The painted towns of Shekhawati: Past and present

An absolutely wonderful post on the Shekawati region of Rajasthan by my friend Sudha.

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Ilay Cooper’s book on Shekhawati set me off on a trip to that region earlier this year. It turned out to be an extraordinary trip to an extraordinary place, and I had to wait for nearly six months before I felt ready to write about it — so overwhelming were my thoughts and emotions.

Presenting the first of eight posts on the painted towns of Shekhawati. It is a brief account of the region’s history, an introduction to the series really, in order to understand the region’s past and present, in the context of the Shekhawati Series.


Shekhawati is one of the four regions of Rajasthan, the others being Mewar, Marwar and Hadoti). Spread over Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu districts of Rajasthan, it is best known for its grand and palatial havelis (mansions), and also many of India’s well-known business families — Birla, Poddar, Bajaj, Jhunjhunwala, Khaitan, Oswal, Piramal, Ruia…

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