Our first stop after Delhi was the town of Mandawa, population 30,000, in the Shekhavati region of India known for its old havelis. A haveli is a square mansion with multiple courtyards and intricate lattice work. Built by businessmen traveling the silk route from China to India, the havelis were used for both business and pleasure purposes. Each one had a courtyard designated for strictly business, and another for the family or pleasure. The entrance doors to each are purposely low to force those entering to bow down to the owner, an elephant is painted on the outside of each for good luck and wealth and the lattice work was primarily a function of allowing the women to see outside without their faces being seen by passerbys.
To get the full experience, we stayed in a Haveli turned hotel- the Hotel Heritage Mandawa. Our suite was situated in the corner of a courtyard and intricately painted from floor to ceiling using vegetable paint (old school style) in reds and gold. There were folk stories, flowers and designs everywhere. Very regal.
After a delicious dinner that night, we got a private puppet show from Chaman and his son. Both born and raised in Mandawa, they make their living creating teak puppets and performing with them. We loved it. Following the show, Danny got a private drum lesson from Chaman and I took a spin on the puppet dancing.
at a haveli, even check-in feels special.
a haveli with a view
welcome to my chambers.orante at its best.
we enjoyed making up our own stories for each of the paintings. i’m sure some of the hindu gods weren’t pleased.
always the first order of business after settling into a new hotel/city – a toast!
wandering the tiny streets of mandawa, india
the town’s ancient main gate.
everyone going about a typical day’s work. mules. camels. ya know, the usual.
mandate is filled with havelis – the photos could be endless of the colors & architecture
the old havelis are all painted using vegetable based colors & paint
mandawa men doing their chai thing
these two were cute as pie
can you just imagine living life back in those days?
talk about selling points for a home on the market.
the peacock is the international bird of india and they’re roaming around freely in many cities. super neat to see wild peacocks – and colbs… thought of you each and every time. my most favorite peacock in all the land.
d just loved looking over the wall into this courtyard of old things. who knows how long they’ve been there or if they’ll ever leave.
each little guy puts a smile on our face and gets us chatting about our mr. munch who we miss more than you know.
mandawa’s main drag after sunset
the barber & the tailor still open for business.
the perfect setting for a private puppet show
ting getting his private drum lessons
me & mr. shaman with his beloved puppets