Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is one of the priorities of the tourists visiting Jaipur. It is not only located in the heart of the city but is also one of the finest examples of India’s Rajputana architecture. It is not only rich in its architectural achievements but also gives you insights regarding the social system of that time.
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This monument is visited by thousands of tourists and art enthusiasts around the world every year. The palace was named Hawa Mahal because of the good circulation of air facilitated by the numerous windows it has, but after its recent renovation wind circulation has stopped.
Let us first know about the history of this amazing water palace – Hawa Mahal.
The palace was built by Kachhawaha dynasty’s Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, he was a Rajput ruler. The Hawa Mahal is exactly not a palace rather it was made to look like the front of a palace.
It was built so that Rajput women of the royal family could have a look at the busy roads it faces from the Jharokhas without being noticed or seen. The purdah system was quite prevalent during that time and the monument provided them with the opportunity to look at the daily activities and royal processions without being seen.
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The palace is built in a pyramidal shape, which rises up to the height of 15 meters. Lal Chand Ustad was the main architect behind the structure. The Palace was built using red and pink sandstones. The monument has 923 windows also called Jharokhas to provide a clear view of the street.
The windows, when looked at from a distance, resemble honeycombs, which is completely mesmerizing, and behind every window, there is a small chamber where one can sit and enjoy the view from the palace. From the top floor, one can clearly have a look at the Jantar Mantar, the City Palace, and Siredeori Market.
The palace is located in the south of the Jaipur city. The main road intersection near the palace is called Badi Chaupad. You can easily reach there by hiring a private vehicle or using public transportation.
Hawa Mahal can actually fall as one the places to visit in your itinerary as it is connected with many nearby historically significant sites like Jantar Mantar, Govind Devji temple, Amer Fort, Nahargarh fort etc.
The palace is maintained by the Archeological Department of Rajasthan Government. There is a small museum also inside the palace which holds many paintings, old relics, and artifacts used by the Rajput families of Rajasthan. The place has no stairs rather it is well connected with ramps. Its corridors are not very wide and get crowded easily which could be uncomfortable for some so be prepared.
The Palace remains open all week long between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The visitors are charged with a small fee of Rs. 10 for Indians and Rs 50 from foreigners including camera fee. But the small museum inside the palace only remains open from Saturday to Thursday.
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