
Shekhawati is a semi desert region in north-west Rajasthan and Shekhawati is a region and not just a town or fort; it takes its name after its ruler Rao Shekha. Shekhawati, meaning the garden of Shekha, derives its name from Rao Shekha, its former ruler. Known as the "Open art gallery of Rajasthan", this region is mainly famous for its amazing havelis richly painted and decorated. These havelis of Shekhawati in Rajasthan, India were built by the wealthy merchants of the past. They served as a measure of the prosperity and success of the merchants. The grander the haveli, the more prosperous the merchant was believed to be.

The plethora of painted Havelis in rich artistic tradition makes it commendable and fascinating. Most of the buildings are dated from 18th century to early 20th century. The Shekhawati landscape is dotted with so many havelis that tracking them is something like a treasure hunt. Various forms of fine art adorn the walls and the ceilings of these structures, complimenting the otherwise flat and barren land. The havelis are noted for their frescos depicting mythological themes and that of huge animals. Apart from the havelis, other highpoints of Shekhawati travel and tourism include forts, minor castles, mosques, step wells (baoris) and royal cenotaphs (chattris), etc. There are also a number of excursion places near Shekhawati that add to the tourist appeal of the region. A visit to Shekhawati will take you back to the bygone era of the city. The massive havelis, beautiful paintings and other amazing monuments will make your trip worthwhile.

No other region in Rajasthan is perhaps as artistically rich as Shekhawati. Beautiful images by using vibrant colours have been created here not as a hobby or professional practice but as a way of life. Often called as an Open Air Art Gallery, Shekhawati provides an amazing experience to those with an eye for art and paintings. Shekhawati shopping destinations are mostly famous for their excellent handicrafts. Amongst the numerous handicrafts, the paintings of Shekhawati are quite popular. You will find some amazing paintings to use as decoration pieces for your home or even take back as gifts. Especially, the frescos painted on paper and cloth are truly amazing. Shopping places in Shekhawati can also provide you with some excellent furniture. Carved and decorated chests, chairs, cradles, low tables, stools, etc are very much preferred by the Shekhawati shoppers. There are numerous other utilities made up of wood like made-as-old furniture available in the city. Apart from these wooden items, the popular shopping items of Shekhawati include textiles, tie-dye fabrics, brass and iron scissors, metal utensils, bangles, etc. Shopping in Shekhawati definitely proves to be a pleasant experience for its visitors.

Mukundgarh, a fort palace built around the temple square in the Shekhawati region is famous for its handicraft market. The brass ware and iron scissors made here, are of good quality. The fort is now a heritage property. The Kanoria and Ganeriwala Havelis of Mukundgarh carry fine examples of fresco painting. The ancient 10th century Harsh Nath Temple situated on the Harsh Nath hills in the Shekhawati Region is also a must watch tourist destination. Mandawa Castle, Churu town, Bissau town, Chirawa town, The Jeen Mata temple. Salasar Balaji Temple are the few other sites in Shekhawati which are worth watching.

History of Shekhawati:
This is a semi desert region in north Rajasthan and it is situated entirely in the triangle between Delhi-Bikaner-Jaipur. The name SHEKHAWATI is derived from the name of the Shekhawat rulers who had been ruling from past five centuries. (The word WATI means a place surrounded) and the region surrounded with the descendents of "Rao Shekha" was called "SHEKHAWATI”. King Shekha was born in the 14th Century and he ruled from 1502-1543, he had made "Amar-Sar-Naan" his first capital of his kingdom. After this King and his descendents expanded their kingdom. King Shekha was a great warrior, strategist, wise leader, ideal King and he liked freedom.His successors were very courageous were patriots of art and they promoted the various forms of art in their times.

The towns of Shekhawati are eminent for their amazing painted havelis. Such is the appeal of the havelis that this region is dubbed as "open art gallery of Rajasthan". The Shekhawati landscape is dotted with so many havelis that tracking them is something like a treasure hunt. Various forms of fine art adorn the walls and the ceilings of these structures, complimenting the otherwise flat and barren land. The havelis are noted for their frescos depicting mythological themes and that of huge animals. There are also forts, minor castles, mosques, wells called baoris and chattris to discover.

Monuments and Places to Visit in Shekhawati:

Nawalgarh- 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 The palace hotel Roop Niwas that is a beautiful heritage property and is renovated with modern facilities. The Palace offers spacious painted rooms, Luxurious interiors, graceful hospitality and great thematic evenings with sumptuous cuisine. The registered painting in their Art Gallery is a treat to the visuals.

Dundlod- Dundlod destination is in the heart of Shekhawati Region, founded in 1750 and about 7 km from Nawalgarh the fort is a blend of the Rajput and Mughal Art and architecture the Diwan- e- khas (Hall of private Audience) has stained glass windows, find antiques and an impressive library. The fort is converted into a cozy and comfortable abode. The dress code of the state and grand hospitality with the horse guards are an attractive factor. The Goenka Haveli is worth a visit for the beautiful frescos and the fine mirror work above the windows and features of Florets and birds in the outer courtyard.

One of the principal feudal principalities of Shekhawati, the havelis of this charming small town is beautifully painted, and some of them are over two hundred years old. There are better-preserved paintings in few other havelis and chattris. A peep into the village on a camel safari is rather interesting. A fine breed of horses has been a passion with the family ancestors and continues till this time by their descendent. These royal studs are available for riding and horse safari.

