Top 6 Famous Havelis in Rajasthan
A Royal Canvas
The Mughals, British, Portuguese, Dutch French and Chinese, among others, have been around India the past few hundred years, coming in contact with the Royalties of the country. A colourful blend of different cultures is what results in the architectural beauties that stand tall today in the state of Rajasthan.
The basic ingredients for the art and architecture of a typically Rajasthani haveli include Hindu motifs like elephants, lotuses, peacocks and parrots, Islamic geometric patterns and jaalis or lattices grills and screens, a pinch of colonnaded pillars and chhatris or umbrellas and a dash of anglicised gargoyles, fountains and gardens.
The colours, patterns, texture and material used in these havelis or palaces serve a purpose, apart from decorating the structures. In a country like India, and particularly Rajasthan, where people compensate the dullness of the land with each possible opportunity of colour, they seem to take a keen interest in their doors, elegantly carved windows and richly decorated interiors, which form a major part of this style of architecture.
Pal Haveli – Jodhpur
The interior of this haveli are as much an attraction as the exteriors. Painted yellow on the outside, with red sandstone jharokhas (overhanging balconies used in Indian architecture) and latticed window screens in between walls, it is constructed in a typically Rajasthani architectural style. The haveli, located below the majestic Mehrangarh Fort on one hand and overlooking the old Clock Tower on the other, is centrally located amidst the chaotic old city of Jodhpur. Built by the Thakur (Indian feudal title) of Pal in 1847, the house has been inhabited by his descendants for 150 years. The main entrance from the street level leads guests to a large courtyard, decorated with ornate pillars, antique doorways and frescos, which are expended and refreshed to commemorate family milestones. The mardana or social section contains most ornate Rajput architecture, including original stain-glass windows. Elaborately painted pillars and displays of Rajput artefacts and weapons in most rooms are combined with modern amenities for the guests in its dozen odd rooms.
Location :Gulab Sagar, Near Clock Tower, Jodhpur, Rajasthan (342001)
Phone : +91-9672293328 / 2638344
Email :email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Bhairon Vilas – Bikaner
Bhairon Vilas is another haveli that rates high on its location. The architecture is simple in comparison to most havelis of Rajasthan; the dark maroon-red washed walls of the haveli give it a look and feel of red sandstone construction, a popular material used by Mughals in their forts. The builder of Bhairon Singh, was a cousin of the 21st Maharaja Ganga Singhji, who ruled Bikaner.
In 1916, he became the Prime Minister of Bikaner, though it seems Bhairon Singh never really exploited his resources like many other Prime Ministers, who spent a lot of time and money embellishing their residences. As a result, Bhairon Vilas today stands as a large but simple haveli, the 15 odd rooms within have been renovated to suit modern visitors. A lot of artefacts, paintings and antiques from the family heirlooms are displayed in many of the rooms. The most interesting part of Bhairon Vilas is the bar; a mix and match of animal trophies, antiques, and pop art and film posters from the 1960’s that give the narrow bar a cosy and warm feel.
Hotel Bhairon Vilas–A Heritage Haveli
Near Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Pin Code:334001
Phone : 0151-2544751, 9928312283, 9414500269
Mandawa Haveli – Mandawa, Shekhawati
The town of Mandawa is an excellent base to explore the painted towns of Shekhawati. Mandawa is a town unlike any other. It has a dist inct style of open air art gallery havelis as the exteriors are painted from wall to ceiling, with vibrant frescoes depicting rural Indian life or tales from Indian epics. The Mandawa haveli is about 160 years old and was brought over by a small local businessman, Dinesh Dhabai, in 1986. Saving it from demolition, he renovated the place over the years. This is also the oldest haveli in the Shekhawati region to have been renovated and run as a hotel. The well preserved painting within depict tales from the Mahabharata, with scenes of Lord Krishna playing the flute or romancing the gopis (milkmaids).
Location : Near Sonthaliya Gate, Mandawa Shekhawati Distt. Jhunjhunu-333704, Rajasthan-India
Phone : +91-1592-223088 / 224060, 8890841088 I
Nachana Haveli – Jaisalmer
Yellow sandstone is what earns Jaisalmer the sobriquet of the Golden City. The Sonar Killa or Golden Fort of Jaisalmer is a colossal and exquisite example of Yellow sandstone construction, which glows amidst the vast Thar Desert, under the sunrays. Similarly, the intricately carved jharokhas are the predominant design in Jaisalmer havelis like Patwon ki Haveli and Nathmul ki Haveli. Constructed about 280 years ago, mostly with yellow sandstone, Nachana Haveli is the residence of the family of Nachana, Jaisalmer.
Today, it has been converted into a heritage hotel with 14 double rooms, exquisitely decorated with old furniture, antiques and paintings, with bag baths and modern facilities. The haveli is situated in the heart of the old walled city and at the steps of the famous Sonar Killa.
Locaton : Gandhi Chowk, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India
Phone : +91-2992-252110, 9414149311, 9024056074
Email : email@example.com
Puskhar Palace – Pushkar
Freshly painted frescoes in every room, corridor and verandah, overlooking the holy Pushkar Lake, make the Puahkar palace a different kind of haveli. Most of all, its proximity to the holy lake changes almost everything about the place. Many palaces surround the lake; former rulers of different states had these havelis built, painted all in white. Pushkar Palace was one among those, formerly known as Kishangarh Kunj, built by the Maharaja of Jaisalmer about 400 years ago and later on presented to the Maharaja of Kishangarh. The haveli has gardens within its fortified walls and a central garden surrounded by rooms. Although the Pushkar palace is heavily renovated and most of what you see now is absolutely new construction, it still manages not to clash with its old counterpart.
Location : Choti Basti, Pushkar-305022, Rajasthan, India
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone : +91-145-2772001
Bhanwar Niwas – Bikaner
Bhanwar Niwas is probably the only haveli that absolutely qualifies to be called so in every sense. A rich merchant’s house, having courtyards, pillars and corridors, balustrades and stairs with European statues, fountains in Italian marble, paintings and furnishings that depict the typically anglicised taste of Indian merchants. Elaborate decoration dons every nook and cranny of the Haveli. However, the haveli itself is completely hidden within the deep maze of the bazaars of the old town of Bikaner. Within this muddle of red sandstone, it rises high over the bustling streets, the most magnificent of the famed havelis belonging to the Rampuria family. Commissioned by the late Seth Bhanwarlaji Rampuria in 1927, the architecture of the haveli and its interiors is a truly fascinating blend of Indian and European styles.
While in today’s fast changing world, one might encounter rapid disappearance of culture, art and architecture, the haveli of Rajashtan have been cleverly converted to heritage hotels, preserving them for years to come.
Location : Rampuria Street, Bikaner 334005, Rajasthan, India
Email : email@example.com
Telephone : +911512201043, 1512529323