Shekhawati Intach Chapter - Conservation and preservation of Shekhawati’s cultural and built heritage

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Painted buildings

The architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries consists of the exaggerated display of Marwari wealth and completely overshadowed anything constructed before.

The Havelis, Personal Residences

The word haveli, from Persian origin, means "an enclosed place"                                          .

The havelis were the symbol of the status of the Marwaris and a home for their extended family, providing security and comfort in a style. Secluded from the outside world the haveli set its own pace of life.

The typical havelis in Shekhawati consisted of two courtyards — an outer one for the men which serves as an extended threshold and the inner one, the domain of the women

The biggest ones sometimes had three or four courtyards and two to three stories high. 

Today, a way of life has passed and mosthavelis are empty or just give a shelter to an old watchman.

The Chhatri Or Cenotaphs

Like the Rajputs, the Marwaris erected cenotaphs on cremation grounds in the memory of their ancestors.

A dome shaped structure sustained by as many as 32 pillars, the cenotaph may contain

in its basement several rooms and a Shiva temple. The size of the memorial reflects the importance of the family who constructed it.




Various Buildings For Public Use

For the wellbeing of the local population as well as for the fame of their name the merchant community financed the construction of various buildings such as :

- Wells, step wells and water reservoirs
- Temples
- Caravan sarai

The Marwaris patronized craftsmen who decorated not only their own residence but also all the buildings they had constructed. 

Paintings are to be found everywhere in profusion, on walls, balconies, ceilings, arches and pillars, on the dome of the cenotaphs and even on the rim of the wells.