Lined with heritage havelis in a deserted area of Rajasthan is Churu. It is considered as the gateway to the Thar Desert. Like an oasis in the midst of the shifting sand dunes of the desert, the village also overlooks a few limestone hills. Churu is embedded with glorious architectural havelis, many with fresco paintings. The painted havelis are your guide to untold stories of ancient Rajasthan. Take your time around these havelis for you may miss out the beautiful hidden courtyard or the magnificent ceiling. With hundreds of small windows and pigeons flying through them is the haveli of Kanhaiyalal Bagla. It has its own character and style with the beautiful love stories of Sassi-Punnu and Dhola-Maru etched on the southern and western walls. Sethani ka Johra with its strategic planning and construction once used to be the storehouse of water that served the locals during a drought. It is now in a dilapidated condition. The mammoth fort of Ratangarh dates back to 1820 AD and was built by Surat Singh, the Raja of Bikaner. Due to repeated attacks, the fort is no more the giant it used to be. These sites are nevertheless worth a visit for a glimpse of the royal past. You may stay at Malji ka Kamra for a royal stay. The mouthwatering local cuisine will certainly bind you to its Indian roots and make you long for more.