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Hawa Mahal

[ Edit ] Overview

The Hawa Mahal is one of the famous landmarks of Jaipur, the Pink City. Hawa Mahal literally meaning “Palace of Winds” was built in 1799 by the Sawai Pratap Singh. This five storey palace with a pyramidal outline was designed in such a way that it enjoys constant breeze (hawa) through its window all day long- thus deriving its name of Hawa Mahal.

Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the Hawa Mahal looks like the mukut or crown of Lord Krishna when seen from a distance. This honeycombed building was originally built to facilitate the women of the royal household to watch the everyday life and processions of the city without being seen themselves. The screens on the windows called “Jharonkas” acted as privacy screens. The ornate pink façade of the mahal has become an icon of the city.

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Visitor Quick Facts

[ Edit ] Famous For

Hawa Mahal is famous for:

  • Its distinct and intricately designed windows and architecture

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[ Edit ] Location

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

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[ Edit ] Best Time To Visit

The best months to vist Jaipur are between October to March.  If you are comfortable with the rains, June to September can also be decent months to visit Jaipur.

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[ Edit ] Days of Operation

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[ Edit ] Hours of Operation

9am to 4:30pm

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[ Edit ] Entry Charges & Fees

Entrance Fees for the Hawa Mahal are as follows:

  • Indians:  Rs. 10
  • Foreigners: Rs. 30
  • Camera Fees:  Rs. ___
  • Video Camera Fees: Rs. ___

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Historical Quick Facts

[ Edit ] Type

Historical, Cultural

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[ Edit ] Architecture

The architectural style of the Hawa Mahal belongs to the Rajputana style of architecture combined with Mughal style of architecture.

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[ Edit ] Construction Period

The Hawa Mahal was constructed in 1799.

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[ Edit ] Built By

The Mahal was built by Maharaj Sawai Pratap Singh and its unusual architecture was designed by Lal Chand Usta.

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[ Edit ] History

Maharaja Sawai Singh was a poet and a great devotee of Lord Krishna. Designed by Lal Chand Usta, the exterior of the mahal looks like a Mukut (crown) which adorns Lord Krishnas head.

There is no record as to why the Hawa Mahal was built. The total lack of ornamentation in the interiors and rear of the building suggest that it was not for residential purposes. The inner chambers are a mass of pillars and passages that lead to the top storey.

The Hawa Mahal was built at a time when the “Purdah system” was strictly observed by the women of the royal family. The innumerable number of small windows and screens allowed the ladies of “zenana” (royal household) to watch the processions and other activities taking place in the streets below without showing themselves to the rest of the world.

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[ Edit ] Myths or Facts

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[ Edit ] Architecture And Structural Description

The Rajputs through various periods of history continued to be patrons of art and architecture. They were great builders. The Rajputana style of architecture is very colourful and was greatly influenced by the Mughal architecture. So the traditional Hindu elements like the Chatris (canopies), fluted pillars, lotus and floral patterns were harmoniously combined with the Islamic style of architecture like stone inlay work, arches etc thereby creating its own distinct style of architecture. The Hawa Mahal features of Mughal architecture are blended in such a way that it can adapt to the extreme and rough weather conditions of Rajashtan.

The Hawa Mahal is been built on a raised platform with a pyramid shaped outline. It is a five storied building of red and pink sandstone delicately outlined with white borders. The palace has with 953 small windows and a number of small screens with arched roofs, hanging cornices exquisitely decorated with tiny lattice work. These pink sandstone windows are called “Jharokhas” and they are built in a repetitive style that makes the front of the Mahal look like a giant honeycomb or a beehive.

Of the 5 stories the top three storeys are just single rooms while the base has two courtyards. Entrance to the Mahal is on the rear side via a large pompous door that opens out into a large courtyard which is flanked by a double storied building on three sides.

While the front of the Mahal has intricate carvings, the rear part of the building is quite plain in comparison. The interiors too contain a number of pillars and passages that lead to the top story. The upper floors of the palace are reached by ramps which used to facilitate the movement of planquins.

The architecture of the mahal is a unique combination of semi octagonal bays, sandstone grills and domes.

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[ Edit ] Things To See

Archaeological Museum
There is an archaeological museum at the palace which houses a small collection of sculptures, local handicrafts and some utensils. Some of the items on display date back to the 2nd century BC.

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[ Edit ] Nearby Attractions

Jaipur is a city filled with historic attractions.  In addition to the Hawa Mahal, Jaipur has the following:

  • Old City
  • CIty Palace
  • Amber Fort
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Jai Mahal
  • Albert Hall
  • Ram Niwas Garden
  • Jaigarh and Nahargarh Fort

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[ Edit ] Other Information

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Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan
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