Hidden Gem of Rajasthan – Shekhawati
Beautifully painted Havelis, colorful murals and grand mansions welcomes you to the Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan. Nestled in the northeast part of the royal state, it is a treasure of history, heritage and architecture. The creative plethora of frescos and castles take you back to the bygone days of Rajputana glory.
Deriving its name from the Rajput Kachwaha chieftain Rao Shekha Ji, Shekhawati was the largest Nizamat of the former princely state of Jaipur. Comprising of districts like Churu, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and parts of Jaipur and Nagaur, the region features baoris, towering forts, and shrines, besides the plentiful havelis which have now been transformed into heritage hotels in India. Also, because the area houses the largest concentration of frescoes in the world, it has been bestowed with the epithet ‘open art gallery of Rajasthan’.
Shekhawati region is spotted in the very popular triangle of Delhi-Jaipur-Bikaner and is a dreamscape for all those wishing to sneak peek into the past.
History of the Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan
Shekhawati region of Rajasthan has an indelible mark in the pages of history. The very first mentions of the region were in the epic of Mahabharata. Moreover, a common belief prevails here that The Vedas, holy texts of Hindus, were written here. During the epoch of Mahabharata, Shekhawati was popular as Matsya Kingdom and was divided into many Janapadas. The founder of beautiful Shekhawati region was MahaRao Shekha Ji, a descendant of the illustrious Kachhawaha Rajput clan. The region became the largest Nizamat in the royal state of Jaipur.
During the 18th to the 20th century Shekhawati region prospered with intricately beautified havelis. The Marwari merchants took pride in the imposing edifices. The interiors and exteriors of the temples, homes and step wells were lavishly adorned with painted murals.
Today, the Shekhawati region houses some treasures of history that are a must visit before it’s too late.
Top attractions of the Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan
Numerous small and medium sized towns and villages teaming up with other attractions come under the must visit attractions in Shekhawati, Rajasthan Temples, so impressive that you can’t take your eyes off them.
- Nawalgarh – A small town, Nawalgarh is also known as ‘the land of Havelis’. The charming place features two grand havelis – Morarka Haveli and Podar Haveli, which have been transformed into museums. Bhagton ki Choti Haveli and Khedwal Bhavan are other top places to visit at Nawalgarh.
- Sethani Ka Johara – Johara means for ‘reservoir’. The finest reservoir holds water from one monsoon to the next and fascinates several animals, birds and Nilgais.
- Kanhaiyalal Bagla Haveli – A beautiful haveli that showcases the intricate lattice work and architectural designs in the region. Feel the love in the air while watching the romantic scenes of Dhola and Maru, a loving couple from the folklores.
- Sikar – Sikar has a plethora of outstanding temples and havelis like Bansidhar Rathi Haveli, Ram Chokhani Haveli, Kedia Haveli, Sanganeria Haveli, Mirijamal Kyala Haveli, the Jeen Mata temple and Radha Murli Manohar temple. A clock tower is another added attraction here.
- Mandawa – Get a feel of the village life and reconnoiter the painted havelis of the Shekhawati at the small market town. Mandwa Castle offers scenic views from its terrace. Mandawa is dotted with striking forts which have been transformed into hotels.
- Ratnagarh Fort – The 18th century fort boasts of many monuments, striking gateway and a clock tower.
- Khetri Mahal – Khetri Mahal is the exemplary of the structural design and fine arts of the region. In spite of having no doors or windows, the Mahal is known as the ‘Wind Palace of Jhunjhunu’. A continuous stream of wind makes it stands out amongst the rest.
- Jhunjhunu – the largest towns grabs the attention because of the sacred temples and old palace and abundance of painted havelis.
- Tal Chhapar Sanctuary – The Sanctuary safely shelters the black bucks and variety of birds.
- Fatehpur – ‘Cultural capital of Shekhawati’ houses Singhania Haveli, Dwarkadheesh Mandir, Fatehchandka Haveli and Nadine Le Prince Cultural Center. These remarkable spots will enthrall you to the core.
- Dundlod – A small picturesque town turned a lavish hotel. A paradise for bird watchers, one can spot black ibis, skylarks and imperial eagle.
- Sri Bihariji Temple – Get insights about the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and Hindu Mythology by looking at the paintings in this temple.
- Ajit Sagar Lake – One of the best places to visit. Don’t forget to bask in the beauty of sunset and sunrises from Moda Pahar nearby.
Famous Festivals of the Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan
- Shekhawati Festival – Shekhawati Festival is celebrated in the month of February every year with an intention to promote tourism in the Shekhawati Region. The fiesta is marked by a variety of events, ranging from folk programs, countryside games, fireworks and haveli competitions. The heritage and culture of the place are showcased in the festival and is hosted at various points around the region.
- Teej – The festival marks the arrival of monsoon. Women sway on the decorated Jhulas, singing folk songs and dressed up in traditional attires.
- Gangaur – Married women worship mata Parvati, better half of Lord Shiva by carrying the wooden idols of the Goddess through the streets and singing folk songs. The festival is celebrated by the women to seek blessings of Ma Parvati while praying for the well being of their husbands. This is a popular festival in Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan.
- Holi – the festival of colors is celebrated with great fervor. Shekhawati’s Holi is famous in entire Rajasthan.
- Chang Dance – Performed from Maha Shivratri to Holi.
Best time for Shekhawati Tour, Rajasthan
The best time for Shekhawati tour, Rajasthan is from October to March because of the pleasant weather during this time. If you’re planning a visit during this time, you should check out our Rajasthan Tour Packages that can efficiently meet your requirements.
Where to Stay in Shekhawati?
Shekhawati is a home to various havelis of Rajasthan. There are various options to stay in the region like resorts, budget hotels, and premium and mid-range hotels to heritage properties. To get a feel of the village life, choose comfortable mud huts.
How to Reach Shekhawati, Rajasthan?
The Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan is well connected via different modes of transport.
Nearest Airport – Jaipur Airport (113 km)
Nearest Railway Station – Jaipur Junction
Nearest Bus Stand – Shekhawati can be reached from different parts of India via bus services from Rajasthan.