The Havelis of Jaisalmer

Rajasthan, a gold mine of beautiful architecture and rich heritage has a special place in the hearts of all its visitors. Every city here has a charm of its own and as you explore these historic places, it weaves a magical web of being a part of a different era. During our visit to Jaisalmer we came across some of the very beautiful structures that left us speechless with all the masterful craftmanship, delicate designs, colourful paintings and mostly the enticing tales behind them.

While giving us a tour of the Fort of Jaislamer, our guide pointed us towards a haveli that was visible from the palace rooftop and told us an intriguing story of a Minister, Salim Singh and the so-called haunted village (Click here to read more). Upon prodding him, he further revealed that we can actually take a tour of the haveli to know more about the old tales. He also suggested us to visit two other havelis (Patwon ki Haveli and Nathmalji ki Haveli), that were well-known for its grandeur and beauty back in old days. On completing the fort tour, we decided to start our haveli tour with Patwon ki Haveli and then proceed to the next two.

Patwon ki Haveli

Patwon ki Haveli

After endless walking through the maze of streets in the market, we reached a large building complex that had a narrow lane like path leading in and this was the famous Patwon ki Haveli. From the exteriors, one can see large wall covered with jalis (latticed screen) and Jharokhas (balconies) with an arched entrance in a corner of the building. As we walked through the entrance, a guy at the information desk imparted information about the haveli and offered us to give detailed tour of the haveli. Although initially we were sceptical to take up on the offer as we did not have a great experience with fort tour guide, we finally decided to give him a chance and much to our delight, he was one of the best guides (also a good photographer) we have met so far.

Jaisalmer

View other havelis

View of other havelis

The haveli, which is a group of five smaller havelis was built by a merchant named Guman Chand Patwa in the 19th century for his family. Out of the five houses, sadly only one of them was open for visitors. At a glimpse, the haveli looked average sized but as we started exploring the house entirely we were quite surprised by how massive the house was. The haveli is an artistic masterpiece showcasing the grand life of the merchants during the Golden era of Jaisalmer and the sheer beauty of the place took our breath away. Each room in the house is beautifully done with unique artwork adorning the walls and ceilings, minute details added on every day-to-day article.

Living room of the haveli

Living room of the haveli

Secret lockers within the walls

Secret lockers within the walls

Jaisalmer

Traditional wedding outfit of the family

Traditional wedding outfit of the family

JaisalmerJaisalmer

Jaisalmer

 

Four poster bed made of silver

Four poster bed made of silver

Of all the room, the ladies dressing room was our favourite, displaying gorgeously feminine touch in every nook and corner of the room. Floral designs adorning the walls and colourful outfits and various accessories of the ladies hung around the room, making us wish that this was our room ;). On completing the tour our guide took us to second haveli, that currently is a small craft shop. We were allowed to walk around the main living room, which although isn’t as well maintained as the first haveli but still has a lingering beauty of its own. If one wants to have a look into the life of the rich merchants when the city was flourishing, we would definitely suggest you to visit this haveli and also go for a guided tour like we did, you wont regret it :).

Dressing room

Dressing room

Ceiling of the dressing room

Ceiling of the dressing room

Jaisalmer

Cooking Space

Cooking Section

Entertainment room

Entertainment room

Roof of the entertainment room

Roof of the entertainment room

Jaisalmer

View of the fort from the terrace

View of the fort from the terrace

Jaisalmer

Interiors of the other haveli

Interiors of the other haveli

All the walking around in the heat had our stomach growling, we decided to take a break from our tour and had a scrumptious traditional lunch in the market. Our next stop was the Salim Singh ki haveli, house of the famous (and supposedly one of the cruel) minister of Jaisalmer. Unlike Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli does not offer much in terms grandeur as it currently left in ruins, but it has a unique architecture and a beauty of its own. We were acquainted with one of the caretakers of the house, who took us around giving interesting tidbits of the place. The haveli boasts of the elaborate stonework on its balconies, pillars and railings and it is interesting to note that the building was designed in a way to give peacock like appearance. As we walked around this dilipated building listening to the stories we couldn’t help but imagine the state of the place in its full artistic glory.

Salim Singh ki Haveli

Salim Singh ki Haveli

Jaisalmer

View of the Ladies quarter from gent's living quarter

View of the Ladies quarter from gent’s living quarter

Entertainment room

Entertainment room

Jaisalmer

View of the fort from the haveli

View of the fort from the haveli

We then moved on to the last haveli in our list, Nathmal ki Haveli, which wasn’t easy to look for as the locals kept giving confusing directions (and for some reason google maps was acting really funny!!). Luckily some kids who were playing around lead us to the Haveli and this place from the exteriors looked like pure work of art. The Haveli was a gift by the king to the Diwan and just looking at the magnificent work on the outer façade we were quite dumbstruck. Unfortunately on entering the place, we were politely informed that the haveli was not open for visitors as there are families residing in it. This put a damper to our spirits, however, as we quietly left the building we made a quick scan of the surroundings just out of curiosity and were successful in noticing some of the artwork inside the haveli.

Nathmalji ki Haveli

Nathmal ki Haveli

Jaisalmer

Elephant statues guarding the haveli

Elephant statues guarding the haveli

These havelis have brilliantly captured the inherent artistic abilities of the craftsmen of those times and also the gives you a glimpse into the glorious history of Jaisalmer when it was thriving as a result of succesful business and trade connections.

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50 Comments

  1. February 3, 2016    

    Stunning pictures. Thanks for the virtual tour 🙂

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Thanks Purba 🙂

  2. February 3, 2016    

    So beautiful! That four poster bed is the stuff of dreams!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      True Hema, we secretly hoped that we could take it home with us 😉

  3. February 3, 2016    

    What grandiose architecture…They each seem to tell a story…..

