Rajasthan is a place brimming with royalty and luxury. As you set foot in this land, magnanimous palaces and majestic Havelis welcome you. Situated amongst the golden sand dunes in the town of Jaisalmer. Famous for its Desert Safaris and camel rides, this town also holds one of the most beautiful architectural delights you will find in the entire Rajasthan. The Patwon ki Haveli in Jaisalmer is the second most popular spot in Jaisalmer after the Jaisalmer Fort. It is not a single Haveli but a group of five different Havelis, each with its unique architecture and heritage.
Also known as the Jaisalmer Patwa ki haveli, the golden color of these beautiful Havelis mimics the beautiful golden color of Rajasthani sand. The Havelis are located in a narrow lane hence it is better to walk instead of taking a vehicle there. These Havelis were built in 1805 by a wealthy trader called Gumanchand Patwa. It is believed that he has belonged to a very rich family as they dealt in gold and silver threads which were used in decorating precious clothes of that era. The Havelis are also known as mansions of brocade merchants for the same reason. Some locals thought argue that the Patwas made their money through opium smuggling and money lending. Gumanchand Patwa built these Havelis over 60 years. But looking at the structure, one will be compelled to think that every single year and every single piece of stone put in these buildings intensifies the magnificence of these beautiful Havelis. Currently, the Havelis are used by the government of India. The office of the Archaeological Survey of India and the Rajasthan state arts and craft department is situated in these Havelis.
The most beautiful Haveli in all of these is the Kothari Patwa which is also the most popular one. The individuality of each Haveli is depicted through different styles of mirror work and paintings on their arches and gateways. Colorful murals adorn the walls of these mansions. Such is the brightness of the color that you are bound to feel mesmerized seeing the beauty of these murals. Apart from the walls these murals also decorate the Jharokhas, balconies and the entrance gates of each mansion. Such beauty is rare to be found even in Rajasthan. The famous Rajasthani artwork is shown in its full glory in these mansions.
If your art buds are still not satisfied, then there is a museum which has on display the numerous paintings, sculptures, and artifacts which could be used as eye soothers. Feel the luxury and royalty of the Patwas in this museum, I am sure that even the kings of Rajasthan would have envied these wealthy traders. An Important historical fact is that the Patwon Ki Haveli was only the second Haveli to be ever built in Rajasthan and the first was one in Jaisalmer.
The pillars and ceilings of these beautiful mansions contain intricate carvings that depict the craftsmanship of artisans of that bygone era. Such is the detail of sculpture that you can identify the figures even after 200 years, isn't it amazing. The artisans have expressed themselves even on the archways and main gates, which are filled with these wonderful specimens of art. Architecture students arrange special visits to the Patwon Ki Haveli to study the nuances of the art.
Architects of these mansions kept the special provisions to ensure that the residents do not feel the infamous Rajasthani heat. These mansions contain over 60 balconies, from where the courtyard is visible. Beautiful windows are donning the entire structure and providing enough ventilation to the residents which save them from excessive heat. The Jaisalmer Fort and Patwon Ki Haveli are two of the most important places to visit in the town of Jaisalmer.
Patwon Ki Haveli Entry Fees:
- INR 20 for Indian citizens and INR 100 for foreign nationals
- INR 50 for still cameras and INR 100 for video cameras
Patwon Ki Haveli Timings: 9:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M