Mandawa – With a rich heritage and cultural treat, Rajasthan has always been the epicenter of tourism. Attracting travelers from every nook of the world, the state has several gems waiting to be explored. With lakes, castles, forts, diverse flora and fauna, and handicrafts, Rajasthan has something for everyone, be it peace-seeker, excursionist, culturalist, or naturalist.
Dipped in art and craft with an extravaganza of nature, the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan is home to Mandawa. Presenting a world painted in art and culture with an exquisite troupe of Havelis, the city is a feast for those who love getting drenched in art, culture, nature, and history. Mandawa is full of intricate designs and appealing murals.
Without further ado, let’s explore Mandawa.
Mandawa – A city of Havelis
Located in the Shekhawati area, Mandawa is a town in Rajasthan’s city of Jhunjhunu, around 190 kilometers in the north of Jaipur. Mandawa stands out for its well-designed and massive forts and Havelis. The town is well-connected to the rest of the Shekhawati region via a well-maintained road network. Looking for the Mandawa Pin Code? Well, it’s 333704.
History of Mandawa
Mandawa traces its history back to the 18th century. Back then, the city of Mandawa was designated as a “Thikana,” meaning whereabouts. This location was first known as ‘Mandu ki Dhani,’ ‘Mandu ka Vaas,’ or ‘Manduvas.’ The name, Mandu, is derived from Mandu Jat who is believed to be the founder of Mandawa village. The site was later named ‘Manduwa,’ ‘Mandwa,’ and finally ‘Mandawa.’
In past times, Mandawa Rajasthan used to be a trading outpost for the old routes between China and the Middle East. It was a remote feudal principality in the Shekhawati area. Thakur Nawal Singh, the Rajput king of Nawalgarh and Mandawa at that time, built a fort in 1755 to safeguard this outpost. A substantial community of traders quickly settled around the Mandawa Fort Rajasthan.
Mandawa as Open Air Art Gallery
The lovely town of Mandawa is known as the “Open Art Gallery” as a whole. Traders en route to the Silk Road stopped here back in the 18th century. Mesmerized by the beauty of the place, many of them preferred to construct their residences here, leading to an array of uniquely built Havelis that largely stood the test of the time.
The presence of Mandawa Haveli contributes to making Mandawa India an open art gallery that keeps a steady stream of visitors from across the world, all year round. Into these exquisite structures converge the architectural practices of different clans, presenting a cultural diversity that’s hard to find elsewhere. If you want to reminisce about Mandawa’s art and culture, take home one of the magnificent artworks sold on the local streets here.
Best time to visit
Though Mandawa offers comfort and serenity anytime throughout the year, the best time to visit is when the weather is pleasant. In winters, the temperature plummets to single digits or even zero here. On the other hand, this town is sweltering in the summer, with temperatures touching 50 degrees Celsius and higher.
The heat begins to fade in October, and the weather gets pleasant. Due to the gratifying weather, it is considered the best time to visit Mandawa to enjoy the trip to the fullest.
1. Summers (April – June)
A trip to Mandawa is not recommended during summers. The environment in the area is hot and oppressive, especially during the day when temperatures can reach 45 degrees Celsius.
2. Monsoon (July – September)
Although the cool wind and lovely environment entice some travelers in the offseason, this is not the best time to visit Mandawa.
3. Winter (October – March)
Plan your trip to Mandawa during winters. It’s the best time to be here, with a great climate and a welcoming atmosphere awaiting travelers. From October through December, the neighborhood becomes vibrant and picturesque, making it ideal for sightseeing.
How to reach Mandawa
Mandawa is well-connected by road to various cities and states of India and therefore reaching here is not that hard. Once you reach Rajasthan, regular private and government buses ply between Mandawa and other cities of the state.
Mandawa per se does not have a direct flight or rail connection. The closest airport is the Jaipur International Airport, around 150 kilometers away. Mandawa’s nearest railway station is in Dundlod Mukundgarh, just 17 kilometers away.
1. By car
Reaching Mandawa by road is not troublesome but a fascinating road trip. It is fairly connected to Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, and other key Shekhawati cities. You can expect a regular inter-city, round-the-clock bus service to and from the city. For the same route, travelers can also board individual and shared cabs.
2. By train
Jhunjhunu railway station is around 30 kilometers away from Mandawa. A few trains from Delhi, Jaipur, and Bikaner pass by Jhunjhunu station.
3. Public transport
Because Mandawa is a tiny town, visitors can walk from one location to another. Buses and shared rickshaw rides are other options for local commutation. Camel carts and camel rides are also good ways to explore the town and its attractions from close quarters.
Sites to Enjoy in Mandawa
The heritage richness of Mandawa offers sightseeing opportunities galore. Making sure that the experience marvels the eyes and mesmerizes the heart, Mandawa has forts, Havelis, and massive Palaces to explore and cherish. That’s why they call Mandawa the city of Havelis. Let’s discuss some of the sites worth exploring in the city.
