Havelies are part of the Rajasthan culture and symbol of tourism. In most of the travel photos you will find beautifully carved projected balconies. These are Havelies of Rajasthan. These Havelies displays erstwhile gracious living standards of some business families, royal priests, Rajputs, thakurs , Marwaries, Muslims & treasury in charges ( Kotharies ) etc. These Havelies are different in different locations of Rajasthan. Rajput Havelies are different than Marwari Havelies and in same way royal priests Havelies are different than thakurs Havelies. Havelies are there in almost all towns of Rajsthan but some of them lost their identity and in some havelies still the families are staying. There are some important Havelies located in Jaisalmer town. One of the famous one is Patwon Ki Haveli
Patwon Ki Haveli
Located at the town center this Patwon Ki Haveli was constructed by a Marwari business man Guman Chand Patwa and his five sons. Before the development of sea trade Jaisalmer was the part of the silk route connecting to middle east. Patwons were dealing with gold brocade & silver. There are five havelies located within the complex for the five brothers. In those days it was estimated that in total Rs 10 Lakhs ( one million ) was spent for the construction of this haveli. This was done when people Jaisalmer were facing famine and this has helped them for their survival. Hindu and Muslim craftsman hailing from Gujrat, Malwa and Sindh worked in constructing these havalies. The location of the havelies are selected based on the protection from rough sandy winds.
After staring of Bombay ( Mumbai ) dock yard the trade route shifted to sea and the importance of Jaisalmer as a trade center has declined. The business families of Patwa has migrated to Madrass, Maharashtra and Bengal.
Once while traveling by Helicopter the Ex Prime minister Mrs Indira Gandhi Identified this building and took steps to conserve the beauty of this building. Patwon Haveli given the Heritage building status by Rajasthan Government. The management of this Haveli was given to Raj Kumar Kothari family trust in 1965. Mr Raj Kumar Kothari took lot of interest and kept 12 galleries displaying some personal collection of My Raj Kumar Kothari. The collections displays the lifestyle and culture of the Bafna Family the erstwhile owner of the Havelis.
This is an example of Indo –Islamic architecture. Inside the havelies there are galleries and places for House temple, Drawing room, Dining Hall, Bed room, Kitchen room, Turban collection, Locks collection, Chambers, Painting collection and fans. The turban gallery displays types of turbans used by people reflecting different casts and cultures of the state. Read more on the types of turbans used in Rajasthan. Another gallery displays different types of musical instruments used by different folk communities. There is a gallery displaying different types of locks used in those days. There are secret places like basement and behind a painting and those were used for storing treasure and other valuables and the address or location was passed to next generation by verbal communication. One such location is in display where a locker is available behind a painting.