Churu is a city in the desert region of Rajasthan; the city is also known as the gateway to the Thar Desert. Located close to the shifting sand dunes of the Thar Desert, the city has grand Havelis, which have beautiful fresco paintings. Some of the Havelis are Kanhaiya Lal Bagla ki Haveli and Surana Haveli, which have hundreds of small windows.
The city was founded in 1620 AD by Chuharu Jat at Nirban Clan of Rajputs and was named as Churu after Churu Jat in the Jangladesh region of the state. Churu is an oasis located in the middle of the moving golden sand dunes, which opens its gates to the desert of Thar.
PC: Offical Site
The streets in Churu's old town are quiet and empty. Occasionally one can hear the sound of a motorcycle going around and autos carrying schoolchildren that make their way through the narrow lanes of the town.
One can find grand doors here, which are mostly locked. Some have been locked for a long time, one can find some of these locks covered in plastic to protect them from moisture and rusting. The beautiful havelis lie unused and in a forgotten state.
The Lively Market
The market of Churu is located in the Southern end, which in contrast is more lively to the town. Here, one can find vendors, shoppers and bikes trying to find space in the lanes which are lined with the shops. One can find mounds of dried red chilles, large ledgers, kachori makers with their giant kadais and bright bandhej dupattas fluttering in the blowing wind.
You will also spot the oldest havelis, which are said to have built in the 1830s and most of them are completely worn out. It is not unusual to find only a section of wall standing with dull colours, which are found on the once beautiful facade are now found behind closed doors. As you stroll further down, once in a while a bright colour makes an appearance amidst hues of browns and pale yellows.
The Detailings And Paintings
One can see the astonishing detailing in the structures here along with the ones found in the doors, walls and windows. The doors are decorated with brass knobs and up to five layers of carved frames with painted guards on each side.
The paintings which are found in each of the havelis are in the Bikaner style along with Shekhawati influences. The paintings found here, although are not as beautiful as their subject matter but is often matter of fact. These murals, do not have depictions of any religious content but deal with subjects of everyday life, like elephants, camels, dancing women, portraits of ancestors and royals etc.
Ghantaghar And Havelis
If shopping is not your cup of tea, then explore the small town market which would be something different from what the malls offer you. The people here call out each other and show courteousness to every visitor from out of the town.
PC: Offical Site
At the market, one cannot miss the ghantaghar, which was constructed by the renowned Birla family in the early 1900s, along with it is the red doorway which is only remaining evidence of the Churu fort. The Nagar Sri is a small museum, which is home to a collection of traditional household items like utensils, financial records, jewellery and clothes which were donated by the local families.
The Poddar Haveli is one of the oldest in the town, which is now reduced to almost ruins, there is a single room on the first floor of the haveli, which stood the test of time with bright floral patterns decorating its walls and pillars.
The most beautiful amongst the group of monuments is the Poddar group of Chhatris, which have murals that depict scenes from Ramayana and the pastimes of Krishna. One can find a beautiful mural depicting the 'Raas Leela' that decorates the inner roof atop one of the chhatris. The colours are so bright that, one would not believe that it dates back to the 1850s.