Nawalgarh, considered to be one of the most modern towns of Shekhawati in Rajasthan is famous for its frescoes and havelis and is also the motherland of some of the great business families of India.
A walk around Nawalgarh will give you a glimpse of the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy merchants, the staggering wealth seen in the art and architecture of the havelis, the extraordinary craftsmanship and skill displayed in the frescoes and the use of luxurious materials like precious gems, glass and rare dyes and pigmentation that are known to cost the earth.
The Anandilal Poddar Haveli in Nawalgarh built in the 1920s is one of those havelis that has been restored to its former glory by the owner. The miniature paintings, frescoes and murals make for a rich treasure house of Rajasthani artwork, culture and heritage. The frescoes are most fascinating in their subject matter ranging from trains to knights and kings to Krishna surrounded by the Gopis and cow herds.
The extensive collection of paintings all housed under one roof makes it a very important place to visit to understand and experience the splendour and culture of Nawalgarh. The intricate artwork, the detailed swirls of colours and materials and the stunning floral motifs leaves one spellbound.
The museum has a beautiful collection of musical instruments, kitchen utensils, jewellery, gems and others reflecting the lifestyle and tradition prevalent at that time. The huge courtyards with their impressive paintings, the ceilings and walls with their exquisite murals and the gate with its grand frescoes makes for a visual spectacle that is not to be missed.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
Photos by Lakshmi Subramanian