The word Haveli is derived from Arabic word haveli means 'Partition' or 'Private Space' popularised under Mughal Empire and was devoid of any architectural affiliations. Later the owrd haveli came to be used as a generic terms for various styles of regional mansions, townhouse and temples found in India.
Jaisalmer was a major town controlling trade between India and Middle East. Traders here had riches to support an opulent lifestyle. The fact is reflected by richly decorated havelis of Jaisalmer. Sometimes these havelis are not a part of itinerary...but please please please...dont miss this marvel. Sacrifice your lunch time but do visit these havelis.
Patwon ki haveli is a major tourist attraction in Jaisalmer. This is group of 4 5 havelis in a narrow lane. Entrance looks as below.
|View of the first haveli from below. This is exactly above the entrance verandah|
Not all the havelis are open for tourists. The first one is the most decorated one and also open for tourists.First floor of the haveli has exquisite glass work and ceiling paintings. Can't call these fresco as fresco is the one painted rapidly on wet plaster.
These designs are created using actual gold foil. Remind you of Versailles Palace of France.
Women of the house used to be under veil. The windows are wide open but blocked by intricate designs that blocked the inside view.
Verandah has some beautifully carved pillars.
These havelis are situated in a narrow lane blocking a complete single view of all the havelis together.
Balconies and designs of these balconies is another interesting feature of the havelis. Even the bottom of the balconies, an area which we normally do not notice is also carved intricately.
Too see the detailing and consistency in artwork, look at the pic below. You can see a different design for each square.
Outside haveli is a shoppers paradise....lot of handicraft items to choose from.