Hear ye, hear ho, we come with yet another exquisite place to visit so close. When one thinks about Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, the beautiful Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, is frequently the first image that comes to mind. The rose-tinted sandstone Hawa Mahal stands tall among the most visited and unique landmarks in Jaipur, dubbed the “pink city” for its stunning blend of history, legacy, and classical grandeur. However, few people realise that the 300-plus jharokhas (portholes) that make up the monument’s extremely iconic appearance, which attracts tens of thousands of travelers each year, are actually its rear side. Now hold your horses, I have more fun facts to say about hawa mahal so keep calm and read on.
HISTORY OF HAWA MAHAL
We are going to time travel all the way back to the 18th century to know the origin story of hawa mahal. So to answer where is hawa mahal built and who built it, The structure was designed by Lal Chand Ustad in 1799 located in Badi Chaupar (large square), in Jaipur’s Old Townand and is reported to have been inspired by the Khetri Mahal (also known as the Wind Palace) in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.
Going in depth into the history, Sawai Pratap Singhwho was the grandson of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, the Kachhwaha Rajput king, ordered Lal Chand Usta to build an expansion to the Royal City Palace in 1799. The Purdah system was strictly maintained at the time. Strangers were not supposed view Rajput royal ladies or the women present in public places. The Hawa Mahal’s architecture allows the royal women to enjoy everyday city scenes as well as regal processions without being observed. Sound familiar? Yeah because it’s olden times Rapunzel story without the long magical hair though.
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DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE OF HAWA MAHAL
The magnificent exteriors of the Hawa Mahal located at Badi chaupad Jaipur, contrasts with the bland innards, despite reports of the chambers being covered with various coloured gemstones, with engraved walls and fountain in the garden to break up the monotony. It is a five-story structure with a 15-meter height. This pyramid-shaped castle combines Mughal and Rajput design in a stunning way. Their construction was done with red and pink sandstones.
During the day, the stained glass windows provide a beautiful interplay of light.While there have been various rumours that the Hawa Mahal was erected without a foundation, the officials have refuted this. Another feature of this multi-story structure that has received a lot of attention is that all of the floors are connected by ramps.
And heres another interesting about the shape of the hawa mahal construction, because Sarai Pratap Singh was devoted to Krishna, the Hindu god, the five-story palace was created in the shape of Krishna’s crown.
There are 953 little casements in the mahal, each with a small lattice-worked pink pane, porches, and arching domes with suspended cornices. This permits a pleasant breeze to pass through the mahal in the heat, keeping it cool and airy. Despite the enormous number of windows, each one is the size of a peep hole, ensuring that the royal ladies remain hidden from view.
HAWA MAHAL WINDOWS
Looking at hawa mahal at a close proximity, one’s mind immediately goes to counting the windows…guilty pleasure right? Anyways if youre wondering how many windows are there in hawa mahal, there are in total 953 windows…awesome right? This is also called ‘Jharokhas.’ During the hot summer, these windows were also employed to bring cold air in continuously.
The royals utilised the Hawa Mahal as a summer getaway at the period, owing to the ‘natural’ air cooling effect created by the scientific architecture of the translucent windows. The Venturi effect—the occurrence that happens when a fluid or gas travelling through a pipe is forced through a small portion, resulting in a fall in pressure and an increase in velocity—was brought into play by the thin, dual funnel-like structure. Don’t worry that’s all the physics involved here. And so as a result, it has become a popular way to beat the sweltering heat, earning the structure the moniker Hawa Mahal. Aside from ornate jaalis (nets) and little windows, each jharokha’s outside face is adorned with carved grills, finials, and miniature domes made of sandstone.
A fountain welcomed us as we entered the main campus. We also discovered a Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh Ji statue in the chamber, which is a significant draw. The same majesty – I’d heard of the idol and seen movies about him. It had a vibrant appearance. A sword in one hand, a crown in the other, a moustache, and a brilliant glow in the eyes. Our Rajput rulers’ legends are still passed down through the generations.
Moving on, a Sharad temple, which was used for festivities, is located on the first level. The festival of Holi, as well as other community festivals, were hosted here. I was curious as to how the Rangotsav would be organised. The main building is known as Ratan Mandir, and it features tinted glass on the walls. A magnificent colour image develops when the sunshine shifts from red, green, yellow, and pink to other colours.
On the third floor of the structure, there is a charming temple. This is a location that not everyone was permitted to visit at the time. Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh used to come here to worship Lord Krishna, his divinity. Prakash Mandir is located on the fourth floor next to it. Prakash is a Sanskrit word that means “light.” It’s possible that this is why it’s known as Prakash Mandir.
Hawa Mandir is located on the fifth floor. It is the palace’s highest point. And heres a small tip, once you reach the top and secure a small spot for yourself, you’ll be pretty much able to see the City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Nahargarh Fort from above. With the gust of cool breeze and shimmering city lights, this might turn out to be a perfect healing place for you and your family don’t you think?
FACTS ABOUT HAWA MAHAL
The Hawa Mahal is accessed via a royal gateway on the backside of the city palace. This door leads to a spacious patio. On all three sides, there is a two-story building that connects to the Hawa Mahal’s eastern portion. In the palace’s courtyard, there is also an Archaeological Museum. There are a few food outlets nearby, as well as some nice alternatives for Rajasthani clothing and souvenirs. The Hawa Mahal of Jaipur’s culture and architecture are a true reflection of Hindu Rajput architecture and Islamic Mughal architecture. Domed chhatris pillar-shaped lotus floral statues are common in Rajput architecture. Mughal architecture, on the other hand, entails the insertion of stones and arches through great craftsmanship.
The Hawa Mahal is one of Jaipur’s and India’s architectural crown jewels. It was restored with the support of the Unit Trust of India and is now managed by the Government of Rajasthan’s archaeological department. The gorgeous red-and-white sandstone monument is an elegant illustration of Jaipur’s architectures’ elegance and intelligence, and it’s one of the favorite areas for travellers to get a bird’s eye view of the Pink City.
The hawa mahal is also known as palace of winds or ‘wind palace’. Another surprising fact is that since it’s a 5-story building, it is built at 87 degree angle. And since this building has no base or foundation, it is considered to be the largest non-foundation building in the world. The building also has a high-tech wall with tiny jagged vents that are just 8 inches across. The structure on which the entire five levels are built is a work of art in itself.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT
The finest time to view the Hawa Mahal is at daybreak, when the monument and cityscape are both illuminated by the emerging sun’s golden hue. Rajasthan is a hot state, so I would suggest visiting during the winter. If you can stand the heat of the summer, it can be visited all year. Hawa Mahal is located in Jaipur’s Badi Chaupar neighbourhood and may be accessed by taxi, cab (Ola/Uber), or metro. Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with an entry fee of $50 for Indians and $200 for visitors.
Also, in the courtyard of the Hawa Mahal, there is an archaeological museum with a fine collection of antiques, weaponry, and other objects used by the royals. The museum, which opened in 1983, will give you an insight into the region’s regal heritage. Now that you know all about hawa mahal, I hope book your tickets to a fruitful healing with the glorious beauty of the 18th century architecture.
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