Commonly called City of Havelis, carrying a scent of Rajasthani culture in the very air that blows here, Mandawa, a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, lies in the Shekhawati region, amidst the arid region of Rajasthan. It was first home to the clan of Shekhawat Rajputs in the mid 18th century. However, the founder of this town is believed to be Mandu Jat and so was this city once called ‘Mandu ki Dhani,’ ‘Mandu Ka Bas’ or ‘Manduwas’ which changed over time to Mandawa. It was once the trading outpost for the ancient caravan routes which attracted many traders to settle who brought great wealth with them. The fascinating mansions or the havelis, with their intricate fresco paintings and mirror-work are a gift from the long forgotten Thakurs.
The Open Art Gallery of Rajasthan
Mandawa is commonly known as the ‘Open Art Gallery’- owing to the vast and fascinating havelis or the mansions which are a great attraction for the tourists and are a great contribution to the heritage of our country.
There are a number of fascinating havelis in Mandawa, all of them designed with beautiful wall paintings. Some of them are:
Hanuman Prasad Goenka haveli
This haveli depicts a painting of Indra Dev on an elephant and Lord Shiva on his Nandi bull.
Image Source- Wikimedia
Founded in the 18th century, the Mandawa fort is an imposing, beautiful structure overlooking the whole town. While it has great fresco art on its walls and it houses many antiques and old artefacts, it has recently been converted into a lavish heritage hotel.
Mohan Lal Saraf haveli
A picture of a Maharaja stroking his mustaches beautifies this haveli.
Aakharam ka haveli
Located in the main market of the town, it is one of the many havelis that light up this town
While it is best known for its grand Janmaashtmi and Holi celebrations, it is a major Hindu shrine attracting many devotees on a regular basis, besides being another of the fantastic specimens of Rajasthani architecture here.
How to Reach
Jaipur is the nearest airport from Mandawa and is about 168 Km away.
Jhunjhunu is the nearest railhead from Mandawa. The station is linked to major cities like Delhi, Bikaner, and Jaipur.
Mandawa is well connected by road with many cities in Rajasthan.
Best time to visit
The ideal season for a visit to Mandawa is from October to March; the winters turn this town into the best place for sightseeing with a pleasant climate.