Nawalgarh is one of the biggest and busiest towns of Shekhawati. Founded in 1737 by Nawal Singh, a son of Shardul Singh, Nawalgarh saw a series of rulers who managed, by dint of their sharp political acumen, to keep the state together as many of their neighbors gradually came apart. Therefore, it was able to attract a number of rich Marwari merchants who built many richly painted havelis here.
Poddar Haveli The Poddar Haveli has been turned into a museum. Although the haveli is not very old – it was built around the 1920s – the murals have been carefully restored to their original glory. The museum also exhibits wedding costumes of different communities of Rajasthan. As for the other murals, it seems the Nawalgarh artists had much greater freedom in choosing their themes. For instance, there are pirated editions of Ravi Varma’s works and imaginative illustrations of a whole range of early 20th century technology such as the air balloon, the Wright brothers’ attempt at flight, motorcars, modern railways and sewing machines.
Bala Qila The painted ceiling of a small room in the fort called Bala Qila stands out in terms of artistic brilliance. The room, studded profusely with mirrors, is circular, about 8 ft in diameter and almost as high. The murals, lustrous and colorful, depict an artist’s impression of the cities and armies of Jaipur and Nawalgarh in the 1850s.
Aath Haveli Here is where you can see a long train with one passenger per compartment, a woman feeding a child and at the same time doing her make-up and a couple making love.
Morarka Haveli is right across the back street from Aath Haveli, and it has one of the most elegantly and finely sketched paintings. Two prominent frames show the celebration of traditional festivals like the Teej and Gangaur.