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Between havelis and peacocks

The Mandawa Art Gallery

[Tripper: Paola]
ITImpara l’arteMandawa - Rajasthan

Mandawa is located on the ancient caravan routes that connected China and the Middle East.
Today it is a dusty Indian town where it is not difficult to realize the prosperity of the past.

Vishwanath Goenka Haveli - Il patio interno

Vishwanath Goenka Haveli - The inner patio

Vishwanath Goenka Haveli - esterno

Vishwanath Goenka Haveli - outdoor

Defined Open-air art gallery, it houses richly decorated ancient residences, called Havelis, dating back to the 19th century.
They were the homes of wealthy traders, who during their travels came across novelties never seen before and, once back home, asked the artists to decorate the facades of their houses with frescoes that reproduced their memories: between peacocks and elephants then to see a plane or a train appear with a single very long carriage, because, as we know, sometimes memory is deceiving (Mormora Haveli).

When you enter a Haveli, there is a first courtyard, around which the business rooms are spread. These rooms were spaces reserved for men only where business was concluded, in addition, a second courtyard gives access to the residence with rooms used as a kitchen, bedrooms for the older members on the ground floor and for the others on the upper floors. Many Havelis in Mandawa have been abandoned by their owners who moved to the city, some have been converted into hotels (such as the one where we stayed: Hotel Vivana Culture), a few have been renovated and opened for tourist visits such as:

Also worth seeing in Mandawa is the well of Harlalka, 70 meters deep, where passing caravans stopped to quench their thirst and the Fortress Castle, former residence of the Maharaja, of half of which was sold to a hotel chain which transformed it into a luxurious hotel. Medieval towers, balconies with palanquin roofs and time measured by the blows of gongs struck every hour, give the residence an ancient charm.

In Mandawa everything seems decadent: the walls gray with humidity, the dusty streets. We are just at the preliminaries with India, everything is foreign and deserves that lingering gaze. I stare through the viewfinder of my reflex at a road where cows and bulls stroll among the parked motorbikes. Some bivouac in front of a room without doors used as shops.
We too are strangers to them, I, with the aim aimed, perhaps seem threatening, so much so that a bull decides to charge me and throws me two meters away with a headbutt.
Nothing big happens, it's just India that starts to enter me.

Pavoni tra i tetti

Peacocks among the roofs


The elegance of the peacock

Seth Dayaram Dedraj Haveli

Seth Dayaram Dedraj Haveli

Castello fortezza di Mandawa

Mandawa Castle Fortress

Image Gallery

Seth Dayaram Dedraj
Seth Dayaram Dedraj
Mandawa roads
Inside an Haveli in Mandawa
Haveli's details in Mandawa
From the roof of an Haveli in Mandawa
Gold Haveli door
Jhunjhunuwala’s Golden Haveli
Harlalka well in Mandawa