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Visiting these havelis makes you to visualize the grand lifestyle back in those days!

  4. February 3, 2016    

    Wow! You got to see the Patwon ki Haveli, or at least a part of it! Why did I see it only from the outside? Was this place fully closed to visitors until some time back?

    All the Havelis look grand and attractive. Thank you for the pictures. 🙂

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Thanks dNambiar:) we are not sure if it was closed before or after our visit but we were lucky to tour these havelis! 🙂

  5. February 3, 2016    

    Rajasthan’s palaces are simply admirable. Nice pics here.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Thanks Tomichan!

  6. February 3, 2016    

    This is one place I have been longing to go and it hasn’t happened for some reason 🙁
    The pic of you two staring out of those windows is super cute…
    loved the post 🙂 xoxo

  7. February 3, 2016    

    Amazing place! Looks same like I left it last time in 2008! 😛 🙂

  8. February 3, 2016    

    Awesome pictures. Not sure why I missed this haveli while on my visit to Jaisalmer. But the pictures do give me a virtual tour! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Thank you Arun! 🙂 These havelis are not as famous as the fort, so usually many visitors miss them out!

  9. February 3, 2016    

    Beautiful post..

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Thank you Ranjani! 🙂

  10. February 3, 2016    

    Amazing photos! I had to look twice at some of them, because of all the beauty and the details. I love to travel but I have never heard of Jaisalmer. Now I want to visit

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Thanks Maria! Jaisalmer is a beautiful, historic city in Rajasthan in famous Thar desert. Do add Jaisalmer to your itinerary when you are visiting India

  11. February 3, 2016    

    Wow nice pictures! So colorful, and nice buildings 🙂

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 3, 2016    

      Thanks Gala:)

  12. February 3, 2016    

    Someone was just telling me recently how unique Rajasthan is. They said it’s so unique and colorful that it makes other cities in India seem bland. And that’s saying a lot in such a colorful country!

  13. February 3, 2016    

    Amazing photo’s, seems like it is really worth the visit!

  14. February 3, 2016    

    Lovely post and equally beautiful pictures.. and you 2 look amazing… Keep travelling

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 4, 2016    

      Thank you Amrita! 🙂

  15. February 3, 2016    

    Beautiful post and awesome photos.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 4, 2016    

      Thank you Rupam! 🙂

  16. February 4, 2016    

    such pretty pictures! It’s like Aladdin come true – I’d love to go someday!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 4, 2016    

      Thank you Sierra! 🙂

  17. February 4, 2016    

    These are magnificent Havelis…the architecture is pretty detailed and makes me wonder how much time it would have taken to build these marvels.
    I would surely want to visit all 3 some day.

    I liked the entertainment room. Also, I am sure the gents of the time had a good view of the ladies in the quarters opposite to theirs 🙂

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 4, 2016    

      Even we were wondering the same regarding the construction of these havelis, don’t miss out on these as you won’t be disappointed!

  18. February 4, 2016    

    When I went to Jaisalmer, this Haveli left a marked impression on me. It’s so grand & beautiful. And your pics have made it even more beautiful. 🙂

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 4, 2016    

      Thank you Nisha! The haveli has the same effect on us too…

  19. February 4, 2016    

    What a gorgeous place. I love the architecture and furniture style! Wow!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 4, 2016    

      Every inch of this place is designed and done splendidly!

  20. February 4, 2016    

    very beautiful,this palce is in my wishlist

  21. February 4, 2016    

    Wow love the colours in these photos! Lovely shots!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 13, 2016    

      Thanks Becky:)

  22. February 5, 2016    

    Have never been to Jaisalmer … it was like a virtual trip 🙂

    Havelis are so grand and beautiful … btw the entertainment room looks more like a pedicure room 😉

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 13, 2016    

      Thank you Swati! Ha ha, thats a good comparison of the entertainment room!

  23. February 6, 2016    

    Congratulations! Your blog post was selected for Spicy Saturday Picks edition edition on February 06, 2016 at BlogAdda.

    Please find it here:
    http://blog.blogadda.com/2016/02/06/spicy-saturday-picks-february-06-2016

  24. February 6, 2016    

    There are so many amazing havelis in Rajasthan. Ramgarh, Jaisalmer and Bikaner most probably have the best of the lot. Lovely pics and beautiful post 🙂

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 13, 2016    

      Thanks Vaisakhi! We can’t wait to explore havelis of Ramgarh and Bikaner! 🙂

  25. February 6, 2016    

    What a coincidence!!
    I have just written my furst post on our family road trip through rajasthan and wrote about heritage havelis!!

    Yes the rajasthan havelis are such beauties!! Its a pity that only few are well preserved!! And yes google maps can actualy act very funny…we know first hand for sure…but they are also very reliable most times!!

    Nice readibg you girls account!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 13, 2016    

      Going to read your story on these havelis now! 🙂 Well, it was all worth the trouble of getting lost in the narrow, winding streets of Jaisalmer looking for these beauties!

  26. February 9, 2016    

    Amazing clicks…the havelis look so grand and beautiful…
    xo, Neha
    http://www.theinstylejournal.com

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 13, 2016    

      Thank you Neha! 🙂

  27. February 13, 2016    

    Haveli’s in Jaisalmer are indeed awesome. You captured some really great pictures here, thanks for sharing the same

    xoxo – Style.. A Pastiche!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      February 13, 2016    

      Totally agree with you Chaicy! Their beautiful is so captivating! 🙂

  28. January 11, 2017    

    loads of color and royalty. The best way to cover any destination is to capture these kind of Images.

  29. April 9, 2017    

    Delighted to see this visual tour… I made a quick trip to Jaisalmer to visit the Fort, did not have the time to explore other havelis. I would visit them next time surely.

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