Tourism in Shekhawati came into light since last two decades only, earlier this beautiful place was not much in the very common touring routes of Rajasthan.
In spite of being this exotic visual treat, Shekhawati for some strange reason did not figure in the tourist itinerary until the early 80s. Important guide books like 1) Eustace Reynolds-Ball’s The Tourist’s India (1907) and 2) Nagel’s more ambitious India: Encyclopaedia-Guide (1977) conveniently left out this paradise of paintings. It was only when Francis Wacziarg and Aman Nath discovered and Shekhawati began to be taken seriously. Wacziarg is a French businessman and an Indophile, while his friend Aman Nath a writer and graphic designer. In their peregrinations through the country, the two young men had stumbled upon the Shekhawati frescoes paintings and decided to expose them in a photographic essay, The Painted Walls of Shekhawati (1982). It was only after that Shekhawati began getting the attention it so much deserves.
Shekhawati is simply beautiful. Every street, house and wall has the stamp of an artist’s imagination in paint. Wherever you cast an eye, frescoes smile back. The plethora of these murals comes rather as a surprise in a land which is traditionally known as ‘warrior’s turf’ and also an ‘impoverished part of an arid region’. But then the whole of Rajasthan, which is partly sandy and partly rugged and blessed only in a few places with a lake or a patch of green, is an exercise in color. Color which is the everyday life of the people. Color which the people live in to counter that of the semi-arid scrub. Color that people give to their surroundings… You just have to visit Shekhawati to believe what a riot color and imagination can create together, the Shekhawati which is Rajasthan’s very own Open Air Art Gallery.
Shekhawati Tourism Development – Post 1990:
After the identification of the rich heritage of Shekhawati region, the tour managers started attracting the tourists to this open air art gallery. The same created need of Tourist facilities in the region to cater the incoming guests. Eventually the biggies of Indian hospitality industry paid the heed and started investing in development of the stay and eat facilities, thus many Hotels and Resorts cropped up in Shekhawati.
Simultaneously, the erstwhile rulers has also converted many of their heritage properties in to Hotels and Lodges to attract the visitors. As of day most of Royal palaces and Mansions are running as Hotels. The revenue generation from heritage properties also helped in restoration works of the falling forts. Today many of Havelis and Palaces are renovated due to the rise of Tourism activity in Shekhawati.
The Marwaris(Trader Community) have always taken care of their beloved motherland and infused money in restoration of many Havelis(Mansions) as mass level projects. Few foreigners also fell in love with the mighty land of Shekhawati and adopted few of Havelis for maintenance. People of Shekhawati also benefited at large from the tourism development as it generated new opportunities of employment for them.
Today Shekhawati is fully prepared to welcome the guests coming from any corner of world by providing all the comforts and facilities of modern world. The dedication of the Shekhawatians made the famous saying true i;e “Padharo Mhare Desh” means “Oh guest, you are welcome in my land”.