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Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

There are many adjectives to describe Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Wind in Jaipur and to choose one word is really difficult because Hawa Mahal leaves you speechless with its sheer magnificence and beauty. Built in 1799 by the poet-king Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, Hawa Mahal is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Rajasthan. A symbol of the splendid Rajput style architecture, Hawa Mahal is five storied and the main feature is the 953 small windows, or jharokhas that are intricately designed. It was primarily built for royal ladies so that they could watch the city and different proceedings from behind these windows. It was called Hawa Mahal as these windows allowed great air circulation which kept the chambers cool all the time.

Photo by Juan Antonio F. Segal, CC BY 2.0

Interesting Facts and Trivia About Hawa Mahal

  • It was an architect named Lal Chand Ustad who designed Hawa Mahal. Built in red and pink sand stone, the Hawa Mahal is not actually a palace but more of a gallery, used by royal women of those times.
  • The architectural style is a combination of Hindu-Rajput-Islamic styles. The fluted pillars, floral patterns, lotus motifs, canopies symbolise Rajput architecture while the filigree work, arches, etc are derived from Islamic architecture. Nevertheless, the combination looks so amazing that you may want to spend hours admiring the craftsmanship and beauty of Hawa Mahal.
  • The architectural designs also resemble honey comb.
  • It is also believed that the Hawa Mahal is shaped like Lord Krishna’s crown, as Sawai Pratap Singh was an ardent Krishna devotee.
  • You enter Hawa Mahal complex through an imposing door, and you step into a beautiful courtyard. There are two-storied buildings on three sides. Hawa Mahal is on the east side.
  • One of the floors is actually known as Vichitra Mandir or the strange floor. It is said that this was the favorite spot of Sawai Pratap Singh, who spend hours sitting here praying to his favorite deity, Lord Krishna and composing poems in praise of the Lord.
  • To enter Hawa Mahal, you have to go through the rear end and not from the front.
  • Hawa Mahal is a delight to look at when the early morning sunlight falls on the structure, lighting it up it in its style.
  • Hawa Mahal is now under the care or ASI or the Archaeological Survey of India.
  • A museum is housed in the premises where ancient artefacts of Rajput rulers and region are displayed.
  • A unique feature about Hawa Mahal is that it does not stand on a foundation, the tallest such building in the world. Since there is no foundation, the structure stands at a leaning position at 87 degrees.
  • Another interesting feature about the architecture is that though five-storied, there are not stairs to reach the floors but only ramps.

Traveler Tips

  • It is best to visit Hawa Mahal early in the day as you can take a look around peacefully. Later into the day, the streets get crowded.
  • The museum is closed on Fridays. So, if it is best to plan a trip on other days so that you don’t miss out on the museum.
  • Comfortable shoes are a must as you will have to walk quite a bit and even climb many stairs.
  • There are many low walls. So, walk carefully and adhere to safety instructions.
  • Carry your water bottles with you.

Things to Do

Of course, one thing that you can indulge in Jaipur is shopping. Shop to your heart’s delight at the various stalls and shops nearby and buy memorabilia, handicrafts, clothes, bags, footwear, jewelry and so on.  Do bargain well.

Nearby Restaurants

  • Rajwada Restaurant
  • Kulfi centre
  • Venus Continental Restaurant
  • Karnot Mahal
  • Agrawal Pavitra Bhojnalaya
  • Art Café
  • Jain Patang Udyog
  • Midtown Multi-Cuisine Restaurant

Opening Hours

9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Fees

Entry Fees: for Indian tourists are Rs. 20 while for foreign nationals, it is Rs. 50.

You can even buy a composite ticket valid for two days that will cost Rs. 300 for Indians and Rs. 1000 for foreign tourists. With the ticket, you can club your visit to other nearby attractions.

Camera Charges: are Rs.10 for Indians and Rs. 30 for foreigners

Availability of Guides

Local guides are available but fix the price first. Since, it is the architecture of Hawa Mahal that amazes you, you may not need a guide at all. Just walk around and admire the craftsmanship.

Time Required for The Visit

Around an hour or two

Best Time to Visit

September to February months is the best time to visit Hawa Mahal.

Photo by wolfgang.mller54, CC BY 2.0

How to Reach

Hawa Mahal is located at the Centre of Jaipur City and can be reached via bus, auto-rickshaw, taxi or cars from the capital city.

Nearby Attractions

Though each fort and palace in Rajasthan inspires awe and admiration in you, Hawa Mahal is something else. It is a wonder with its magnificent architecture and the skills that contributed for its construction. Its best view is from outside because that is how you get to admire its magnitude and imperialism. In a way, it is also symbolic in many ways. As during the time of kings, the common folk could only get a glimpse into the magnificent palaces from outside. Hawa Mahal is also one of such structures.

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