A cluster of forts, havelis, and baolis-these words best introduce Dundlod, a small village situated in the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Visiting this village is like visiting an open-air art gallery that has not changed much since the time it was built.
Dundlod is situated in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, India. Famous for its fort and havelis, this tiny village extends between latitude 28.06° in the north and longitude 75.20° in the east. Dundlod can be reached by road from Delhi, Jaipur, and Bikaner.
Dundlod is a tiny village lying about seven km north of Nawalgarh in the heart of the Shekhawati region. Its small fort was built in 1750 by Keshari Singh, the fifth and youngest son of a Rajput ruler Sardul Singh. Major additions were made in the early 19th century by his descendant Sheo Singh. Members of the wealthy Goenka merchant family also settled at Dundlod and their prosperity is evident in their richly painted havelis here. The beautiful chhatri of Ram Dutt Goenka and the adjacent well were both built by Ram Chandra Goenka in 1888.
Fairs & Festivals
During the Gangaur festival in March, a horse show is organized in Dundlod. This can prove to be a good occasion for the people having interest in horses.
Best Time to Visit
Like most other places in north India, Dundlod too has extreme climate. The summers can be very hot with mercury crossing 45°C, whereas winters are chilly and the temperature can fall below 5°C. The best season to visit this place is winter i.e. October to March. Annual rainfall is between 45 and 60 cm.
How to Reach
BY AIR -The nearest airport for chartered flights is Jhunjhunu around 30 km from Dundlod. For regular flights one will have to reach Jaipur, around 160 km away. Jaipur is connected through all the major domestic airlines with other major cities of the country.
BY RAIL -Mukundgarh is the nearest railway station and one can take trains for Bikaner and Jaipur from here.
BY ROAD -The whole of the Shekhawati region is well connected with a good network of roads and both private and government buses have reasonable services in the region. Dundlod can be reached by road from Delhi 250 km away, Jaipur 160 km away, and Bikaner 230 km away.
The fort of Dundlod is an embodiment of the cultural amalgamation of the Rajputana and Mughal Schools of Art and Architecture. Its motif of flowers and foliage, minarets, mythological paintings, archaic furniture, wall hangings of arrows, and shields have remained unchanged since ages. Staying in Dundlod Fort is almost like living through the days of James Tod who once described the splendors of Rajasthan. On every dawn the first ray of the sun falls over the fort as an eternal blessing to this land of mystique and charisma.
The Diwan Khana is built in the Mughal architectural style and is furnished with Louis the XIV furniture. It has a magnificent library, with a very rich collection of rare books on Indian history. One can see the family portraits of the thakurs, which remind one of the times gone by. Above this lies the Duchatta from where the ladies watched the court ceremonies in purdah.
The Tuganram Goenka Haveli is often locked but one can see fine mirror work above the windows on the upper walls of the courtyard. Finely preserved paintings under the eaves mostly comprise portraits in round frames. The haveli opposite this one is interesting, as the work could not be completed and it is possible to see how the artist sketched the drawings before adding color. Pictures include those of an elephant, a camel and its rider, and a horse.
Other attractions in Dundlod include the Jagathia Haveli and Satyanarayan Temple.
Places Around Dundlod
Nawalgarh is situated around seven km south of Dundlod and famous for its fort, built in 1737. Other attractions here include the havelis of Anandi Lal Poddar, Aath Haveli, Hem Raj Kulwal Haveli, Bhagton Ki Haveli, and Khedwal Bhavan.
Parsurampura is located some 27 km south east of Dundlod and has the distinction of having the best-preserved and oldest paintings in the Shekhawati region.
Mukundgarh is around six km north west of Dundlod and a tiny village famous for its fort and havelis.
Mandawa is around 30 km north west of Dundlod and now a popular destination with tourists. There are quite a good number of antique shops here. This village was settled in the 18th century and fortified by the wealthy merchants of the village. There are a few good havelis and heritage hotels in this village.