The painted Havelis of Mandawa

Mandawa is a small, quiet town in the countryside of northern Rajasthan. However it’s also a tourist destination in a slightly off the beaten track sort of way, due to it’s Havelis or old family residences, many of which are decorated and painted inside and out. The locals call Mandawa “the open art gallery” as you can wander the streets admiring detailed and intricate paintings on many of the town’s old buildings. We were lucky enough to stay in a beautifully restored Haveli, our room was huge, old and stunning, and was fantastic value at less than £25 a night including breakfast. The most wonderful thing about Mandawa is that little restoration work has been done. You can see amazing art that was carried out 200 years ago and remains untouched, although many of the buildings are dilapidated and tumbledown.

The inside courtyard of Radhika Haveli where we stayed. The ancient wooden doors lead into the bedrooms – ours was off the first floor balcony which you can see at the top of the picture.
Gorgeous artwork in the courtyard of a building that is only partially standing.
We saw this amazing frieze of horses, camels and men marching into battle on a wall as we were wandering around the town
A picture of Lord Krishna with 2 of his 16,000 – yes you read that right – wives!
A picture of Paul with his one and only wife! Honestly I think that keeps him busy enough….

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