Monday 30th October 2017
Mandawa to Delhi
Today we visited the old havelis in Mandawa. Havelis are grand houses like mansions that were built by traders who lived in the town from the 1750s onwards right through to the 20th century, until the British taxed them so heavily that they couldn’t afford to stay there and moved away to other places in India and around the world. They were decorated with murals on the outside walls and some were brightly decorated inside but unfortunately most of them have fallen into disrepair. We were able to visit one that was in reasonable condition with a caretaker and family living there and one was being restored in preparation for being converted into a hotel. All had rooftop balconies with views over the town, fairly small by Indian standards. We also saw the town well that was 80 metres deep and 7 metres across – we peered down quite cautiously! After walking round the town, which was quite nice, and taking it all in, we set off towards Delhi, about 280km away. The guide said we should be there by about 6:00pm, but the traffic was absolutely horrendous so we didn’t arrive back at the hotel until 8:30pm. Had dinner in the hotel, and farewelled some of the people tonight as they were leaving at 5:00am in the morning. This has been a very interesting visit to India which is a very interesting country full of surprises. Today was not quite as hot, only about 30C max, although we spent most of the day travelling through the countryside.