Mandawa's open-air art gallery

A couple hours north of Jaipur but a world away from big city bustle, Mandawa goes about the business of quietly mesmerising visitors with aplomb. Out of its red earth streets spring a soothingly beautiful collection of 18th century buildings, constructed by wealthy merchants. The town’s prosperous pomp may be long gone, but, within the battlements, the grandiose old havelis (mansions) continue to present a wonderfully ornate front. Exploring the town is a visit to a veritable open-air art gallery: Rajasthan’s elaborate domestic architecture is at its finest here, and the rich frescoes, full of historical and religious detail, give you as colourful a primer on the state as you could hope for.

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