Things to see in Mandawa

India | Rajasthan |

Mandawa is a city in Rajasthan mainly known for the havelis, luxurious residences dating back to the nineteenth century, belonged to wealthy merchants and sumptuously decorated with brilliant frescoes along the facade and the walls.


Mandawa is located in India, more precisely in Rajasthan, about 5 hours by car from Delhi or slightly less from Bikaner or Jaipur. The town has about 20,000 inhabitants and is quite isolated, with no airports or railway stations in the immediate vicinity that make it easier to get to it. However, if you have organized your trip to India with a car and driver, reaching Mandawa will be certainly not a problem. The main attractions in Mandawa, not to be missed, are:

To visit Mandawa, visitors usually need a minimum of an half day and, given the conditions of the road to get to the city, it is good to leave from Delhi, Bikaner or Jaipur early morning, to have enough time available during the afternoon. Most havelis can be visited by just walking from the hotel, however it's recommended to hire a guide, who knows the best places and could explain the history (normally the guide can be provided by the hotel). Alternatively, it may be a good idea to stay in Mandawa two nights, to visit (by car) also the other amazing havelis in nearby Fathepur, Nawalgarh, Dundlod and Jhunjhunu (among Shekhawati region).

The best time to visit Mandawa is, like for the rest of Rajasthan, from October to March, to enjoy drier weather and less heat.

But now let's see some photos of Mandawa taken during our Rajasthan tour.

City in India
Mandawa has the appareance of a typical countryside Indian town, with much less traffic than usual.
Frescoes in Mandawa Haveli in Mandawa
Haveli in India Fresco in Mandawa
Haveli Rajasthan Haveli
Havelis Mandawa Mandawa havelis
However, a closer look at the narrow alleys among Mandawa city center, reveals lot of old buildings, called haveli, built between the 18th and 20th centuries as a residence for wealthy merchants and entrepreneurs. The facades of the havelis are decorated with brilliant frescoes depicting scenes from everyday life, often representative of the historical period in which they were painted.
Fresco Mandawa Frescoes Mandawa
Mandawa Haveli decorations
Mandawa India

Some havelis are privately owned and have been converted into heritage hotels, after restoration works of the paintings inside and outside the building. The haveli shown in those photos, is a traditional hotel that can be visited even if you are not a guest.

Other havelis, on the other hand, are quite abandoned at their fate, without protection against rain or sand carried by the wind: the paintings are still in fair conditions, but actions should be urgently taken to preserve this artistic heritage of immense value.
Mandawa Fresco
Mandawa frescoes
In addition to the external facade, all the parts of internal courtyards are decorated with paintings and bas-reliefs depicting various scenes, even post English colonization for the recentmost.
Haveli India Paintings in Mandawa
Mandawa Mandawa paintings
The beautiful frescoes decorating an haveli.
Mandawa Rajasthan
The facade of a haveli.
More photos of havelis in Mandawa.
The beautiful frescoed courtyard of a haveli.
Painting with gold leaf
A haveli in Mandawa privately owned and converted into a gift shop. The frescoes are decorated with gold leaf used as a kind of paint.
Kamasutra painting in India
A fresco painted under the balcony of a haveli, representing an image of the Kamasutra.
Heritage hotel in Mandawa Traditional hotel in Mandawa
Mandawa heritage hotel
A haveli renovated and converted into a heritage hotel, with a beautiful facade, courtyard and brilliant decorated bedrooms.
Well in Mandawa Harlalka well

The Harlalka well is located in Mandawa, not far from the many havelis in the city center. Currently not in use anymore, adjacent to the well visitors may also see the ancient wash house.

Fatehpur Haveli in Fatehpur
Not far from Mandawa, along the road to Jaipur and Bikaner, the town of Fatehpur houses several beautiful havelis, among streets flooded by a late monsoon rain.

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