Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
About Hawa Mahal
Made with red and pink sandstone, it was built in 1799 by Maharaja Swari Pratap Singh. A unique structure designed by Lal Chand Ustad, it is a five-storeyed monument which is and extended palace complex with front elevation to make to look beautifully studded. Situated in Badi Chaupad, it has arched roofs, pink windows and several temples which the Maharaj used to worship. The Vichitra Mandir, the Prakash Mandir, the Hawa Mandir and the Ratan Mandir are a few magnificently built temples which provide a spectacular view of Jaipur. Consisting of 953 small windows also known as Jharokhas, its exterior resembles that of a honeycomb hive. A fifty feet high structure, it is the fusion of Rajput and the Mughal style architecture. Designed with the Venturi effect to keep the interior cool during high temperatures, various fountains and colourful marble work adorn the interiors of the Mahal.
‘Hawa Mahal’ or the Palace of Winds. Representing the crown of Lord Krishna, the building was constructed so the royal women could watch the royal processions and everyday life without being seen. Consisting of 953 small windows also known as Jharokhas, its exterior resembles that of a honeycomb hive. A fifty feet high structure, it is the fusion of Rajput and the Mughal style architecture. Designed with the Venturi effect to keep the interior cool during high temperatures, various fountains and colourful marble work adorn the interiors of the Mahal.
The palace is a five-story pyramidal shaped monument that rises to about 50 feet (15 m). The top three floors of the structure have the width of a single room, while the first and second floors have patios in front of them. The front elevation, as seen from the street, is like a honeycomb with small portholes. Each porthole has miniature windows and carved sandstone grills, finials and domes. It gives the appearance of a mass of semi-octagonal bays, giving the monument its unique façade. The inner face on the back side of the building consists of chambers built with pillars and corridors with minimal ornamentation, and reach up to the top floor. The interior of the Mahal has been described as "having rooms of different coloured marbles, relieved by inlaid panels or gilding; while fountains adorn the centre of the courtyard".Lal Chand Ustad was the architect of this unique structure. Built-in red and pink colored sandstone, in keeping with the décor of the other monuments in the city, its color is a full testimony to the epithet of "Pink City" given to Jaipur. Its façade depicting 953 niches with intricately carved jharokhas (some are made of wood) is a stark contrast to the plain-looking rear side of the structure. Its cultural and architectural heritage is a true reflection of a fusion of Hindu Rajput architecture and Islamic Mughal architecture; the Rajput style is seen in the form of domed canopies, fluted pillars, lotus, and floral patterns, and the Islamic style as evident in its stone inlay filigree work and arches (as distinguished from its similarity with the Panch Mahal at Fatehpur Sikri).The entry to the Hawa Mahal from the city palace side is through an imperial door. It opens into a large courtyard, which has double-storeyed buildings on three sides, with the Hawa Mahal enclosing it on the east side. An archaeological museum is also housed in this courtyard.Hawa Mahal was also known as the chef-d'œuvre of Maharaja Jai Singh as it was his favourite resort because of the elegance and built-in interior of the Mahal. The cooling effect in the chambers, provided by the breeze passing through the small windows of the façade, was enhanced by the fountains provided at the center of each of the chambers.The top two floors of the Hawa Mahal are accessed only through ramps. The Mahal is maintained by the archaeological department of the Government of Rajasthan.