Hawa Mahal is a five story building that is situated in the heart of the city of Jaipur. It has a beehive like structure and is made of red and pink sand stone lined with white color to make it vibrant. It is pink like the rest of the pink city of Jaipur.
The palace has carved and arched small chhatris or dome-shaped pavilions showing the richness of vivid Rajputana architecture. The walls of palace have 953 jharokha or overhanging balconies from where cool and fresh air can pass.
The most unique aspect about the palace is the fact that at all times a light breeze passes through it. That is how the palace got its name. Hawa means wind, which is the Palace of Winds.
Hawa Mahal was built in the year 1799 for the woman of the royal palace. In medieval India a ‘pardah’ system was followed where the royal woman followed seclusion. In order for royal woman to be connected to the outside would the Hawa Mahal was built. The queens and princesses could look at the various processions and events through the many windows of the Hawa Mahal.
Sawai Pratap Singh was a devotee of Lord Krishna, a Hindu God. He asked Lal Chand Usta, the chief architect to design the building to honour the Lord in some way. Therefore the Mahal is structured in the shape of Lord Krishna’s crown.
The Hawa Mahal is located on the main road near Badi Chaupar and City Palace complex. It is walking distance from other attractions such as Jantar Mantar and City Palace.
The Hawa Mahal can be visited any time of the day. And to truly appreciate the architecture you can visit on a hot windless day. You will still be able to feel the draught of wind. However it is advisable to visit Rajasthan during winter as the temperature is the most pleasant then.
Apart from the beautiful architecture and the breeziness of the palace there is museum that is worth a visit. Art and History lovers will really enjoy the terrific collection of antiques, weapons and articles used by royal families.
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