MANDAWA TRAVEL GUIDE:
Location: 190 km From Jaipur, Rajasthan
Tourist Attractions: Mandawa Fort, Haveli
Best Season: October-March
Mandawa is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. It is part of the 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 the 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 – Mandawa 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.
Geography of Mandawa:
Mandawa is located at 28.05° N 75.15° E. It has an average elevation of 316 metres (1036 feet). in the north side it has four village named bazisar kamalsar kuharu and godu ka bas and east side three village named tetara(chandrpura), syopura and hanumanpura (dular ka bas), south sides village name are mithwas, dinwa ladhkhani and west side are sadinsar, tihawali and dabari
As of 2001 India census, Mandawa had a population of 20,717. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Mandawa has an average literacy rate of 58%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 70%, and female literacy is 45%. In Mandawa, 18% of the population is under 6 years of age.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN MANDAWA:
Mandawa fort: 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 Lord Krishna and his cows. Built as per a medieval theme, the castle of Mandawa is adorned with beautiful frescoes. The rooms of this palace are decorated with Lord Krishna paintings, exquisite carvings and amazing mirror work. The Durbar Hall of the palace houses a number of antiques and paintings.
Situated in the middle of the town, the Mandawa Fort has now been converted into a heritage hotel.
Havelis: 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.
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 monumental façade of elephants and horses. The outer walls, jutting balconies, alcoves and overhanging upper storeys of the Goenka Double Haveli are replete with patterns and paintings, ranging from traditional Rajasthani women and religious motifs to Europeans in stylish hats and Victorian finery.
Murmuria Haveli: 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 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.
Jhunjhunwala Haveli: The haveli is decorated with striking gold leaf painted room to the right of main courtyard.
Mohan Lal Saraf Haveli: The 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 Mandawa. Blue washes here and there betray twentieth-century censorship of the erotic scenes that had been commonly accepted one hundred years earlier.
The Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, Lakshminarayan Ladia Haveli and Chokhani Double Haveli are some other 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 is a couple of chhatris, and a step-well, still used today and bearing paintings inside its decorative corner domes.