Haveli in Shekhawati
Opening hours: 9:00am-5:00pm
Address: Pulia, Fatehpur, Shekhawati, Rajasthan
Ticket price: ₹250, guided tour included
Visit duration: People typically spend up to 1.5 hours here
Fatehpur, located in Rajasthan, is situated between Sikar city and Bikaner national highway 52.
Nadine Le Prince Haveli of Fatehpur, formerly known as Nand Lal Devra Haveli, was constructed in 1802 by Nandlal Devra, of a merchant family, the Devras, who were administrators at the court of the regional king.
Nadine Le Prince Haveli is unquestionably the most well-preserved haveli in the whole province since a French artist called Nadine Le Prince bought this exquisite haveli in 1998 and restored the frescoes and the legacy of the haveli herself. She is a descendant of the prestigious French painter Jean-Baptiste Le Prince. Volunteer students from the art-history department provide a detailed tour that explains the history, the fresco technique and the merchants who built the haveli.
Nadine Le Prince Haveli has a small gallery to display the rejuvenated artistic works done by her along with numerous contemporary French and Indian artworks to mix old and contemporary which presents the visitors with a wide panorama of the artists and skills of France and local Shekhawati painters.
In the front courtyard of Nadine Le Prince Haveli, a fountain and a sculpture of two identical elephants carved from marble are settled at the centre. The area is decorated with flower pots and wooden couches that present a blend of contemporary aura with the age-old haveli. The illustrations of the haveli included geometrical patterns, floral motifs, pigeons, peacocks, Krishna’s rasa, girls playing musical instruments and a man fastening his turban in front of the mirror.
Other scenes included moments from the family life of the owners like a couple playing Chaupar, a man drinking from the saucer given by a woman and a romantic man touching his woman, a king distributing all his riches among his citizen, two elephants raining milk from their trunks over Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth.
The sunlight that comes into a fully furnished room of the haveli has orange glass at the windows delivers an orange glow. The inner courtyard led to the residential quarters ornate with an abundance of attractive frescos. The artworks depict palki, musical-band party, horse-driven carriages, a mother breast-feeding and an insignificant battle.
The picture of the army riding on the camel-back and shooting a canon is two hundred years old which resembles the contemporary Border defence. One side of the courtyard has an idol of Lord Ganesha playing the drum presenting the traditional architecture of the haveli. The external wall of the mansion has pictures of dancing women.
The cultural centre has three sections. One section is reserved for paintings of tribal art. painting on goat skin depicting lord Ram hunting accomplished by an unknown tribal artist. A painting by Nadine Le Prince of a naked white woman getting out of her bed in the morning is also exhibited here. Another section is devoted to sculptures, engraved on black stone, that exhibit the topic of romanticism. couples embracing each other, a statue of a headless woman.
Nadine Le Prince Haveli offers beautifully decorated lodging facilities along with a cafe, and cultural events, such as dance and music shows for the art enthusiasts.
Nadine Le Prince Haveli is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The entry cost is ₹250.
Fatehpur is a 25-minute drive from Mandawa. It takes 3 hours to reach Fatehpur from Bikaner by car and 3.5 hours from Jaipur.
At the most, the entire tour takes between 1 and 1.5 hours.
The official guides provide the tour in the medium of English or French.