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Jaisalmer Havelis

Patva Haveli JaisalmerApart from its Golden Fort and royal heritage, Jaisalmer is also known for its havelis or mansions. Jaisalmer was quite important in the medieval times as a trading outpost. The trading community Marwari gets its name from Marwar, the erstwhile princely house of Jaisalmer.


The Marwari merchants were prosperous and spent large sums of money in giving shape to their architectural fantasies. These buildings are true representatives of the region’s architecture as they were made before the arrival of European influence. These buildings are truly the mansions of fortune. Made of sandstone, sometimes lavish and sometimes aloud, all with fabulous carvings and beautiful architecture, these havelis are quite a sight. Each haveli has a legend attached to it. The three must visit havelis of Jaisalmer are:


Salim Singh ki Haveli: This is the most impressive mansion in Jaisalmer. Built by Jain Diwan Salim Singh Mohta, a man attributed with Machiavellian cunning, the most fascinating feature of this mansion is a pavilion that seems to float on top of the building and a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks.
Built about 300 years ago, a part of this haveli is still being used as residence. Wander around and look at old portraits, ornate lattice balconies and other architectural delights.


Patwon ki Haveli: This is actually a cluster of five houses built for his five sons by Guman Chand. They were all dealers in brocade, gold and silver embroidery, well known in their time from Afghanistan to China. The mansions are befitting examples of their wealth and grandeur. Faded paintings depicting women, men with broad mustaches and colorful turbans, battles and hunting trips add to the charm.


Nathmalji ki Haveli: The construction of this building was done from a single plan that was divided into two equal and opposite sections, by two brothers and the two facades were later joined together. The result is a building with two completely dissimilar sections. The building is still lived in by the descendants of the original owner.
 
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Taj Mahal, Agra

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had Taj Mahal constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who is entombed here alongside Shah Jahan (who was buried later).

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