Havelis of Jaisalmer

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2013

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Rajasthan is well known for its havelis esp. those in Jaisalmer. Most famous one is Patwa ki haweli that you see, Diwan Nathmal''s Haveli (not as big and impressive) and Salim Singh ki Haveli which you can skip. Was told that Havelis in Bikaner are also good but closed. 135 kms from Jodhpur is Phalodi which too has richly carved havelis.

Board is self explanatory. Patwa Havelis has 3-4 parts, one for each brother when it was made. Today part one is the most well maintained and visited, another part are just empty rooms while a third is taken over by the Government. Haveli made in the beginning of the 19th century by Patwa Gumanmal Bafna for residential purposes.

Entrance to the road on which are havelis. It is one super structure with individual havelis one for each brother. On your right is open area where number of tourists wear local clothes and get dressed - look very nice, missed clicking pictures of them.

Most well maintained haveli lets call it nos 1 is like a private museum where you pay a entry fee and walk around the place. Artifacts are well laid out and maintained as they would be in any museum. Impressive as you will see later. This is the balcony on the first floor of haveli one. Notice the jali work.

This is just above the entrance, the balcony that you saw in the earlier pic is on your right. What you see is a Jharokha. Thru first floor ceiling try to notice the mirror work that you will see in next picture.

First floor room called Mohini Vilas, notice the mirror work. Loved it. Well maintained. Went around 12.30 so direct sun light in the room. If had gone in morning say 9ish would have got better picture.

This is like modern day hall. Notice the wall painting. This haveli is so well maintained that one does not grude paying a entrance fee including a separate fee for clicking pictures.

This is typical dress worn during the Gangaur Festival. To know all about Gangaur Festival Click here

This where meals were had. So simple.

This board gives you good information on musical instruments. Wish I could photograph each instrument as well.

Slightly modern day hall with record changer.

Not sure if this is bedroom or relaxing area. Note chess board on right of pic. Room is called Jiwan Vilas.

They have a separate sections on Turbans very interesting and full of insights. The turban makes Rajasthan colorful, it can tell you the jati of the person, the region he hails from and religion as well.

There is a big white board on turbans, in its centre is this interesting piece of information on the different type of turbans.

An example of how turbans are displayed. To see a very good photo collection on Patwa Haveli Click here

An overview of Jaisalmer Fort from the top most floor of Patwa Haveli. U see a flag flying i.e. the Raj Mahal or Royal Palace. To see pics of Jaisalmer Fort Click here

Through these small windows u see the havelis and the road below. To know about Patwa Haveli visit their site Click here

This is the second haveli in this complex.

There is a courtyard in the centre. U see the windows on first floor. Rooms are empty. Observe the work carefully.

Centre courtyard, steps, corridor all around the room to allow easy movement. It was 1ish and very sunny, pics could be better early morning.

Ground floor entrance there is nicely decorated window. Aunty sat there to be clicked by her husband, requested her to let me click her too. She looks so graceful, reminds me of my late mother.

A couple of minutes from the Patwa Haveli on your right is another haveli. U see the first floor - the jali work and jharokhas are just wow. No words to express.

A 5-7 minute from Patwa Haveli is Diwan Nathumal''s Haveli. Descendants of the Diwan live in the haveli to this day. They have a shop selling handicraft items etc on the first floor and are more interested in foreign tourists going up. Just admire the haveli from outside only - it is also o/s.

Entrance to haveli. First floor you see person with white t shirt - is the shop that I referred to.

A horizontal view of the first floor, admire the jaali work. Lady is standing where handicrafts shop is.

On the first floor inside the shop. Left of pic bearded person is ancestor of current descendants. This haveli was carved by two brothers for the Prime Minister of the state Nathmalji - their design as you will see is entirely different.

A left side view of the haveli. Road in front is narrow so distance that you can go back and click a full view of haveli is limited.

Window on the right side of entrance. Enjoy. Can modern technology make such intricate stuff today?

Front side, below one of the shades was this work. Centre u see horses think charging towards a elephant, left and right corner peacocks, top is tiger on top of an elephant. What creativity.

From Nathu''s haveli drove to fort entrance and was walking down to Salim Singh haveli when saw this lady. Lady in blue has a silver choker round her neck and a Nath: Pin in the nose.

Top floor of Salim Singh Haveli. People residing there are not well off but do visit because entrance fee will help them. In Feb 2013 some parts of the first floor were damage. If you observe carefully it is quite a well made haveli as well. U see the upper storey in cantilever style supported by carved brackets. To see pics of Jaisalmer City Click here

Lower portion of upper storey. Note the peacocks in lower part of pic. Havelis took me into a different era. I asked myself - where have the craftsmen who made such wonderful structures gone? What fine work. Hats off to them. In the main market i.e. The Manak Chowk missed seeing the art of Silavats (stone carvers) of Jaisalmer. Next time ke liye must keep something na. To see pics of Sam Dunes Click here

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