Shekhawati

The semi desert region of Shekhawati is a colourful desire, popularly called as ‘open air art gallery’ having a mesmerizing uniquely of its own. It is famous for its surfeit of painted havelis, all commendable pieces of the rich artistic traditional of this region. ‘Shekhawati’, meanings the land of Shekhs clan derives its name from Rao Shekha (1433 A.D.-1488 A.D. ) a scion of the Kachhwaha family of Amber, Jaipur. Earlier a part of the former Jaipur state, it now comprises of the districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar. Initially the region had a blank indeterminate look but with succeeding historical and social expansion it has blossomed into a colourful plethora of art and life for almost two centuries from 1750 AD to 1930 AD.

How to get there
Air : No air service is there.
Trains : Like Shekhavati Express, running between Delhi and Jaipur, Stops at Jhunjhunu, Nawalgarh and Sikr. Pink City Express is another train.
Road : The distance between Jaipur Jhunjhunu is about 185 km, Bikaner Jhunjhunu is about 230 km, Jhunjhunu and Delhi is about 250 km, and the road passes via Rewari and Chirawa. Another route passes via Rohtak and Bhiwani.

Particulars about Shekhawati
Teperature : Summer : Mean Max. : 41.2 0C, Mean Min.: 28.7 0C, Winter : Mean Max. : 30 0C, Mean Min.: 10.5 0C,
Rainfall : 45-60 cms
Best Season : September-March
Clothing  :  Summer : Light Tropical, Witer : Light wollen.
Languages :  Rajasthani, Hindi, English
Havelis: Shekhawati’s splendid havelis or mansions, built by wealthy merchants of the region, exhibits a exclusive architectural style that evolved around the courtyards to make certain safety and privacy of the women folk and guard from the heat of the long and ruthless summers. The havelis, painted predominantly in the blue, maroon, yellows, green and indigo have beautiful wall paintings that embellish their walls. The earlier wall paintings (1830 AD -1900 AD)were largely based on the mythological themes, depicting local legends, animals, portraits, hunting and wrestling scenes and a quick look of everyday life interesting for both Indian and foreign travellers.

-: Places to Visit :-

HarshNathTemple (11 km): An ancient 10th century temples situated on the Harsh Nath hills.
JeenMataTemple(29 km):Believed to have been built a thousand years ago  the temple is the venue of a colourful fair held twice in a year during  `Navaratras’.
Ramgarh: Founded in the late 18th century by the Poddars. The Shani Temple of the Saturn God has delicately painted frescoes. Stunning cenotaphs of the Poddars have delicately painted ceilings. The Ganga Temple and some beautiful havelis add interest to the town.
Fatehpur: Founded in the 15th century by Fateh  Khan-a Kayamkhani Nawab.Its central part isattracted by exquisite havelis- a combination of the Indian andwestern style. Chamariya and Singhania havelis are noteworthy.
Jhunjhunu : The capital of Shekhawati, it is of the largest towns of the district and founded by the Kayamkhani Nawabs in the mid 15th century AD and remained under their control until it was taken over by the Rajput ruler Sardul Singh in 1730 AD. The district town has some wonderfully painted havelis. Easily accessible of these are those of Narsingh Das Tibriwal, Ishwar Das-Mohan Das Modi and the Khaitans.
The most interesting monument is the Khetri Mahal (the Wind Palace) dating back to around 1760 AD with elegant lines. The Sri Bihariji Temple is noted for its beautiful murals. Other places worth visiting include -Badalgarh,Jorawargarh,Mertani Baori,Kamruddin Shah ki Dargah, Birdi Chand ka Kaun,Ajit Sagar and a Jain temple.
Lachhmangarh Fort: One of the most impressive forts in the Shekhawati region, Lachhmangarh commands a bird’s eye view of the town modeled to resemble the city plan of Jaipur. Established in the early 19th century by Raja Lachhman Singh of Sikar, the town has some attractive havelis.
Khatushyamji : The village has a fame for the Shri Khatushyamji temple built in  white marble.
Mandawa: Founded in the 18th century, this medieval fort governs the town with a painted arched gateway decorated with Lord Krishna and his cows. The Chokhani and Ladia havelis and the street with Saraf havelis are some of the marvelous examples of this region. A shiva temple with a rock crystal ‘lingam’ is also worth a visit. The fort is now transformed into a heritage hotel.
Mukundgarh: It is known for it fine havelis, the fort is now a heritage hotel.
Dundlod: Known for its fort and a palace, now running as a heritage hotel. Havelis of the Goenka family are also famous.
Nawalgarh: Established in the 18th century, it has the finest of Shekhawati’s frescoes. It’s two old forts and palace hotel with garden and fountains along with a host of temples known for their architecture and frescoes add interest to the town. The well-known havelis are of the Poddars, Bhagats and Dangaichs.
Bagar: Home of the Rungtas, Bagar was founded by Nagar Pathans in the mid 15th century A.D. It has a reservoir constructed by the Ojha family.
Chirawa: It is a admired trading town between Churu and Loharu. Chirawa is famous for huge havelis. Of particular interest are the havelis of Nand Lal Dalmia,Phool Chand Dalmia,Tara Chand Dalmia,Mangal Chand Dalmia,Duli Chand Kakrania & Nemanis. Kakrania and Poddar wells are also worth visiting.
Pilani: The home of the Birlas, the leading industrialists of India. It has a large campus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) with a gorgeous Saraswati Temple, Shiv Ganga BITS museum. Panchwati and Birla Haveli Museum are also worth seeing.
Surajgarh And Kajara: Surajgarh has an imposing 18th century fort, painted temples and havelis while some striking 19th century havelis can be seen in Kajaria.
Alsisar and Malsisar: Originated in the late and mid 18th centuries respectively, these towns lie at the northern edge of Shekhawati. The angular styles of frescoes in various colours make the trip to these towns an unforgettable one. Beside the fort in Alsisar, the Jhunjhunuwala havelis and a well complex are other interesting structures. The fort, temples and havelis along the main street are also worth a visit.
Bissau: Founded in the mid 18th century,Bissau has splendid chhatris of its Thakurs and finely painted havelis of Khemka,Tibriwala and Kedia.
Mehansar: Established in the mid 18th century, the Sone-Chandi-ki-Haveli and Raghunath temple with beautiful paintings similar to the Bikaner school of art are worth seeing.
Churu : Famous for the Kothar Haveli (1915 AD), Kanhayya Lal Bagla Haveli (1870 AD) having enormous paintings of Dhola Maru, Sassi-Punnu, etc. and the six storeyed Surana Haveli. The distinctive features of the latter one are its good-looking windows, well-designed doors-more than 1,100 in number. Jain temple is also noteworthy.
Salasar Balaji: A famous temple dedicated to Hanumanji is located here.
Ratangarh: The immense fort, constructed in 1820 A.D. by the Maharaja of Bikaner-Ratan Singh, is situated on the Agra Bikaner highway. The market place is in the shape of a cross suggesting that the city was planned before construction. An range of stately havelis can be seen around the Clock Tower at the main crossing.
Sardar Shahar (46 km): This delightful desert town has elegant havelis festooned with colourful paintings and carved woodwork.
Dudhwa Khara (36 km): A extensive historical village lying in the Thar Desert. Besides captivating landscape, the village has huge elegantly designed havelis. One can have a look to the rural life and enjoy camel safaris in the village.
Tal Chhapar Santuary (100 km): Home to the endangered speicies of black buck and some migratory birds.