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Shekhawati

This is a semi desert region in north Rajasthan and it is situated entirely in the triangle between Delhi-Bikaner-Jaipur. Shekhawati is a region and not just a town or fort; it takes its name after its ruler Rao Shekha. Shekhawati means the garden of Shekha. 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 plethora of painted Havelis is 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. Founded in the 18th Century by Nawal Singh, it has some of the finest frescos in the Shekhawati region.

A huge fort with colourful bazaar and numerous havelis with elaborate architecture makes it an interesting destination for a 1day / 1 night stay. There are a few prominent havelis like Anandilal Poddar Haveli, Aath Haveli, Hodh Raj Patodia Haveli etc., which are to be visited, and so are the two forts 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 o visuals.

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. 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.

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