home > Responsible Tourism in india - Articles > Ramgarh Shekhawati
Ramgarh Shekhawati
Ramgarh was founded in 1791 by the Poddar family and it was one of the richest towns in 19th century of India. There are many towns in India named after their ruling kings or nawabs but Ramgarh Shekhawati is the only town, which is known by their Seths (business men). Therefore, Ramgarh Shekhawati is also popular as Ramgarh Sethan, or Ramgarh Sethoka.
Ramgarh, a town surrounded by sand dunes, was formerly, one of the richer towns in India. It was a centre of learning and was also known as Doosra Kashi (Second Varanasi). It is now a treasure trove of painted temples, havelis, and cenotaphs.

Ramgarh Shekhawati falls in Sikar district of Rajasthan, an important tehsil in northeast part of Rajasthan. The town is located on National Highway 65 (Pali to Ambala). The town is easily accessible from state capital, Jaipur.

An English traveller in the 1830s beautifully described Ramgarh, "…is singularly striking and seems to give reality to a vision drawn from eastern romance. The buildings are all constructed from Kunkur [gravel] grey hardpan, …numerous handsome houses of the seths [businessmen] some of which are on a magnificent scale, ornamented and painted in various devices outwardly; the neat high wall and gateways and the cupolard chattries [cenotaphs] in the suburb in contrast with the desert around, altogether exhibit a scene deserving to be allied with enchantment." But that was more than a century and a half back.
Now The town clearly now shows signs of ageing. However, that doesn’t make Ramgarh less interesting: old is beautiful. And in any case, Ramgarh boasts of more paintings than any other town in Shekhawati. Ramgarh is one of the best places in Shekhawati to buy antiques and replicas, especially ornate Rajasthani wood work.

With development of any town, there is always a population increase in all sections of the society. A large number of people from adjoining rural areas or from other places in the state migrate to the towns in search of a job. Ramgarh Shekhawati has witnessed a good growth in population and also the development of the town during last four decades.

The havelies, chattries (cenotaphs) and temples, built by seths, 100 to 200 years back, now all are neglected and due to vandalism, rampant urban growth, look ruined. Most of the Seths who build these beautiful structures, have gradually moved out to bigger cities elsewhere in the country. These beautiful places are losing their value.

After the successful merchants like Poddars and Ruias shifted to Mumbai and Kolkata in 1940s, the town started losing its beauty and now if conservation and restoration of these beautiful havelies, cenotaph and temples are not undertaken, the town can totally lose them because of lack of maintenance.

There is a growing movement, a public outcry of good meaning citizens taking this mission forward.

Website: http://www.ramgarhshekhawati.com/
Other Stories
All Rights Reserved © www.travelresponsibly.info   editor@travelresponsibly.info