Hawa Mahal Jaipur
¤ Hawa Mahal Also Known As The Palace of Winds
The Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, is arguably Jaipurs
best-known monument. For one, it is unlike any other Rajput monument
fort, palace or temple. Secondly, its a bit too whimsical and
delicate, almost like a magical structure from the Arabian Nights.
Despite its towering height and length, the Hawa Mahal looks like a
light, airy structure which might blow away with the slightest wind.
Placed right in the middle of the bustling Johari Bazaar, near the
Badi Chaupad (the big square), this reddish-pink building made of red
sandstone is a constant reminder of Jaipurs colourful history
which refuses to just curl up and die.
¤ Construction of The Palace
Adjacent to the City Palace (where the family of the last Maharaja of
Jaipur still lives) is the Hawa Mahal Jaipur, built by Sawai Pratap
Singh and designed by Lalchand Usta in 1799. If you view it from a
distance, it looks like a palace with the promise of big, spacious
rooms inside. But once you cross the road for a closer inspection, you
realise that it is little more than a finely chiselled facade. Out of
its five floors, the top three are just a room deep while the lower
floors are connected to rooms and courtyards. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, is
an enormous tapering structure with numerous arches, spires and a
mind-boggling 953 latticed casements and small windows. If you observe
it closely, youll realise that it is actually a portion of the
zenana palace (womens quarters) and what you can view from the
road is merely the back of the building.
¤ Constructed For The Royal Ladies of The Court
The building is a bit of an enigma as nobody knows precisely why it
was built. A couplet ascribed to Sawai Pratap Singh, a poet and a
devotee of the Hindu deities Radha and Krishna, suggests that the
monument was dedicated to them. However, the most widely accepted
conjecture is that it was a viewing gallery for the ladies of the
royal household. Sitting in the cool, airy interior of the Hawa Mahal,
they could watch the goings-on below while remaining hidden
themselves. The carved screen balconies meant that the windows caught
even the slightest whiff of breeze, making the ladies comfortable as
they watched the royal parades and processions.
Visiting hours: 1000-1630 Hrs. Free on
Monday and closed on Friday, Still & Vedio Camera charges are also