The Golden Town of the Shekhawati region: Nawalgarh, Rajasthan
Nawalgarh is one of the biggest and most bustling towns of the Shekhawati region and is located in the Jhujhunu district of the royal state of Rajasthan in northern India. It lies midway between Jhunjhunu which is 39 km and Sikar 30 km away. The town is famous for its frescoes and havelis and is known as the golden town of the Shekhawati region.
Getting to Nawalgarh is fairly easy as the town has a very good road and rail connectivity. The town has direct connectivity through broad gauge train line section to New Delhi via Loharu and to Jaipur via Sikar and Ringus.
Nawalgarh has buses plying from all major cities of Rajasthan like Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Delhi and other major cities of India. All the buses operated from Sikar and Jhunjhunu depot pass through Nawalgarh. Nawalgarh is at a distance of 142 km from Jaipur and 266 km from New Delhi.
Even though Nawalgarh is a big town, the good thing is everything worth seeing is within walking distance from the bus station. The town can be easily explored on foot. Around two hours is more than enough to explore the havelis and bazaar areas of Nawalgarh.
The star attractions include the Nawalgarh Fort built by Thakur Nawal Singh in 1737 AD. Today it stands largely disfigured and houses five banks and other government offices. About one km from the Nawalgarh Fort is the salubrious Roop Niwas Palace which was built by Thakur Roop Singh Ji and Rawal Madan Singh Ji. The palace is enchanting with well-laid garden and fountains. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel.
Anandi Lal Podar Haveli built in the 1920s, today houses a school and has many fine paintings adoring its walls. It is the only haveli in the whole Shekhawati restored by its owner. Sheesh Mahal is an astounding building with a ceiling mural that includes maps of Nawalgarh and Jaipur. Other places Murarka Haveli, Bansidhar Bhagat Haveli, Chokhani Haveli,Seksaria Haveli, Bhagat Haveli, Poddar Haveli, Chudiwali Haveli, Morarka Haveli and 8 Haveli are also important sites to visit.
Nawalgarh is another town which is a good option for travellers to make their base while travelling around the Shekhawati region. There are plenty of guest houses and hotels which are old havelis that are converted into hotels now.
The haveli stays provide travellers, a very authentic stay and give them a feeling of how the people lived hundred of years ago in the Shekhawati era. Food can also be provided at the havelis stays on request and will include a basic Rajasthani vegetarian thali. There are also plenty of sweet shops selling pedas and jalebies, which are surely worth a try.
The people of Nawalgarh understand and speak Hindi very well. Being a tourist spot many people can understand simple English too. Marwari is the language spoken by the locals officially and is considered a dialect of Hindi.
The best time to visit Nawalgarh is during the winter months from November to February and even during winters sunglasses and a cap are recommended. Nawalgarh has a couple of ATMs and very good cell phone coverage.
One of the must visit Shekhawati towns in the region, the fort and palace in the town are worth visiting, while the havelis have beautiful paintings and murals.
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