Fatehpur Shekhawati: The Cultural Capital of Shekhawati

Fatehpur in Rajasthan is a town with its artistic talents on display via Shekwati art. Frescoes adorn the walls of hovels depicting scenes from Indian mythology like the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Since the intricate designs fill the area, the place is also called an open-air gallery. A beautiful blend of Rajput, Mughal and Western styles Fatehpur Shekhawati should be next on your list of destinations to explore.

History of Fatehpur Shekhawati


It is debated that either Nawab Fateh Khan Kayamkhani or Rao Fateh Singh, the then Rao of Sikar founded Fatehpur Shekhawati in the 15th century. However, the story takes off when the Shekhawat Rajputs laid their claim to the land and conquered it in the 16th century and some centuries later Shekhawati faces its golden age of trade. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the town emerged as a major trade centre as it lay on the route connecting Central Asia to the Mughal Empire. 

Marwari merchants flocked to the town and to showcase their wealth they poured their riches into the making of their exquisite havelis. Their homes turned into canvas, frescoes adorned the walls of their homes recollecting historical events, mythologies and even stories of European influences in the region. 

Fatehpur Shekhawati's popularity declined during the British Raj but it has managed to preserve its art and cultural significance. A stroll in this open-air art gallery is ensured to whisper regal tales of the past.

Colourful paintings on the walls of haveli
intricate murals on the wall of Rajasthani fort

Places to visit in Fatehpur Shekhawati


Singhania Haveli should be the first haveli you visit when in town. This is the largest of the lot and has been beautifully preserved. Wander along the rooms with a visual treat of the frescoes depicting scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Poddar Haveli boasts elegant floral frescoes. It is believed that the floral designs held symbolic meaning for the family that resided there and were not random embellishments. 

The Goenka Haveli in Fatehpur is a seamless gorgeous blend of Shekhawati art style with European stories and architecture. The walls are adorned with scenes depicting European History in vibrant colours.

Explore the Area: Places around Fatehpur Shekhawati


After a tour of the havelis, the area has much to offer. Check out towns like Nawalgarh and Mandawa, both historically significant and artistically rich areas. 

Explore Fort Nawalgarh and the museum inside. The museum contains a collection of artifacts and weapons. If you want to peek into the jewellery and textiles of the area visit the Dr. A Ramnath Poddar Museum. 

After you are done cooling yourself down in the museum and looking at artifacts and paintings away from the heat it is time to get back and explore Mandawa. Mandawa bears the reputation of artistic designs on the walls of their hovels like Fatehpur. Explore Murmuria Haveli for its intricate mirror work and the Hanuman Poddar Haveli for beautiful frescoes of elephants and floral designs. 

the intricate architecture of the temple interiors - Tharangambadi Places to Visit

The Piramal Haveli - 20th Century Shekahavati in Bagar is the perfect location for a stay. The quaint Rajasthani-Italianate structure is a majestic getaway and is the closest hotel in Rajasthan to Delhi. The rooms are lavishly decorated and are close to attractions like The Rungta Haveli and the Fatehpur Reservoir ensuring a memorable stay.