Location: Next to the entrance of City Palace
Built by: Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh
Built in: 1799
Highlights: Its Rajputana architecture
How to reach: One can easily reach Hawa Mahal from the city by taking local Buses, Rickshaws and Taxis
Hawa Mahal (translation: "Palace of Winds" or “Palace of the Breeze”), is a palace in Jaipur, India. It was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, and designed by Lal Chand Usta in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-story exterior is also akin to the honeycomb of the beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas that are decorated with intricate lattice work.The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to observe strict "purdah" (face cover).
Built of red and pink sandstone, the palace is situated on the main thoroughfare in the heart of Jaipur’s business centre. It forms part of the City Palace, and extends to the Zenana or women's chambers, the chambers of the harem. It is particularly striking when viewed early in the morning, lit with the golden light of sunrise.
Beauty & Intresting Facts:
- Hawa Mahal was also known as the chef-d'œuvre of Maharaja Jai Singh as it was his favourite resort because of the elegance and built-in interior of the Mahal. The cooling effect in the chambers, provided by the breeze passing through the small windows of the façade, was enhanced by the fountains provided at the centre of each of the chambers
- The building is 50 ft high and a foot in thickness. There are over 900 niches in the structure with semi-octagonal alcoves, carved sandstone grills, finials and domes.
- Lal Chand Usta was the architect of this unique structure who also planned Jaipur city, considered then as one of the best-planned cities in India.
- Royal family of Jaipur, during their reign, also used the Mahal as a hot weather retreat, during the suffocating summer season, for several years, since the unusually designed window screens provided the needed cool breeze
Restoration and renovation:
In 2005, restoration and renovation works on the Mahal were undertaken, after a long gap of 50 years, to give a face lift to the monument at an estimated cost of Rs 45 lakhs . The corporate sector is also lending a hand to preserve the historical monuments of Jaipur and the Unit Trust of India has adopted Hawa Mahal to maintain it
The Mahal, called as the “specimen of fanciful architecture”, is located to the north of the Jaipur city, at the main road intersection called the Badi Chaupad (big four square). Jaipur city is well connected by road, rail and air links with the rest of the country.Jaipur Railway Station is a central main station on the broad gauge line of the Indian Railways. As well, Jaipur is connected by major highways, and by the International Airport at Sanganer, at a distance of 13 kilometres from the city.
Entry to the Hawa Mahal is not from the front but from a side road to the rear end. Facing the Hawa Mahal, turning right and again to the first right, leads to an archway entry and then to the rear side of the building.