Churu Havelis Frescos Paintings
Churu is a small sleepy town in Rajasthan on the edge of Desert , also known as the gateway to Thar Desert. This place was founded by The Jat Chieftain – Churru in 1620 and the it was later taken over by The Rathores of Bikaner in 1871.
This town was on the caravan trading route during the 18th century when the Marwari merchants had established themselves in Central Asia , Iran, Afghanistan , Nepal, Tibet, Burma and Thailand dealing in Horses, Silk , Ivory, Opium, wool and spices they had established themselves by migrating with the Rajput and Mughal armies , setting up the banking system , became money launderers , even the royal families gave them the rights of collecting revenue in exchange towards the loan for the state . These Marwaris with simple food habits made their homes showcasing their wealth.
Havelis are compact with a courtyard , tall buildings with 1.6 ft. thick stone walls with small openings of shaded projections covered with perforated stones screen , rooms with roof minimum 15 feet height plastered with limes mortar , paintings were not possible on the local available rough surface stones, smooth white surface was created , paintings were done in variety of colours obtained from natural stone or vegetables, many places extensive work in gold and mirror added to the beauty , in Churu havilies were built from 1840s until 1950s .
Apart from these havelis (mansions), baithaks (reception space for guests), dharamshalas (caravan sarai), nohras (service area), dukans (shop), mandirs (temple), samadhis (memorial structure), chhatris (cenotaphs), bageechis (pleasure garden) and gaushalas(cattle shelter) were also made .
The presence of frescoes painted on the external and internal walls of most buildings. The region boasts of a unique collection of painted buildings. a rare profusion of finely executed mural paintings across hundreds of beautiful havelis (mansions), temples, cenotaphs, dharamshalas (inns), shops, sarais, wells and tanks.
These paintings depict the lavish style of living, fashion style, jewellery, activities of daily life, folklore tales, rulers, war heros , Hindu God and Godesses , events , train , cars, animals, British rulers and even film actors .
After the establishment of the British in India, Marwari merchants started migrating to Calcutta and other places in central India flourshing even more and spent and decorated more on the palatial houses for their families in Churu , with the time they have scattered and settled elsewhere ,
many of these havelis are in dilapidated state in the absence of proper care but still one can see their glorious past .
These painted buildings are unique to the region and worthy of not just national but international recognition.
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