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Patwon Ki Haveli - JaisalmerThe Patwon Ji ki Haveli is an
interesting piece of Architecture and is the most important among the havelis
in Jaisalmer. This is precisely because of two things, first that it was the first
haveli erected in Jaisalmer and second, that it is not a single haveli but a cluster
of 5 small havelis. The first among these havelis was commissioned and constructed
in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa and is the biggest and the most ostentatious.
It is believed that Patwa was a rich man and was a renowned trader of his time.
He could afford and thus ordered the construction of separate stories for each
of his 5 sons. These were completed in the span of 50 years. All five houses were
constructed in the first 60 years of the 19th century. The havelis are also known
as the ‘mansion of brocade merchants’. This name has been given probably because
the family dealt in threads of gold and silver used in embroidering dresses. However,
there are theories, which claim that these traders made considerable amount of
money in Opium smuggling and Money-lending. This haveli is presently occupied
by the government, which uses it for various purposes. The office of the Archeological
Survey of India and State art and craft department is situated in the haveli itself.
Nevertheless, even after these encroachments and abuse you can find a good amount
of paintings and mirror-works on the wall. The other important aspects are its
gateways and arches. You will notice individual depictions and theme on each and
every arch. Although the whole building is made yellow sandstone, the main gateway
of the Patwon Ji ki Haveli is in brown color.
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