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Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Home » Places to See in Jaipur » Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur Tours

Poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is the most easily recalled landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. Located in the city Palace it is best viewed from the outside for the palace is really a facade.

This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a stunning example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its pink delicately honeycombed 953 sandstone windows known as 'jharokhas'. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort.

Most people come here to get a view of the facade but they can also climb to the top for a wonderful view from the latticed windows. There is also a small archaeological museum there. Entry to foreigners/citizen is Rs 30/10.

The upper floors are reached through a ramp rather than the regular stairs, a device to facilitate movement of palanquins carried by servants. This is a less tiresome way as the ramp ascends lazily to the top of the freestanding square tower.

Imagine queens and princesses loaded with the heaviest jewelry and covered with the endless yardage of Clothes - skirts and sarees, climbing to the uppermost pavilion heaving and painting for respite from the sweltering summer heat. Here even the May-June winds feel so mild and cool. Jaipur itself appears in all its grandeur, with straight, wide roads, intersections and teeming crowds in the market.

The pyramidal outline of the structure has one characteristic feature of architecture - symmetry, and, as in Jain temples, uses repetition of motifs to great enhancement of beauty and looks: "The forms employed are familiar enough, but the bays are crammed together, piled and multiplied so that they combine to form a larger version of themselves, in a manner strikingly reminiscent of a temple shikhara".

It has been remarked that the Hawa Mahal marks a certain decline in the architectural standards of Jaipur. This may have been the result of the increasing influence of Mughal architecture. Hawa Mahal shows a noticeable similarity with the Panch Mahal - the palace of winds at Fatehpur Sikri.