The Abandoned Havelis of the Millionaire Merchants of Mandawa

The Abandoned Havelis of the Millionaire Merchants of Mandawa

Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan has recently come to tourist limelight for its opulent havelis and open air art galleries. The distinctive feature of the art is the frescoes that have remained untouched from the brutality of nature and lack of maintenance. Another interesting fact is that the Marwari, Jain or Shekhawati merchants who dealt in business of opium and spices,  are no longer the owners of their lavish creation. Once they shifted to the big cities like Bombay and Kolkata , their havelis were left in hands of the caretaker’s family or were just left abandoned. The life of these caretakers took a dramatic turn after the new property laws post India’s independence.  They were given the ownership of these havelis.

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