The biggest challenge in planning a weekend getaway is choosing a location in prevailing 44-degree temperature. After googling n numbers of websites, browsing various travel books it was finally decided that the trip is happening at Shekhawati in Rajasthan. The minimum requirements stated by the kids were AC and swimming pool, which actually narrowed down our search for a good accommodation. So finally we (four families) decided to head towards Nawalgarh, a place 140 kms from Jaipur.
Nawalgarh is a preferred place in a foreigner’s itinerary, just that it is supposed to be visited in winters and not in scorching Rajasthani summers in April. But then what is life without some adventure. The drive from Jaipur to Nawalgarh is quite smooth. We took the Jaipur-Bikaner highway on which the traffic at the worst possible scenario was modest. We went on this highway till Sikar from where we took the bypass skipping the main city. Nawalgarh is around 27 kms from Sikar. Although we realized the mistake later, we entered the main city of Nawalgarh from highway itself. Driving one Innova and a Scorpio on a narrow lanes of Nawalgarh with variuos cows, dogs and other creatures for company was really an amusing experience.
Next day we headed for the city tour, as a trip to Shekhawati can never be complete without witnessing those beautifully decorated Haveli’s. According to the sources, Nawalgarh offers largest numbers of painted Haveli’s in Shekhawati belt. Although you could find the painted havelis on the streets of Nawalgarh itself but still there are few, which are now converted into the Museums and are preserved to see future. The most famous are the Poddar Haveli (Rs 50) and Aath Haveli’s (Eight). Though only six Haveli now remains in Aath Haveli. The best of this is Morarka Haveli (Rs 50). Beautifully done up with some mesmerizing paintings and wooden work (jharokhas). As present in all the Haveli’s, there is a courtyard in center and all the room are connected to this. The structure is vertical where the stairs keeps going up from this courtyard itself. The ground floor would have a "Baithak" or a drawing room of today. The ladies and kids made the most of it by stretching their legs in a very cool and relaxed temperature with just a ceiling fan operating.
All in all, it was indeed a pleasure to witness Rajasthan’s hidden heritage and also were very relieved to see them preserved well for our future generations. A must visit for people having keen interest in architecture and art.