These abandoned mansions in Shekhawati, India must be some of the most ornate abandos in the world!
The towns and villages of Shekhawati feature amazing, intricate paintings throughout the detailed and elaborate architectural elements.
The havelis and frescoes of Shekhawati were once a home for wealthy merchants, until the early 20th Century; after which, the rich business tycoons left.
"While most of Shekhawati’s havelis have crumbled and remain abandoned, a small window into the world of these painted mansions is being preserved.
Founded by the eponymous Rajput chieftain Rao Shekha in the late 15th Century, Shekhawati prospered immensely at the turn of the 19th Century.
The region reduced taxes to lure merchants and diverted all caravan trade from the nearby commercial centres of Jaipur and Bikaner.
Merchants belonging to the Marwari and Bania community, a renowned ethnic trading group in India, moved into Shekhawati from the surrounding towns, and amassed great wealth through a flourishing trade in opium, cotton and spices.
Modest merchant homes started giving way to grand mansions by the end of the 19th Century.
To see the article, click here .image credit: Neelima Vallangi
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