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Havelis of Jaisalmer

Tourist Information On Havelis In Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer Mansions Nathmalji Ki Haveli, Patwon Ki Haveli And Salim Singh Ki Haveli Are Renowned For Their Architecture, Rajasthan Royal Grandeur And Exquisite Paintings.

Location: Jaisalmer

Attractions: Nathmalji Ki Haveli, Patwon Ki Haveli And Salim Singh Ki Haveli

When to visit: October to March

Rajasthan - Jaisalmer - Havelis of Jaisalmer

The enticing Havelis of Jaisalmer are mansions built by the wealthy merchants of this city. With the oldest of them going back nearly 300 years, these Havelis are an ode to true Indian architecture, without any European influence.

Built in sandstone, the Havelis have exquisite detailing in the patterns carved in stone. The fineness of these patterns is a joy to behold. The decorative latticework on the Havelis facades' are made from stone and wood. The Havelis are all in mint condition and have imposing and beautifully done up interiors. The history of each of these Havelis is as colourful as the place itself.

The pride and joy of Jaisalmer among its Havelis are:

Salim Singh Ki Haveli

Salim Singh Ki Haveli

The structure of of Salim Singh Ki Haveli goes back to the 17th century. This is an Arabian Nights like structure, and parts of this Haveli are occupied and lived in even now. The history of this eponymous Haveli and its erstwhile owner is as colourful as its architecture is eye catching.

Salim Singh, a man said to have Machiavellian cunning, was the then Prime Minister of Jaisalmer. His father Diwan Swaroop Singh, also Prime Minister of Jaisalmer, was murdered in a palace intrigue when Salim was just twelve years old. Salim vowed to avenge his father's death and carried it out with dexterity when he grew up.

Salim Singh occupied this eight storey building with his seven wives and two concubines. The mansion has 38 balconies, each with a unique design. The upper part of the building juts out like a ship's prow; that's the reason it is also known as Jahaz Mahal or Ship Palace. Situated just below the hill, the Haveli has a magnificent view.

Nathmalji Ki Haveli

Nathmalji Ki Haveli

Diwan Mohata Nathmal, then Prime Minister of Jaisalmer built this Haveli in 1885. it was designed by two Muslim brothers Hathi and Lulu. An ethereal building, its construction has an unusual history associated with it; the two architect brothers constructed one half each of the building from the same plan. The two halves turned out to be absolutely dissimilar to each other and are joined together by a faÇade. There is no other building in Jaisalmer that surpasses Nathmal Ki Haveli in quality of workmanship even now. The entire building's faÇade has fine detailing and carvings. The main chamber of this mansion is carved out of rock and the entire frontage of the first floor is carved out of one solitary boulder. Its jharokas (balconies) and jaalis are carved exquisitely, like filigree. The Haveli's interiors are decorated with miniature paintings.


Patwon Ki HaveliMost opulent of all Jaisalmer Havelis, this is actually a unit of five separate houses. The first one was constructed in 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa, a merchant. This is also the largest and most ostentatious of all five. The rest were built by his sons and reportedly took 50 years to complete. Built in yellow sandstone, these houses have almost 60 balconies and beautifully carved lattice work. Of the six apartments, two are occupied by families living in them, two belong to the Archaeological Survey of India and two have shops running in them.

For the quality of architecture, construction and the opulence of embellishments, a trip to Jaisalmer is well worth it just to see these Havelis.

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