Havelis of Shekhawati
Shekhawati as a region is known for
its beautifully painted Havelis, spread over Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Churu
districts in northwestern Rajasthan. Built by rich Marwari merchants of
the region, Shekhawati's magnificent mansions display a unique
architectural style that evolved around the courtyards to ensure safety
and privacy of the womenfolk and protection from the heat of the long
and harsh summers.
Painted predominantly in blue, maroon, yellow, green and indigo the
Havelis of Shekhavati have beautiful frescoes that adorn their walls.
Earlier wall paintings were largely based on the mythological themes,
depicting gods, heroes, epics and local legends; animals, portraits
hunting and wrestling scenes and a glimpses of every day life.
The turn of the 19th century saw the appearance of new motifs, an
outcome of the British Raj's influence upon the Indian Culture. The
paintings continued with the mythological themes, but the new entries
included European oleographs, lithographs and photographs. Trains, cars,
balloons, telephones, gramophones, English men in hunting attires and
portraits of Haveli owners primly dressed were painted profusely.