Heritage Liquor House: Mahansar, Rajasthan
Mahansar is a small, charming and laid back village located around 6 km south west from the town of Ramgarh. Mahansar is located in Jhunjhunu district at a distance of 40 km from Jhunjhunu near the trifurcation of Jhujhunu, Churu and Sikar districts in Rajasthan
This Shekhawati village of Mahansar can be easily reached by the local buses which ply the route from Jhujhunu to Mahansar stopping enroute at the towns of Mandawa 28 km, Fatehpur 15 km and Ramgarh 6 km. Auto rickshaws are also available from Fatehpur and Ramgarh but with the buses being very efficient and much more economical, the local buses are the best option. The nearest railway station is at Churu which is 18 km away and one can get a direct bus to Mahansar from Churu. There are three daily trains from New Delhi to Churu and back.
The bus stop is on the main road which is about one km from the village. Walking is the only option since there are no auto rickshaws in Mahansar. There is no road leading to the village but a walking path which is covered with desert sand. It is a common sight to see peacocks, the Indian national bird ,running around the place and jumping into the old houses at the start of the village.
After walking for around a couple hundred meters one will notice a small green pond which has sadly become a garbage pit for villagers. The pond is also the area where the most number of peacocks can be seen wandering around freely.
Mahansar was founded in 1768 by the Thakurs of one of the Shekhawat branches. Mahansar is well-known for its rich heritage and culture, the ‘Sone-Chandi ki Dukan’ (Gold- Silver Shop) dating from 1846 is also famous. It incorporates gold leaves in its intricate paintings. This haveli has three vaulted ceilings; scenes from the Ramayana are painted on the left one, incarnations of Vishnu on the centre one, and scenes from the life of Krishna are on the right one.
The other attractions include the Mahansar Fort, Narayan Niwas Palace. The fort has been converted into a heritage hotel now and one would require to pay a hefty entry fee to enter the fort and view it from inside.
The entry fee includes a meal of the same value from the hotel cafe which also serves over priced food. Unless you decide to spend a night in the fort which is a very good experience but will burn a hole in a backpacker’s pocket.
Mahansar is also very popular for its heritage liquor which is also known as ‘Mahansar Liquor’. This also attracts many foreign travellers to this small village. The liquor has become famous because of the efforts of Rajendra Singh Shekhawati, a scion from the 8th generation Mahansar family. He not only preserved the secret formal but has also nurtured the traditional drink over the years.
Today, the Mahansar brew is producesd under Heritage Liquor brand. This heritage drink is purely made from herbal products, ghee and dry fruit. The Mahansar liquor has become famous not only in the country but in many different parts of the world.
The accommodation options in Mahansar are limited to the heritage fort stay and nothing else. So for travellers on a budget, a night stay in Mahansar is not really an option. The village also lacks eating options as there are no restaurants except a dhaba which serves basic meals.
Mahansar is a village which still has its culture and heritage intact. It gives the traveller, an old traditional Rajasthani feel to the place. For travellers who like to taste good alcohol, Mahansar is the place to visit.
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