Sunday Snapshot from India
The wonderful faded frescoes adorning the walls of the havelis (houses) of the Shekhawati region of India are all that remain to remind us that this was once a wealthy area of Rajasthan. Situated about 150 kilometres from Jaipur , the main towns of this region include Mandawa, Fatehpur, Ramgarh and Nawalgargh. On caravan routes of old, the merchants of these trade centres built their houses and temples between the 18th and 20th centuries as a display of their wealth. They then commissioned artists to paint the buildings.
The sense of humour displayed by some of these artists is a surprise. At Vishunath Keria Haveli in Fatehpur, Queen Victoria is depicted as a Rajasthani matron, King George is also dressed in local clothes and Lord Krishna is shown with a gramophone instead of a flute.
The Shekhawati region is often overlooked by travellers to Rajasthan but for those who visit this open air art gallery, as it is often referred to, it is a step back into the past.