Mukungarh- Founded in the mid 18th century by Raja Mukund Singh, this is a small town, only 14 km from Mandawa and 2 km from Dundlod in the Shekhawati region. Built around a temple square, Mukundgarh has a good handicraft market. Besides textiles, the brassware and iron scissors made here are of good quality. The Kanoria and Ganeriwala Havelis carry fine examples o fresco paintings. Mukungarh has a magnificent fort, which has been converted into a heritage hotel and in its conversion into heritage property, Cross Country Hotels has retained the atmosphere this 250 years old fort with its charming, painted interiors that include the typical Shekhawati frescoes.

Mandawa- Founded in the mid 18th century Mandawa skyline today is dominated by an imposing mirage like fort now a heritage hotel that is maintained in the classic medieval theme with the modern luxuries. The painted archway is painted with interesting forms of paintings of Lord Krishna and his cowherds. The sprawling architecture houses a different theme in different wings. The spacious rooms are adorned by intricate interior wall paintings and mirror work with open terrace that offers a panoramic view of the whole town. The Mandawa family has a unique collection of their preserved paintings and antiques that adorn the main huge hall in the centre of the castle, originally the durbar hall and now an exotic lounge. The hotel is well equipped with modern facilities in an ethnic set-up. A night stay is an experience in itself with thematic evenings and oriented and medieval cuisine. The warm hospitality is touching.

Fatehpur- The town of Fatehpur was once under the rule of the Muslim Nawabs. A historic town in Shekhawati, Fatehpur has some beautiful havelis. 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.

The Havelis- The key attractions at Shekhawati are the frescoed Havelis and mansions built by the early Marwaris. The buildings painted in rich colors belong to the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. The beautiful and fascinating havelis of Shekhawati have proved to be a major tourist appeal. Striking architecture, graceful interiors and massive parapets of the havelis stand witness to the wealth and prosperity of the Marwari merchants. Adorned with exquisite murals and delicately latticed and carved windows, these havelis present an awe-inspiring sight. Almost every havelis is decorated with magnificent mirror work and paintings festooned with gold or silver leaf. During the old days, these wooden carvings and gold and silver paintings were assumed to be symbolical of the owner's status and wealth.Unlike havelis and palaces built by other rulers, like Mughals, these havelis consist of several courtyards. There is an inner courtyard and an outer one; in larger ones there are more than two. One can have a good idea of the prosperity as was enjoyed by the business class.

Lachhmangarh Fort- 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. Lachhmangarh commands a bird’s eye view of the town modeled to resemble the city plan of Jaipur. The town has some lovely havelis.

Jhunjhunu - Jhunjhunu is the biggest town in the Shekhawati region and are the district administrative head quarters for the region. It is located a 180 kms from Jaipur and 245 kms from Delhi. The Khemkhani Nawabs founded the town in the 15th century. The Rajput ruler Sardul Sigh took control of the town by 1730 and the British raised and based of locals here in 1830. The brigade main task was to contain dacoits, which were mainly local chieftains. The town is approachable by train and road from Jaipur and Delhi. The town has decent accommodation to stay and can be an ideal base to stay while exploring the Shekhawati region.

Pilani - Once a small village is famous for being the hometown of the premier business and industrial family the Birlas. The town is also for its The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani is an all-India Institute for higher education. Its engineering college is reputed to be the top ten colleges in India.

BissauBissau is another small town of fluctuating fortunes. Keshri Singh founded the town. The town fell into anarchies when his grandson Shyam Singh extorted huge sums of money from the local merchant. The merchants packed up and fled the town and the local Thakurs resorted wide spread looting and decoity. However on the death of Shyam Singh his heir then restored normalcy and the merchants were encouraged.

Parasrampuria- Parasrampuria a tiny village 20 kms southwest of Navalgarh. It boasts of some the oldest and the best preserved Shekhavati paintings in the region. The Shyamji Sharaf Haveli and 18th century haveli located near the bus stand has well conserved paintings. Paintings show a grandmother having her hair attended and women on a spinning wheel. An English woman is polished boots and holding a parasol. Another frieze depicts Europeans in a car. Other frescos depict Gods and Goddess.

The climate of Shekhawati, like the other cities of Rajasthan, is of a typical desert type. Shekhawati weather experiences hot and dry summers. The average temperature remains in the range of 41.2° C (max) to 29° C (min). The climatic conditions of Shekhawati, Rajasthan in the winter season are cooler, but again dry. The average temperature falls in the range of 30° C (max) to 10.5° C (min). Between the months of July and mid September is the monsoon season, when the atmosphere gets very humid.

How to reach Shekhawati:

Air: - Sanganer Airport located at Jaipur is a nearest airport from Shekhawati city. Jaipur airport is connected to metro cities Mumbai and Delhi and also major cities of India.

Train: - Jhunjhunu is the nearest railway station to Shekhawati. This railhead is on the Broad Gauge line between Mumbai and Delhi and is connected to all cities in India by trains.

Road: - Shekhawati is connected by regular bus services to other cities in and around. Many Rajasthan state public transport buses connecting Shekhawati with Jaipur.

Local: - Taxis, Auto and Cycle-rickshaws are available.

For more details kindly enquire now for the above proposed tour.

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