An important tourist attraction of Rajasthan, Mandawa is often known as Open Art Gallery, Mandu ka Bas or Mandu ki dhani. Famous for its marvelous forts and havelis, Mandawa is situated in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India, being a part of Shekhawati region. The town was founded in the mid 18th century and served as a hometown for rich and dominant merchant families. Massive havelis, decorated with beautiful wall paintings were constructed by the wealthy merchants for the purpose of their residence. The merchants moved to other areas but the magnificence of the havelis did not faded and now they are attracting tourists to the city. The beautiful paintings on the walls describe the themes of the frescoes that display portraits, hunting and wrestling scenes of the earlier times.

The most historical fort of Mandawa is The Mandawa Fort, located in the midst of the Aravalli Hills. The fort reveals a lot about the unique features of Rajasthan architecture. A medieval atmosphere and charm is prevalent in the fort. The great attractions for the tourists are the variety of decor and theme used in the rooms of the fort. But, the fort has now been transformed into a heritage hotel that has taken away the old charm of the fort.

Goenka Double Haveli is one of the prime attractions of Mandawa having the front decorated with elephants and horses. The haveli depicts a perfect combination of the Indian and the European style. The mansion has two entrances and the frescoes, motifs, paintings and carvings makes it look extremely attractive. The same is the story of the Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, put up in 1921. The spotlights of the haveli are the attractive paintings depicting the work of the people of those times, the way they ate, wear and move. Next is the Murmuria Haveli that holds the paintings depicting mainly the political leaders of ancient era. The walls of the haveli have the pictures of Lord Krishna with his cows and Jawaharlal Nehru on a horse back holding the National flag. There are also paintings of cars and trains describing the prosperity of the Rajput merchants.

The haveli, in addition to marvelous paintings, has a sandy courtyard at its front allowing the tourists to have an amazing view of the southern wall. The town is said to be the home of the rich merchants who made it the planned city of Rajasthan and who were the crowd pullers of Mandawa through their trade. The main bazaar of Mandawa is a perfect place for buying antiques and also a wide variety of art related products. The main items include the paintings which are crafted on papers or cloth, metal utensils and stools. The bright colored bangles and fabrics of this place are best buy for the women tourists.

The best time to visit the place is winters and specially during festivals. Mandawa is too hot to visit during summers. Mandawa could be reached by air, rail or road. The nearest airport is the Jaipur airport and Jhunjhunu the nearest railhead. The city could be reached by road from Jaipur, Bikaner and Udaipur.

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