10 beautiful Indian cities under the radar that will transport you back in time

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About 200 km north of the state capital, Jaipur, Churu is the traditional home of the Marwari community, which enjoyed great success in the 1800s as financiers and entrepreneurs in the largest cities of the India like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. They expressed their immense wealth by erecting immense havelis (mansions) in their desert homeland. The majority of these havelis are now in a picturesque state of disrepair and locked for much of the year, open only for occasional wedding ceremonies. However, some of them are open to visitors keen to see the colorful murals on the courtyards and exterior and interior walls, depicting everyday life, travel souvenirs, animals, luxury cars, and portraits of ancestors and royals who once remained in these now void. mansions.

The best place to see the centuries-old frescoes up close is at Malji Ka Kamra, a heritage hotel that will transport you to a bygone era. Meanwhile, interesting murals can be seen just as you walk around the city. Be sure to stop at Bagla Haveli and Surana Brothers Double Haveli with over 1000 windows.

Keen shoppers should visit the local market filled with dozens of small, old-fashioned shops selling everything including saris, fabrics, lacquer bracelets, and Rajasthani spices. The perfect way to end the day here is watching the sunset at Sethani Ka Johra, a 19th-century pond surrounded by chattris (awnings).

INSIDER ADVICETo see more painted havelis, visit the nearby historic towns of Mandawa, Nawalgarh, and Jhunjhunu, which are part of the Shekhawati region.

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