Dundlod is in the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Shekhawati is known for the cultural heritage it presents through the many Havelis and forts that were constructed in the area. Each of these forts and Havelis has a story to tell. These magnanimous constructions were built in the sixteenth or fifteen centuries and some see occupation even today. They tell the stories of the lineage of people who inhabited them. They narrate stories of beautiful princess, valiant kings, brave soldiers and powerful queens. The area sums up everything good about Rajasthan that is, traditional cuisine, vibrant colours and rich cultural heritage. Here are the 5 best places to visit in Dundlod.
1. Badalgarh Fort
Badalgarh Fort is located on the Nehra hilltop and covers the area of 900square kilometres. The fort is a formidable construction meant to keep all invaders out and keep all the inhabitants of the fort safe. The fort was first built by Nawab Faizal Khan and later conquered by Maharao Shardul. Today the walls house a heritage hotel. A stay in these walls transports one to the days of princely elegance and power. The days when the courageous Rajputs walked these corridors practising swordsmanship and elegant princesses would frolic in the courtyards.
2. Fort of Dundlod
The fort shows a beautiful combination of the Rajput and Mughal forms of architecture.The best example for the same is Diwan Khana, that is built in the Mughal style of architecture and is furnished with French antique furniture. Parts of the fort is still occupied by the royal family that once ruled the land. The fort also has a heritage hotel. What makes a stay here more fascinating is the fact that you are cohabiting with the royals whose history is being narrated by these formidable walls. The fort showcases many artefacts like antique furniture, armours, weapons and much more. The beautiful flower motifs decorate all the walls. Dundlod fort also has horse riding trips around the area.
3. Tuganram Goenka Haveli
The Haveli was built by a wealthy merchant from the area. Tuganram Goenka Haveli is dotted by many beautiful paintings that make the walls, stationary pieces of art. The paintings depict many stories like that of the famous lovers Dhola-Maru or heroic tales of warriors returning from war. Many parts are also decorated with simplistic Rajasthani designs. It is sad to see that these paintings are in serious need of restoration but they still hold a fraction of the beauty they earlier did. The basic structure of every haveli is that the building is based on a courtyard setting. The courtyard is the hub of the house where the all the meetings and craft production would happen. The multi-storeyed building would have separate areas allocated for the women of the house to spend their time in relative seclusion.
4. Satyanarayan Temple
Satyanarayan Temple is located on the premises of the Goenka Haveli. The temple is as beautiful as the haveli itself. The temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu, the sustainer of the universe. The haveli would have woken up every day to the sound of morning arti dedicated to the lord. The temple adheres to a basic tradition, that is you would hardly find any big haveli or fort without a temple. A construction without a temple mostly dedicated to the local goddess would only cause problems in the near future, according to local beliefs.
5. Jagathia Haveli
Jagathia haveli is also decorated with beautiful wall art. Both the havelis together make the area look like an open art gallery where the beauty of these paintings is left for everyone to admire. The paintings often depict animals and in some cases, it depicts human figurines.
The architecture here portrays the story of the gallant Rajputs who were ready to die for their nation. The town should be a part of any and every road trip that one takes around the barren terrain of Rajasthan. The desert trail is dotted with many such small towns, each with its own charm. Dundlod is a weekend getaway for families where everyone will have a chance to learn something new.
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