Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Patwon ki Haveli

The five-storied Patwon ki Haveli is the largest of its kind in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. Patwon ki haveli is one of the most elaborate and fascinating mansions in Jaisalmer that entices you with its hypnotic charm. Located on a narrow lane in the main Jaisalmer city, Patwon ki haveli was constructed by Guman Chand Patwa and his five sons. Guman Chand was a famous trader of his times and dealt in gold, brocade and silver.
There are five massive suites in the Patwon ki haveli that are decorated with brilliant representations of artistic acumen. The entire haveli is and interesting grid of pillared halls, large corridors, lavishly chiseled ceilings and ostentatiously decorated walls. The stunning murals that adorn the haveli walls are colorful depictions of the everyday court scenes, village scenes and other artistic concepts. The walls of one particular room at the Patwon ki Haveli is completely covered with captivating frescoes.

The other important aspects are its gateways and arches. You will notice individual depictions and theme on each and every arch. Although the whole building is made yellow sandstone, the main gateway of the Patwon Ji ki Haveli is in brown color. The havelis are also known as the 'mansion of brocade merchants'. This name has been given probably because the family dealt in threads of gold and silver used in embroidering dresses. However, there are theories, which claim that these traders made considerable amount of money in Opium smuggling and Money-lending. This is the largest Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. This haveli is presently occupied by the government, which uses it for various purposes. The office of the Archeological Survey of India and State art and craft department is situated in the haveli itself. Nevertheless, even after these encroachments and abuse you can find a good amount of paintings and mirror works on the wall.

An architectural marvel of the bygone era, the Patwon-ki- Haveli comprises of five distinct units. One of the havelis of the Patwon-ki- Haveli has been turned into a museum and a shop that has a vast reserve of antique furniture and decorative goods. The government is responsible for the upkeep of the sprawling second and fifth havelis. The interested tourists can visit the ground floor of the second haveli. The third haveli of the huge Patwon-ki- Haveli is a shop that offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to explore the rich and traditional art and craft work of the local craftsmen of the ancient period. 
The last section of the haveli is inhabited and is therefore not available for public view. The Patwon-ki- Haveli reflects the unique architecture of Jaisalmer of the traditional times in Rajasthan. The splendid monument adds to the old glory and grandeur of the place. The sprawling historical monument draws several tourist from far and wide who are absolutely awed by the grand architecture of the Patwon-ki- Haveli.


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