Shankar Singh, my Mandawa guide, began to point out the frescoed havelis that were on the main street.
Some were in good condition or had been restored.
Shankar explained that some owners had abandoned their havelis, and certain of them had thus fallen into decay. Others were still being lived in by the owners. We then stepped into the yard of a haveli where the occupants were still living there.
These permitted peeks at the private homes made the already inexpensive fee of the local tour guide into an incredible bargain.
Shankar was excellent at pointing out particularly well preserved frescoes in unusual locations that I might have missed.
There were so many of them in one small town of around 20,000 that it was astonishing.
Mandawa in its heyday must have been magnificent.
Even with many of the havelis falling into disrepair, it was incredibly beautiful.