Hawa Mahal: All you need to know
Hawa Mahal is Jaipur’s one of the most famous and must-visit tourist attractions.
Jaipur: Hawa Mahal, popularly known among foreign tourists as the Palace of Winds, is Jaipur’s one of the most famous and must-visit tourist attractions. This two-century old structure is situated inside the City Palace complex at Badi Chaupar in the heart of Jaipur.
Hawamahal is known for its architectural beauty and design. The structure was built keeping in view the religious beliefs and traditions that the women of the then royal family held.
Why was Hawa Mahal built?
Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty had Hawa Mahal built in 1799 for the royal family women. They were able to enjoy the hustle and bustle of everyday life from its windows without being seen from the outside. These women didn’t mingle with the masses and rarely appeared in public, so the palace gave them an opportunity to connect with the outside world, while remaining out of public view.
The women could also watch royal processions and cultural events from the palace windows. Royal processions were very famous and a significant part of the cultural beliefs and religion at that time (they still are).
The architecture is such that natural air blows through the palace after entering through its specially designed windows. It made the palace a perfect summer retreat for the royal family.
Five Historical Facts to Know about Hawa Mahal
- Jaipur rural Sawai Pratap Singh who built Hawa Mahal was the grandson of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh who founded Jaipur – the Pink City.
- The architect who is credited with designing the palace is Lal Chand Ustad.
- It was built in 1799.
- Sawai Pratap Singh was inspired by the architecture of Khetri Mahal built by Maharaja Bhopal Singh in Jhunjhunu, a town in Rajasthan. Sawai Pratap Singh also wanted to build a similar landmark building that would be a beautiful blend of Rajput and Islamic style of architecture.
- Sawai Prata Singh was a devotee of Lord Krishna. It was due to his devotion for Krishna that he dedicated this palace to his deity.
Seven Things to Know About the Palace of Wind Architecture
- The five-storey palace is built of red and pink sandstone.
- Its small latticed windows resemble the crown of Hindu god Lord Krishna. In fact the whole structure was built in the form of Lord Krishna’s crown. Hawa Mahal is shaped like a crown which adorns the Lord Krishna’s head.
- The main attraction of the palace is its windows. There are called ‘Jharokhas’. They were built in a way that air circulates through the palace without any obstruction. There are a total of 953 windows.
- Hawa Mahal served as an extension of the Royal City Palace. It was connected with the special rooms made for the royal women.
- From the top of the palace, you can enjoy views of the city’s other tourist attractions including Jantar Mantar, the City Palace and Sireh Deori Bazaar.
- There is a courtyard on the ground floor surrounded by two-storey buildings on three sides. You have to move through narrow passes with pillars built on both sides to reach from one place to another within the palace.
- The building is about 15 metre tall, but there are no stairs. The upper storey floors are reached by climbing special slope-like structures.
- Cultural and musical programs were performed in the courtyard of the palace by royal artists. The women of the royal family could enjoy these programs, sitting on the first and second floors.
14 tourist attractions close to Hawa Mahal
There are several tourist attractions close to Hawa Mahal. Following are the most famous ones:
- Jantar Mantar
- Royal City Palace
- Govind Dev Temple
- Jal Mahal
- Kanak Ghati
- Nahargarh Rescue Centre
- Amber Fort
- Nahargarh Fort
- Ram Niwas Garden
- BM Birla Planetarium
- Birla Temple
- Jain Temple
- Statue Circle
- And, Sisodia Rani Garden
You can hire a taxi to visit all these places.
Most important things to know when visiting Hawa Mahal
- The visiting time is between 9 am and 5.30 pm (IST).
- Entrance fee for domestic tourists is Rs 50, while it is Rs 200 for foreign tourists.
- There is a small archaeological museum inside the palace, displaying miniature paintings and some rich relics, such as ceremonial armour.
- The palace is now under the care of the Archaeological Department of the Rajasthan government.
- You can book a ticket online for visiting Hawa Mahal and other monuments at Rajasthan government’s website.