Haveli tour around Jhunjhunu, India

January 6, 2003
Odometer reading: 1204 km

Weather: high of about 75ºF and clear

Mr Jangid is the kind owner of the Jamuna Resort where we are staying. He offers to drive us around the countryside to see the painted havelis (mansions) that the area is famous for.

When Mr Jangid finds out that Julie is interested in textiles, he takes us to a place where fabrics are tie-dyed, and a place where fabric is block printed. The block printing operation is not going because of the cold weather, but they show us how to wrap a turban, even with a scarf only 3 meters long. A proper turban should have 8 meters of cloth.
These dramatic Janti trees are all throughout the farmlands. They are nitrogen fixing, so they are good for the surrounding crops. And they produce nutritious beans as a crop and leaves as fodder.
Here is a courtyard in a haveli. Most have three courtyards: a semi-public one, a private one, and one for the animals.
We stop in one haveli for lunch and while it is cooking, we take in the view from the roof. We have aloo matar (my favorite!), papadam, chapatis, and a sweet wheatgerm pudding.
The paintings were mostly done in the late 1800's, so they are somewhat faded now and don't photograph well. In person, they are intricate and lovely.
The villages in this area were prosperous stops along the trade route between China, India, and the Middle East until land trade was eclipsed by sea trade. The traders moved with the times and became even wealthier in Bombay and Calcutta during the time of British rule. However, that turned these towns into something like ghost towns.
One of our last stops is at a cenotaph (a Hindu tomb modeled after the great Muslim tombs) that is now a school building. The fading daylight and the clear country air are very relaxing.

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