- A trip to Mandawa is like taking a walk back into time. Grand havelis (bungalows),
and mansions gorgeously decorated with paintings, frescoes and murals, make
Mandawa look like an open-air art gallery. The local folklore and folksongs
about the place speak of its rich heritage.
Nawal Singh, the ruler of Nawalgarh, a region in Rajasthan, laid the foundation
of Mandawa in the Shekhawati district. He built the fort of Mandawa, which was
later ruled by his grandsons Padam Singh and Gyan Singh from 1790. In 1828,
the rulers of Jaipur and Sikar planned a joint attack on the Mandawa fort, which
luckily failed because of differences between the allies.
Gradually, a township of mainly of tradesmen started settling around the fort,
in the area that is the present town of Mandawa. The town was once on map of
the silk-route to China but later ceased to be the desert trade route. As a
result, tradesmen who had prospered now migrated to other trade centers. What
they left behind is memories of glory and affluence.
Living up to the reputation of a shopper's paradise, this part of Rajasthan
offers traditional art and craft ware - fine miniature paintings done on silk
which you can take home as souvenirs.
The Desert Festival held in October and November brings the spirit of Rajasthan
to life with various traditional dance and music performances by the local artists.