1. Mandawa Fort
Mandawa Fort is a majestic structure that has been converted into a hotel. Standing tall as a testament to Mandawa’s rich cultural heritage, the fort is a perfect amalgamation of class and royalty. It is located in the Shekhawati region, which blooms in a rainbow of colors amid the golden desert. The fort was owned by the Mandawa aristocratic family that decided to share this beautiful work of art and mighty splendor with the rest of the world.
The palace-turned-heritage-hotel offers commoners a peek into the erstwhile regality and ultimate in luxury while admiring the palatial architecture marked by intricate details. The experience of staying here resurrects the luxury of the royalties through the elaborate and lavish hotel that oozes elegance and style. The fort is characterized by magnificent decorations, murals, and paintings. Serving visitors a beautiful blend of a bygone period and new-age amenities, the palace ensures a comfortable vacation accommodation.
Activities at the Fort
When at Mandawa Fort, feel free to be a part of several recreational activities. You can experience the thrills of various fire dances that will keep you in the groove. Bring out the kid in you with puppet shows and camel and vintage automobile rides readily available at the fort. Prefer horse riding and jeep safaris for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
3. Ladia Haveli Gulab Rai
With its life-like murals illustrating the many stages of life, this opulent Mandawa Haveli is one of the most important destinations to visit in Mandawa. The murals and paintings of this massive Haveli stand out for their perfection, detailing, and magnificence.
A horse mounting a tiger, a Greek man, birds presenting their eggs, the birth of a baby, and other uncommon and unexpected scenes may all be found on the walls of this mansion. The Haveli also boasts some of the most beautifully carved wooden pieces of art, in addition to its unique wall arts.
It is one of the city’s largest Havelis and a splendid specimen of the Rajput era in the 18th century. If you want to experience royalty and art closely, visiting Ladia Haveli Gulab Rai makes sense.
4. Haveli Murmuria
This haveli is famous for its life-like paintings of some of the prominent personalities of the bygone era. An artwork depicting Jawaharlal Nehru riding a horse and carrying tricolor can be seen in the Haveli.
The Murmuria Haveli, created in the traditional Rajasthani style, is a breath-taking structure, thanks to the exotic Rajasthani architecture. Even though it was constructed in the 1930s, it remains one of Mandawa Rajasthan’s most popular tourist destinations. Its artwork is impressive, and travellers never get tired of appreciating its paintings.
5. Haveli Bansidhar Newatia
Haveli Bansidhar Newatia is another must-see Mandawa Haveli Jaipur attraction if you want a glimpse into the royal lives of Rajasthan’s Rajput monarchs. This exquisitely constructed Haveli allows travelers to experience ancient tradition, art, and technology in unison. Its magnificent architecture and design are also worth admiring.
In comparison to other Rajasthani Havelis, the drawings on the walls of this Haveli are way more intriguing and unusual. You can see paintings of youngsters talking on the phone, a woman watching the Wright brothers’ first successful flight, a European woman traveling in a chauffeur-driven automobile, and other exciting depictions of the era long gone.
6. The Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli
If you wish to get up close and personal with Rajasthani traditional art and culture, the Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli should be on your bucket list. The Haveli is known for its elaborate carvings on the walls, pillars, and stunning artwork that will leave you awe-struck.
The structure has also functioned as a palace for numerous Rajput rulers, exemplifying the ancient Rajputana lifestyle. For all visitors, the historical artworks, murals, and magnificently carved arched gateways are undoubtedly one of the prominent attractions. It also displays legendary animals, including the Gods and Goddesses, symbolizing Rajputana traditions.
7. The Harlalka Well
A rustic and picturesque spot, this is only a few feet away from the Murmuria Haveli. The well is incredibly deep and carries plenty of water. Take a camel ramp up to the well but maintain precaution. Mind you, there are no guard railings to prevent falling in. This is one of the spots where you can unwind and enjoy some peace and calmness.
8. The Double Haveli of Chokhani
This Haveli dates back to 1910, built for the families of two brothers from the Chokhani family. It houses a wide variety of murals, including Lord Krishna, English soldiers, vehicles, males in European attire, peacocks, and floral frescoes. That makes the Haveli one of the essential Mandawa tourist destinations. The Haveli has some large courtyards reflecting the kind of sway the British had on the local monarchs and culture.
Mandawa- a Treat of Art and Culture
Mandawa is a celebration of artwork and culture. History speaks of its royalness, and its people share the love of art with the world. Being in a city that makes travelers forget the reality of time and take a trip to the past is worth investing some holiday time in. Just step into a world that lives and breathes art and history. You won’t feel like leaving it soon. From the Havelis to the local homes, the fantastic art and craft win you over.
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