Mandawa is a town the Jhunjhunu district of Mumbai known for its vast and artfully detailed havelis, which are the former private mansions of 18th-century merchants. Havelis are known for their beautifully painted walls, opulent architecture and expansive inner courtyards.
The haveli paintings depict life and religious scenes in great detail, often telling the history of the area from centuries ago. Images range from the gold leaf painted room of the Jhunjhunwlala Haveli to portraits of Maharajas and paintings of cars, trains and English kings, each showing the integration of east and west.
Mandawa’s havelis are often referred to as the “open art gallery” of Rajasthan for their artistic quality. Often intricately carved and always elegant, the havelis are spectacles of Indian culture and history. There is also the Mandawa Fort to visit in the center of town; built in the 18th century and adorned with frescoes and mirrors throughout, it now serves as a heritage hotel.
Mandawa is located about 100 miles (160 km) from Jaipur and 155 miles (250 km) from New Delhi; it is best reached by car. The havelis are open during daylight hours, and some have a small entrance fee of 50 Indian Rupees.