Mandawa is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. It is part of Shekhawati region. Mandawa is situated 190 km off Jaipur in the north. The town lies between latitude 28° 06′ in the north and longitude 75° 20′ in the east. Mandawa is known for its fort and havelis. The fort town of Mandawa is well connected with the other places in region through a good network of roads.
History of Mandawa
The City of Mandawa was made a thikana in the mid of 18th century by the Bhojraj Ji Kasubsub clan of Shekhawat Rajputs. About the origin of this town there have been earlier references to Mandu Jat as founder of the Mandawa village. He first established a dhani (hamlet) and dug a well here, which was completed on savan badi 5 samvat 1797 (1740 AD) (source – Shekhawati Bodh, Mandawa special issue, July 2005). Initially this place was known as ‘Mandu ki dhani’, ‘Mandu ka bas’ or ‘Manduwas’ which changed to ‘Manduwa’, ‘Mandwa’ and finally ‘Mandawa’.
A remote feudal principality in the centre of the Shekhawati region, Mandawa was a trading outpost for the ancient caravan routes that stopped here from China and the Middle East. Thakur Nawal Singh, the Rajput ruler of Nawalgarh and Mandawa, built a fort in 1755 to protect this outpost. The township that grew around the fort soon attracted a large community of traders, who settled here.
Climate of Mandawa
The fort of Mandawa was founded in the 18th century. Thakur Nawal Singh, son of Shardul Singh, founded the fort in Vikram Samvat 1812 (1755 AD). The fort dominates the town with a painted arched gateway adorned with frescoes of Lord Krishna and his cows. Built as per a medieval theme, the castle of Mandawa is adorned with beautiful frescoes. Rooms in the palace are decorated with paintings of Lord Krishna, exquisite carvings and amazing mirror work. The palace’s Durbar Hall houses a number of antiques and paintings.
Situated in the middle of the town, the Mandawa Fort has been converted into a heritage hotel.
This town has been referred to as the “open art gallery” of Rajasthan because the entire Shekhawati region and not just Mandawa is dotted with fascinating mansions(havelis) that have lavishly painted walls.
Sewaram Saraf Haveli
This 100-year-old Haveli is famous for its architecture and paintings, Bollywood’s Favorite Destination for Movie Shooting, PK, Bajrangi Bhaijan, Mirza Sahibaan and many more
Ram Pratap Nemani Haveli
The Haveli has been recently converted into a Heritage Hotel where one can experience untouched frescos dating back to the 18th century. Vivaana Culture Hotel is a captivating twin haveli adorned with fascinating paintings. Both the exterior and interior boast of superb and rare artifacts and frescos. The over a century old haveli has been lovingly restored and renovated maintaining the old world charm.
Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli
This haveli has a painting depicting Indra Dev on an elephant and Lord Shiva on his Nandi bull.
Goenka Double Haveli
This haveli, with two gates, has a monumental façade of elephants and horses. The outer walls, jutting balconies, alcoves and overhanging upper storeys are replete with patterns and paintings, ranging from traditional Rajasthani women and religious motifs to Europeans wearing stylish hats and other Victorian finery.
The paintings of trains, cars, George V, and Venice were executed on the walls of this haveli during the 1930s by Balu Ram, one of the last working artists of the region. In pictures – like Lord Krishna with his cows in the English courtyard and a young Nehru on a horseback, holding the national flag – this haveli uses a unique theme blending the East with the West. The haveli also features a long frieze depicting a train with a crow flying above the engine and much activity at the railway crossing.
The haveli features a striking gold leaf painted room located to the right of main courtyard.
Mohan Lal Saraf Haveli
A picture of a Maharaja stroking his moustaches beautifies this haveli.
Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli
This haveli is located in the south of town, where the decoration of the outer and inner walls is perhaps the finest in Shekhawati. Blue washes here and there betray twentieth-century censorship of the erotic scenes that had been commonly acceptable one hundred years earlier.
The Bansidhar Newatia Haveli, Lakshminarayan Ladia Haveli and Chokhani Double Haveli are some of the other painted havelis in the area.
Murals in the Thakurji temple, located opposite the Goenka Double Haveli and the Murmuria Haveli, include soldiers being shot from the mouths of cannons, a reflection of the horrors of the Mutiny of 1857. Further west are a couple of chhatris, and a step-well, still used today and bearing paintings inside its decorative corner domes.
Aakharam ka Haveli
This more than 100 year old haveli is located in main market of the town, near Sonthaliya Darwaza.
If you are planning on how to reach Mandawa then make sure you know a few details before your tour to Mandawa. Mandawa is quite accessible from the major states in the country.
One of the nearest airports from Mandawa is Jaipur which is just 168 km away. If you are planning how to reach Mandawa by air then you have to book flights for Jaipur. It is one of the notable domestic airports. You can reach Jaipur from different states of the country like Delhi, Mumbai and Udaipur. From there you can avail the bus or taxi services to reach Mandawa.
Jhunjhunu is one of the nearest railheads to Mandawa. If you want to know how to reach Mandawa by rail then please note that you can take a train to Jhunjhunu from Jaipur, Delhi or Bikaner.
One can reach Mandawa from Jaipur Bikaner and Udaipur. A convenient network of roads connects Mandawa with the rest of the states of Rajasthan and rest of the country.