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The painted havelis of Shekhawati
Shekhawati region is renowned for providing the highest number of persons to the Indian armed forces, the large number of successful businessmen who originate from this region (mainly the Birlas, Poddars, Ruias and the Jhunjhunwalas), and for its frescoed havelis.
Since most of the rich trading families which once owned these palatial havelis have now moved to the bigger cities of Kolkata, Mumbai, etc. many of the havelis are in a state of deterioration. Many of the havelis have been handed over to locals who are allowed to stay in the haveli and, in return, are expected to look after its security and maintenance.
A slide show of some Shekhawati haveli photos:
Practically every wall of an haveli is covered with thematic frescos. To an untrained eye, the frescos on the havelis' walls may all look similar, but you would do well to notice the details. Though most of the havelis and their frescos are a century old, the freshness of the colors and the details covered can still be seen on most havelis.
Attempts have been done to restore some of the havelis to their past glory and the haveli of the French artist Nadine le Price in Fatehpur Shekhawati is a fine example. The French artist Nadine le Prince got so enamored with the haveli that she bought it in 1999 from the Deoras and have since restored the haveli to its palatial glory - having restored all its frescos, windows and doors to their original glory. You can pay a small fee and visit the haveli and the various art galleries inside, and have a chat with Nadine le Prince. She also runs an artists-in-residence program and you may get an opportunity to chat up with one of the resident artists.
A slideshow of some photos of the Nadine le Prince haveli and cultural centre in Fatehpur Shekhawati:
Another haveli where restoration
and conservation work is done is the Morarka haveli in Nawalgarh.
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