What comes to your mind when you think of Gokarna?
Pubs ? Cafes? Dance ? Music ?
Well well, I used to feel the same way about Gokarna 3 days ago .I was not so satisfied with the idea of a trip to Gokarna as I don't fancy things mentioned above but to my surprise I fell in love with the place.
I am not sure where should I start from. So here it goes. . .. Gokarna also called as Gokarn is a small town located in Karnataka. I have nearly travelled most of South India, but I have not seen a town as holy as Gokarn. It is a very religious town with people enriched with culture. This town is much more than it's Beaches and all the other tourist attractions.
The town is uniquely structured with temples on every 10 steps , narrow paths with not more than two storied buildings on each side which makes it impossible for two vehicles to be on opposite sides .
Locals made the city look even more sacred with their way of dressing. Most of the men were dressed in dhotis with three white lines of tikas on their forehead whereas women were wearing long dresses with no strips (which looked so cool ) to beat the heat.
Walking into the narrow paths of the town which is completely away from modernization made me feel like I was living in Indian history!
Gokarna was not a bad decision after all . U know what they say , 'Don't listen to what they say, go SEE' Strolling around the town also made me realize that there was not even a single shop to buy a bottle of liquor from , which is completely contradictory to the part of the town which has now become a holiday destination for all the youngsters to do all kinds of drugs ?
The wall paintings in Shekhawati's havelis do not always follow a particular visual narrative. Panels are often painted next to each other with no connection between them as part of a story. This way the panels are often unique in their content; for example, here we see the portraits of King George V and Queen Mary painted in one of the panels above the arched entrance, right next to a panel showing Shiva granting boon to a couple. Image credit : Garima Agarwal @garimaphotos
Here, on the walls of Kedia haveli in Fatehpur, Shekhawati, one can see a painting of the Goddess Lakshmi between the windows on the first floor. Above the Lakshmi painting, there’s an image of a woman lifting up a fantastic machine with wheels, wings and a horse’s head. Two female flywhisk bearers are seen fanning a couple seated on the machine. A woman modelled on Raja Ravi Varma’s famous painting ‘Damayanti and the Swan Messenger’ is seen painted between the windows on the ground floor. Image credit : Garima Agarwal @garimaphotos
One of the walls of Kedia Haveli in Fatehpur, Shekhawati. An early motorcar is seen painted above the window on the ground floor. The panel on the first floor depicts infant Krishna stealing butter and getting caught in the act by his mother. The small niches on the extreme left has images of musicians, dancers and flywhisk bearers. This shows how mythological themes were juxtaposed with scenes from everyday life and even with modern scientific innovations. Image credit : Garima Agarwal @garimaphotos
Laxmi, 65 years old, works as a caretaker along with her husband at Chokhani Double Haveli, Mandawa. Hailing from a neighbouring town Ramgarh, she got married at a very young age and came to Mandawa. Her husband’s last three generations have worked here as caretakers, a tradition they are carrying forward. Image credit : Garima Agarwal @garimaphotos
Rusted old locks lying in the courtyard of Chowkhani Double Haveli, Mandawa. Banwari, who is more than 60 years of age, go about cleaning the courtyard. Banwari has served his whole life working as a caretaker for this haveli as the owners have shifted to other cities. Image credit : Garima Agarwal @garimaphotos
A lady caretaker at Choukhani Double Haveli, Mandawa. The palatial mansions were just not a means of displaying wealth and opulence, but also had practical necessity because the traders had large families with many descendants, each needing their own private quarters. The havelis kept growing in size as new floors and more buildings were added over several generations. Image credit : Garima Agarwal @garimaphotos