Introducing Northern Rajasthan (Shekhawati)
Far less visited than other parts of Rajasthan, the Shekhawati region is most famous for its extraordinary painted havelis (traditional, ornately decorated residences), highlighted with dazzling, often whimsical murals. Part of the region’s appeal and mystique is due to these works of art being found in tiny towns, connected to each other by single-track roads that run through lonely, arid countryside. Today it seems curious that such care, attention and finance was lavished on these out-of-the-way houses, but from the 14th century onwards, Shekhawati’s towns were important trading posts on the caravan routes from Gujarati ports.
What makes the artwork on Shekhawati’s havelis so fascinating is the manner in which their artists combined traditional subjects, such as mythology, religious scenes and images of the family, with contemporary concerns, including brand-new inventions and accounts of current events, many of which these isolated painters rendered straight from their imagination.