Jhunjhunu Travel Guide
¤ Jhunjhunu- A Painted Town
Distance : 52km from Churu
182km from Jaipur, 235km from Bikaner, 215km from Delhi, 440km from
Population : 72,000
STD : 01592
Jhunjhunu a name which spells beauty and colour. A land of
murals. The capital of a painted district. The largest town in the
Open Air Art Gallery called Shekhawati. That's exactly how you'll
describe the town when you've walked through its winding lanes and
seen its surprisingly large number of painted monuments.
¤ Located in Foot of Kana
Jhunjhunu spreads itself peacefully in the shade of the Kana Pahar
hill, and probably that is the reason why its past hasn't been too
peaceful. Everyone who laid his eyes on Jhunjhunu coveted it.
¤ Jhunjhunu History
Historians say that the town probably got its name from a Jat ruler
(Jats are the people of Haryana, and they played a major role in
certain parts of Rajasthan too, like Bharatpur). But historians do not
say when exactly the foundation day of Jhunjhunu happened. So the
first 'recorded' ruler was Mohammad Khan, a Kaimkhani nawab (Mughal
governor) who occupied Jhunjhunu in 1450. His descendants sat tight on
the throne until 1730, when the then nawab, Rohilla Khan, died on a
journey to Delhi. and that was the end of the nawab rule, because
Sardul Singh, the great Shekhawat Rajput, who was also a diwan
(minister) in Khan's court, seized Jhunjhunu in a bloodless coup.
¤ Jhunjhunu Became The Capital of Shekhawati Region
From then on, Jhunjhunu became the capital of an extended Shekhawati.
On Sardul's death in 1752, the kingdom was torn equally amongst his
five sons. Each Singh son had his own palace built, and ruled more or
less autonomously. The 19th century was, of course, the
time of the British, and Jhunjhunu became an important base. It was in
Jhunjhunu that the British based their Shekhawati Brigade, a troop
raised locally in the 1830s to put a stop to the activities of dacoits
in the area. The British commanders lived like kings, like Major
Forster who was the virtual ruler for several years and who even built
a new sector in town called Forsterganj. The Major was also very
popular, for he built both a mosque and a temple for the people.
¤ Rising of The Marwari Business Community
Amidst all this power struggle rose the strong marwari business
community, whose conquest was of the bloodless kind. These hard
working people first excelled in the caravan trade that flourished in
Rajasthan in the late 18th century, and then travelled far and wide to
foreign places like Calcutta and Bombay (Mumbai) and made money there
too. Jhunjhunu, too, had its share of such famous merchant families.
The Tulsians and the Khaitans are the two best known, the latter being
renowned all over the country for their electric fans. Thanks to them
and the others like the Tibrewalas and the Modis and, of course, the
nawabs and the Singhs, Jhunjhunu's monuments will occupy you for at
least a few days. and if you're lucky, you might even get to see the
colourful Mansa Devi mela (fair), which is held twice a year, in
Chaitra (March-April) and in Asoj (September-October). Mansa Devi is
an important deity of Jhunjhunu, and has a temple dedicated to her
atop a hill.