Just 170 km from Jaipur and about 260 km from Delhi lies an erstwhile little town full of colours and devoid of noise. Mandawa, a village in the Sekhawati region of Rajasthan , is bordered by the Aravalis in the east and the desert sands in the west. Situated in the district of Jhunjhunu, Mandawa is also known as the town of havelis, some of which also double as hotels. Almost every house in the tiny town seems to pop out of a period drama. If one is careful of the little lanes fanning off the main street, it is a cakewalk to cover the entire town on foot in half a day.

Of all the towns in the Shekhawati region, Mandawa is the one best set up for tourists, with authentic places to stay and some decent restaurants. Expect great Rajasthani hospitality at this small 18th-century settlement and is still a pleasant base for your haveli (traditional, ornately decorated residence) explorations.

There is only one main drag, with narrow lanes fanning off it. The easy-to-find Harnal Haveli is halfway along this street and makes a handy point of reference.

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