Do not miss the ‘Palace Of The Winds’, Hawa Mahal if you are in Jaipur. It is one of the prominent tourist attractions in the city. Located right in the heart of Jaipur it was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh from the Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. This beautiful five-storey palace is built of red and pink sandstone. It is believed that the main architect Lal Chand Ustad constructed the building in the form of the crown of the Hindu God, Krishna. It is considered as the embodiment of Rajputana architecture. The main highlight being its pyramid shape and 953 windows known as ‘Jharokhas’ decorated with intricate designs. It is believed that the main intention behind the construction of the Mahal was to encounter the royal women with the happenings of everyday life as they hardly appeared in public.
Hawa Mahal was built as a continuation of the Royal City Palace in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh of the Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. He also happened to be the grandson of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh who built the Jaipur city. Sawai Pratap Singh was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. We find its evidence in the palace’s construction as it resembles the lord’s crown. Historians have come up with a lot of reasons behind the construction of the fort. However, Purdah system is said to be one of the main reasons. It so happened that during those days, Rajput women hardly appeared in public or in front of strangers. But as they too wanted to have a taste of the day to day lives of the general public, Hawa Mahal was built with small windows and screened balconies thereby giving women a sense of freedom without the need of appearing in public.
Hawa Mahal stands tall at 50 feet from the base. It is wonderfully designed as a beehive castle with numerous small windows. The whole structure is erected on a thin shield or podium with walls less than a foot thick. It is constructed of red and pink sandstones by Lal Chand Ustad. Significance of this building lies in its windows or ‘Jharokhas’ that lets in free circulation of air within the structure. A door leads to a spacious courtyard that is surrounded by huge two-storey buildings on three sides. There are a total of five storeys in the Mahal. The top three storeys have the thickness of a single room and the bottom storeys have courtyards. The interior of the Hawa Mahal on the other hand is stark and plain. It has passages and pillars that will take you to the top storey. Another quality of the mahal is that the building does not have stairs to reach the upper floors. They rather have slopes connecting the storeys. The monument also houses an archeological museum.
Jaipur has well connected flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Kolkata, Udaipur, Aurangabas and Jodhpur.
If you want to travel by train, Jaipur is also connected to all major cities of the country by railways. Again, special luxury trains such as the Palace on Wheels and Royal Orient Express run from Delhi to Jaipur.
Jaipur can also be reached via bus from all the major places in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai.
Various Tourist Attractions around Hawa Mahal include:
For Indian: Rs.10
For Foreigner: Rs.50