Ilay Cooper’s book on Shekhawati set me off on an extraordinary trip to an extraordinary place, and I had to wait for nearly six months before I felt ready to write about it — so overwhelming were my thoughts and emotions. This post on Dundlod is the third of eight posts in the series on “The Painted Towns of Shekhawati”. If you haven’t read this introduction to Shekhawati’s history (and the series), I recommend that you do so now, before proceeding further.
The gates to the Dundlod Fort are locked when I arrive at 2.30 in the afternoon from Nawalgarh.
“How can a Fort be locked at this time of the day?” I grumble, looking around for some information on the Fort timings. I don’t find any and instead start looking around for someone who can help me, but there is no one around and all the shops are shut — Dundlod appears to be practically deserted.
I see a tea stall that is open and walk towards it. The tea stall owner guesses what I’m going to ask him and says: “The Fort is shut. They have gone horse riding.”
“Who are ‘they’?” I ask.
“The owners of the Fort and their foreign guests. You come after some time,” is the reply.
I decide to explore the town instead and as I’m wondering which direction to head towards, the tea stall owner points me towards a haveli (mansion) and says that the caretaker-cum-watchman will open it for me to see.
That’s how I end up at the Shubhnarayan Anandram Goenka Haveli. Continue reading “The painted towns of Shekhawati-2: Dundlod”