CONTRIBUTED BY URVASHI SRIVASTAVA
The semi arid region of Shekhawati in Rajasthan is dotted with small towns and villages renowned for their grand havelis, temples, chattris and wells. The magnificent havelis in the towns built by rich marwari merchants are so profusely painted with beautiful frescoes that the region is a veritable open air art gallery. The urbanisation of the region took place over a span of several centuries culminating into a network of well laid out towns and villages. The towns in the region follow a distinct planning philosophy greatly influenced by that of Jaipur yet maintain a unique identity. This article traces the habitation of the region and gives an account of the political and economic environment that fashioned the growth and development of the settlements outlining the planning concepts of a typical Shekhawati town.
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