Shekhawati is a semi-arid region situated in northeast part of Rajasthan, India. This region founded by Rao Shekhaji, (who gave the region and his dynasty his name,) was amongst the most prosperous centre in India during its time. Mandawa, has since been the capital and the centre point of the Shekhawati region.
Mandawa was an important halt in the silk route, it was the trading outpost for the ancient caravan routes that stopped here from China and the Middle East. The Rajput ruler of Mandawa, Thakur Nawal Singh, built the castle in 1755 to protect this outpost. The township of Mandawa grew around this castle and attracted a large community of traders who settled here.
In the 18th century, prosperous merchant families whose trade activities in the region generated substantial wealth built lavish, palatial mansions (Havelis) as a display of their success. Today, it is these ancient and lavishly constructed Havelis and courtyards that attract visitors and tourist form across the globe. The walls and facades of these havelis are decorated with colourful depiction of the region’s folk tales, culture, history, social & religious themes. At times the frescos also find a clear cut western (European) influence.