The main attraction for our family road trip through Rajasthan this winter (in December 2015 – January 2016) was to visit and photograph the renowned heritage havelis (and their frescos)of shekhawati region. We visited 3 towns in Shekhawati region – Bagar, Jhunjhunu and Nawalgarh, and out of these three, Nawalgarh has some of the best maintained havelis, with beautiful frescos, woodworks and stonework.
Morarka Haveli Museum in Nawalgarh (Rajasthan, India) is one of the two haveli museums in Nawalgarh and it is a must visit if one is interested in the haveli architecture and frescos of shekhawati. Sharing my experience here, of visiting Morarka Haveli Museum in Nawalgarh, shekhawati region, Rajasthan (India).
The shekhawati region of Rajasthan is ancestral home of the Marwari business community, which travelled all over India for their businesses. It is said that some of these business families were richer than the kings they served. So they built these exquisite havelis for their families, which though not lavish like palacesof the kings, had the most stunning and intricate frecos & paintings. Over time, majority of the families moved away from Rajasthan, to other cities for businesses and shekhawati became an open air gallery of crumbling havelis and frescos (with a caretaker each left to look after it). However, for some years now, some of the larger Marwari business houses have restored their ancestral havelis and converted them into museums for travelers & tourists.
Morarka Haveli Museum is located right in the main street of Nawalgarh (Naya Bazaar) and has a sign in front of the haveli, so it is fairly easy to spot once in Nawalgarh.
The main entrance door is quite impressive and as I peeked in through the courtyard from the main entrance, the collective opulence of the colorful frescos and painting was an impressive sight. I went trigger happy clicking photos. The Morarka Haveli was built in 1900 by Shri Jaichandji Morarka. Our local guide told us that though this haveli has been conserved well, the owners have consciously not retouched the paintings or frescos, so what visitors get to see is the real deal!There are varying themes of the paintings in the Morarka Haveli Museum, such as gods & goddesses, religious murals, birds, animals, floral patterns and life in marwar. I particularly loved the bright colors used to depict the gods & goddesses.
There is a small fee for entering this haveli museum and is open to public fro morning till sundown. We visited Morarka Haveli Museum first during our Nawalgarh haveli sightseeing and it left us hungry for more!! Our toddler also seemed to like the Morakra haveli so much that she was rolling in the dirt in the courtyard gleefully all the time!
A visit to Morarka Haveli Museum is totally recommended by me if you land up in Nawalgarh looking for the stunning frescos, murals and paintings.
Also check out fellow travel blogger Svetlana’s compelling 17 photos that might tempt you to visit Shekhawati here.