Churu, the headquarters of the largest
desert district, is a part of the frescoland of Shekhawati. A major
centre for trade and commerce, Churu has marked its position among the
painted towns of the Shekhawati region. The town is literally a living
mural that has expressed itself on the walls of the havelis (mansions)
of the rich trading classes. It is really an heirloom of the rich
traditional art of Rajasthan.
¤ Churu-A Desert Town
Founded in 1563, the town was a part of the kingdom of the Maharaja
of Bikaner. It arrived at its name after a Jat chief who had
established this barren town. Churu lives up to its portrayal of a
desert town with dramatic sand dunes enclosing its western and
¤ Flourished as a Trading Town
In the 18th century Churu fell on the caravan route and ensured that
the trading classes of the town were well off in their respective
businesses. The Poddars were the most important traders of those times
dealing mainly in woollens, especially Kashmir shawls. The Thakur (the
local ruler) of Churu, Sheo Singh, imposed a heavy wool tax on the
Poddars which compelled them to move to Sikar. The Rao of Sikar, Devi
Singh, gladly welcomed them to a place 15km south of Churu where the
Poddars established the town of Ramgarh.
However, the Poddar traders were not satisfied and the Thakur
revolted against the Maharaja of Bikaner, Surat Singh, the result of
which was pretty grim for the former. He committed suicide and the
Maharaja took over the town 1813. He ordered the destruction of the
town walls as well as the fort built in 1739. Another revolt in 1818
ended the rule of the Thakurs and Churu came directly under the state
of Bikaner. When the British came here in the 1830s, they were in for
a surprise the town was in ruins. Trade was absolutely
nonexistent because of the shift to Ramgarh and also by the repeated
raids by the rulers of Shekhawati. The Maharaja convinced the trading
classes to return to Churu, thereby reviving the town and coming up
with the most impressive painted havelis and temples in the whole of
||16829 sq. km.
||Rajasthani, Hindi, English
|Best Time to Visit :
||September to March
|STD Code :
¤ Main Attractions in
This fort is an important attraction of the state and was constructed
in 1820 AD by Raja of Bikaner - Ratan Singh. The fort is located on
Agra - Bikaner highway. The shape of the market place is in the form
of cross which suggest that city was planned before construction. You
can see a spectrum of havelis which is around the main clock tower at
the main crossing.
In Churu city, this is one of the famous temple devoted to Lord
Hanuman. Located at Japur-Bikaner highway, Churu is a well known
pilgrimages of India. It is said that this is the place where Lord
Balaji fulfills the desires of thousands of devotees.
This is a six storeyed edifice with an artistic windows and elegant
doors. The haveli have more than 1100 doors.
It is an historical village which lies on Thar desert. The village
has enticing topography and have huge beautifully designed havelis.
You could enjoy the rural life and camel safaris in this Dudhwa Khara.
Just 46 kms from Churu, Sardar Shahar is an enchanting desert down
with beautiful intricate havelis adorned with colourful wall paintings
and carved wood work.
Tal Chhapar is a small enticing lake and harbours some endangered
species like black bucks and some migratory birds. The lake is 100 km
awa from Churu.
¤ Shoppers Paradise
Churu is a small city with number
of local shops selling regional handicrafts, tie and dye fabrics and
furniture. You could find materials like wool, millet, gram, cattle
and salt. The city is also dotted with cottage industries which
include handloom weaving, pottery and leather manufacture.
¤ Famous Artisans of the
Though a town with no handicrafts
to boast of, Churus offers some excellent sandalwood. In Churu,
Malchand Jangid, a carpenter used to make sandalwood almonds that were
hinged in wood. When opened they revealed a tiny deity of your choice.
Ram Ratan Sharma, another expert in this craft, had first started out
by carving cakes of cheap soap until he came upon his grand mothers
coffer of sandalwood. With tools that he made himself, he created
intricate objects lockets, flowering plants with hidden cells
that open to reveal sandalwood gods or a village scene. Churu is also
famous for its drummers, especially during the festivals of Holi and
¤ Sagas of Love
The legend of Dhola and Maru is the
Indian version of the Romeo-Juliet saga (also see Jodhpur: Mehrangarh
fort). The princess Maru was from a place called Pugal near Bikaner
while Dhola was the young and handsome prince of Gwalior. A terrible
drought in Pugal made Marus (then two year old) father shift to
Gwalior, which was ruled by his friend, the father of Dhola. He stayed
there for three years and before leaving for his hometown, the two
kings each promised to get their children married to each other.
However, after a span of 20 years all promises were forgotten and Maru
was betrothed to a man called Umra.
But destiny prevailed, and a bard from Pugal who had travelled to
Gwalior sang at the royal court about the childhood betrothal of Dhola
and Maru. After listening to the song Dhola fell hook, line and sinker
for the virtuous princess Maru. With love in his eyes Dhola beagn
wooing Maru who also fell in love with the handsome Dhola. Where two
hearts collide there has to be an outcome, and so they decided to run
away. Umra came to know about their plans and went after them with his
brother Sumra. The eloping lovers on their camel with their bows
arrows were no match for the Umra-Sumra brothers who had guns.
However, they were able to evade the evil brothers and took refuge in
a forest. Unfortunately Dhola was bitten by a snake and died on the
spot. Maru, thus cheated by her lover, proceeded to weep to death.
Luck favoured Maru and her cries were heard by Lord Shiva and his
consort Parvati. Parvati requested her husband to revive Dhola and
thus by divine intervention the lovers were united to live happily
ever after (for another legendary version of the folk story see
Meherangarh Fort in Jodhpur).
The lore of Sassi and Punnu is also a fascinating one. Sassi was a
princess who was abandoned early in life and was raised among
washermen. Punnu, on the other hand, was a prince who married Sassi
against the wishes of his parents. The evil parents later kidnapped
him and the heartbroken Sassi died in the desert while desperately
searching for her lost love.
Major Tour Packages To Rajasthan