Shekhawati Intach Chapter - Conservation and preservation of Shekhawati’s cultural and built heritage

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A glorious past

 

During the 18th century, the Rajputs, the ruling community, founded the main towns of Shekhawati. They constructed forts, palaces ... where they had some rooms painted. They were the first patrons of the wall painting tradition in this area. 

But the development of the murals in Shekhawati is inextricably linked with the history of the Marwaris , the influential business community. 

The Marwaris prospered till the beginning of the 19th century because of the caravan routes that crossed the area to reach the ports of Gujarat. But from 1820 onwards, many left their families behind and migrated to Calcutta, Bombay, Madras which were gaining importance as main trade centers. There they had great financial success. 

The descendants of these rich merchants have permanently settled down in the towns where their ancestors immigrated to.

Between 1830 and 1930, they erected buildings in their homeland, Shekhawati, as evidence of their success. As the ultimate symbol of their opulence, the Mawaris commissioned artists to paint those buildings. 

The properties of their forefathers in this region still belong to them.

Today, the main trading and industrial houses of India have their roots in Shekhawati.