Mandawa, a remote feudal principality in the centre of the Shekhawati region, was a trading outpost for the ancient caravan routes that stopped here from China and the Middle East. The Rajput ruler of Mandawa, Thakur Nawal Singh, built a fort in 1755 to protect this outpost. The township that grew around the fort soon attracted a large community of traders, who settled here. When the caravan traffic ceased in the late 18th century, the traders created business empires in other parts of the country, but returned to Mandawa to build palatial mansions in their hometown.
Today, the world comes to this storybook town to see its colourful frescoes on every subject under the sun, that is, ranging from the religious to the erotic; from copies of popular English prints to witty social satire, rendered in the inimitable style of the local artist. And perhaps the best place to discover the legacy of Shekhawati is from the comfort of Castle Mandawa, a fortress, now converted into a luxurious heritage hotel. Like many historic homes, Castle Mandawa is a curious mixture of the old and the new. Medieval turreted towers, palanquin-roofed balconies, blend with modern comforts in old-world rooms. Family portraits, antique cannons and arms add to the charm of this family-run resort where tradition still runs strong. Even time is measured by a different clock... a huge brass gong struck by the resident timekeepers at the fort every hour! Explore Castle Mandawa at your own pace. Spend a leisurely hour over a drink in the colonial verandah that accommodates the bar, or relax in the cosy comfort of the Diwankhana, the formal drawing room decorated with family portraits and an array of antique armour.
The large and airy rooms of the Castle have been converted into charming, well appointed accommodation, retaining the old flavour using period furniture and local furnishings. No two rooms are alike (there are 70 of them -- Royal Suites, Luxury Suites, Deluxe Rooms, Standard Rooms) and yet each of them display the grandeur and the taste of the rulers of the past. A rare blend of modern comfort in medieval surroundings!
At Mandawa, simple pleasures leave a listing impression... whether it is a quiet breakfast on a terrace offering great views of distant temples and cenotaphs, a leisurely lunch in the mural-painted dining room, sundowners sipped in the congenial setting of the verandah bar, or an alfresco dinner under the stars, entertained by Rajasthani folk singers and dancers. Every meal becomes a memorable occasion.
Facilities and Attractions:
There are 70 rooms, a verandah bar, conference facilities and an ayurvedic centre. The hotel also organizes camel and horse rides, jeep safaris, gala dinners, puppet shows and folk dances, traditional welcome with tilak and garlands, theme weddings, turret dinners and a heritage walk of Mandawa.