From ArticleWorld

Havelis are a symbol of one of the most successful Indian business communities, the Marwaris. For a century until 1930 Marwaris, known for their trading skills, celebrated success in business by building large, profusely painted family compounds in their home districts in Rajasthan. Though a major attraction for historians of architecture and tourism, most havelis today are uninhabited and often in disrepair.

Returning to Shekhawat and Marwar districts, Marwaris built strong houses with one main gate, to ensure privacy and security, and follow their own pace of life. Havelis often have two or more courtyards around which the buildings rise two-four stories high. An inner courtyard was for women, who were often veiled in the presence of non-family men.

The most striking feature of havelis is their use of frescoes. Mythological themes, scenes, and stories from the Hindu tradition were expertly painted onto the walls and those that are in decent condition today are remarkable works of art.