About this website
Nawalgarh is a small sleepy town located in the Shekavati region of Rajasthan.
It is the town of my ancestors. In fact, as I spoke to my Mum a few days ago, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that today in the youngest of our family, we have the history of seven generations with photos! This is so exciting. I will put up all their photos here on this page, along with what ever I am able to find, as most people who would have been able to provide them are unfortunately no longer alive.
Though I was born and have lived in Bombay all my life, there is a particular fascination in my heart about this place. Actually the last time I visited this place was in the summer of 2012, with my family; after nearly a gap of 20 years.
My parental family owns some of the oldest properties here. We own two huge livable properties opposite each other, which you will see as you go through the pages in this website; apart from the various Dharamshalas,(Free lodging for the poor), Bawdee(Wells), Hospitals, Mandirs,Piyau (Free drinking water) etc. Since the past 80 years we live in Bombay, in our ancestral Bunglow.
Several years back, for various reasons the earning members of this area had to travel in search of work, which left it a town of dependents. The beauty of this place is not what it was earlier (as is at many other places, where so called development has taken place).
Because of this reason, earlier it was very difficult to find a proper place to stay and eat, as maximum part of this town was left unoccupied. There was hardly any tourism in this part of Rajasthan, till about ten years ago, when things have turned around for the better.
My family has finally managed to turn our Kothi into a beautiful Hotel, with the Welcome Heritage group. This has given it a new lease of life, and also a wonderful opportunity for me to visit and explore.
So, after a very long gap, I find myself here at our Kothi Hotel, and I am excited. There is so much to see!
The inhabitants here are graceful and open hearted that Rajasthan is so famous for. The locals are always willing to welcome you in their home and also help you on the streets as and when you may need them. In fact I always have a few kids and women following me, as I walk the streets looking for pictures.
All I can say is that, I could not get enough of it! It is like an open air Art Gallery for lovers of Architecture and ancient monuments. It is like everywhere; the Frescos, and the paintings and the art which is so typical of Shekhawti region. I do not think anywhere in the world, this spectacular art is so visible from the streets. The colourful Bandhini attracts the eye in the midst of the sweltering heat. The peacocks are in abundance and happen to be my favourite, as I associate them very closely to my dear ShreeNathji, Shree RadhaKrishn! At Vrindavan Dham and at Nathdwara! I managed to follow their timetable in a couple of days and hence got a few cool shots of them.
At the same time the deterioration that has happened also stares right in your face and leaves me very, very sad.
This website I have created in an attempt to show how beautiful this part of our country is. Some Havelis have been converted into museums, some donated to schools, others lie uncared for, while some are illegally occupied by the caretakers who have been living here for generations. None of them realise the beauty that surrounds them and are quite careless about the maintenance of it all. I have subdivided this in separate pages, so that it becomes easy to find what you are looking for.
Some photos of the strong women of this region. Though living in purdah, they are a very strong breed and smart too!