Although the town attracts many foreign tourists as well as filmmakers throughout the year, it still retains its originality and has not felt the impact of commercialism as yet. The charm is alive in its nature.
Over the years, we have witnessed Rajasthan as Bollywood’s favourite shooting destination. Be it the pristine palaces of Udaipur or the stimulating sand dunes of Jaisalmer, the beauty and essence of the state has been showcased on big screen very often. But what is it about Mandawa, a small town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, which attracts numerous Bollywood stars and makes it a preferred choice for their films? Manvi Dewan sheds light…
A 260 km ride from New Delhi is not that exciting a journey but as soon as you reach this quaint little town, you land in awe of its culture and hospitality. It is Mandawa’s rural appeal, magnificent heritage, forts embellished with colourful wall paintings and most importantly low production costs that attract filmmakers.
On strolling through the sprawling lawns of Castle Mandawa (a popular heritage hotel), one gets flashes of the peppy dance number ‘Cutie pie’ from the recent film “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, where actors Fawad Khan and Ranbir Kapoor danced with Anushka Sharma.
While Mandawa was portrayed as Lucknow in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijan depicted the town as Pakistan. Mirziya, PK, Jab We Met, Paheli, Shudh Desi Romance, Dolly Ki Doli, Manorma Six Feet Under, Kachhe Dhaage are among many films that were shot in this part of the country. In the upcoming Arjun-Shraddha starrer “Half Girlfriend”, parts of Mandawa would once again be highlighted on the silver screen.
Where obsession for film stars persists in every nook and corner of the country, Mandawa is one of those few places where local people are not star-struck. Hence the filmmakers can concentrate better on their work. Although the town attracts many foreign tourists as well as filmmakers throughout the year, it still retains its originality and has not felt the impact of commercialism as yet. The charm is alive in its nature.
As the sun sets, tunes of Rajasthan’s folk music and slight chill in the air make you forget the stress of the big cities. The serene environs will definitely propel you to think about extending your trip. The big and small hotel-cum-havelis in Mandawa serve the local delicacies ranging from Gatte Ki Sabzi, Sangri Ki Sabzi, pickle and the famous Lal Maas. It is not uncommon that while enjoying a camel cart ride, the camel man invites you to his place to experience the desi flavours of the town, thereby, making you witness the region’s hospitality which is unmatchable.
Since no trip is complete without shopping, one can explore some traditional items in the local market. The market in Mandawa is not very flashy or extravagant as it is in other cities of Rajasthan but you will find many shops that offer vibrant Lac Bangles, handmade Jutti’s and wall fabric paintings.
So if you are fascinated by village culture, old havelis, folk music and calm surroundings, Mandawa is the place for you.