Visit to Hawa Mahal: “The Palace of Winds”, Jaipur
Anyone who is familiar with the must-visit places of Jaipur is also well aware that the name Hawa Mahal is synonymous as one of the iconic landmark of the city. So, when we sisters planned our very first trip to the Pink City of Jaipur, we had to visit Hawa Mahal, otherwise known as the Palace of Winds. We had only a day and a half in our hand to spend in Jaipur and unfortunately, there was a strike in the city the day we were visiting. Hence, we could only explore certain parts of the city and Hawa Mahal was one of the first stops on our tour.
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History of Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799 so that the royal women can enjoy the festivities and processions in the streets without being seen to the public. Hawa Mahal is located next to the City Palace, providing an easy access to the ladies from the Zenana (Women’s quarters).
The structure just like the majority of the historic buildings in Jaipur is built using red and pink sandstone. Hawa Mahal was designed by Lal Chand Ustad, a creative genius who gave this gorgeous building the shape of the crown of Lord Krishna. The five-storied structure has 953 intricate latticed Jharokhas (small windows) on the front façade giving it a honeycomb-like look. Hawa Mahal with its delicate meshlike windows also provides air conditioning to the building, thus keeping the place relatively cool during the summers.
Today, people from all over the world visit the Hawa Mahal, just to have a glimpse of the gorgeous pink façade. However, very few visitors are aware that one can also enter the Mahal and explore the interiors from the rear side. When we reached the palace premises we were awestruck by the sheer beauty of the palace. Watching from the main street, the tiny windows looked mesmerizing and dreamy to us.
The entry to the Palace is on the rear side of the building and as we stepped in we were quite surprised by the stark contrast between the exteriors and interiors of Hawa Mahal. The Mahal on the inside looked a little plain in comparison to its gorgeous pink exteriors. But that is not to say that the palace is not beautiful on the inside. It has its own beauty and inherent magic, giving you little glimpses of the old times where the ladies walked around the building decked up in their traditional attire. Lost in our imagination of the bygone era we wandered about the main courtyard area, where there is a fountain located in the center. There are several doors leading to various parts of the building and as we started exploring them, we realized there is nothing much to see in these ancient rooms.
One can use their vivid imagination to get an idea of how this palace was during the reign of the Jaipur royals. As we moved on to the next four floors, we learnt that apart from empty rooms and narrow labyrinth-like passageways, the place was shorn of fancy adornments that one typically finds in palaces or historic places in Rajasthan mainly. We walked around the endless maze of ramps and archways, taking in the innate charm of stained glass windows, countless pillars, pavilions, and jharokhas. The fascinating part of the structure is that you can see windows and little peepholes every corner you walk. We just couldn’t get over these cute windows that were used by the women of the royal family to watch the city’s festivities.
Our exploration got us up to the topmost floor of the Palace, which is called the Hawa Mandir. Here we were greeted with the uninterrupted view of Jaipur city with the busy bazaar on side and Jantar Mantar on the other. One can also view Nahargarh Fort standing majestically on the Aravalli Hills.
Hawa Mahal with its exquisite craftsmanship and old tales, made us immerse in its old-world beauty and completely lose track of time. Jaipur city has innumerable sights that will keep every history and architecture buff captivated with its beauty and one such magical place is the Hawa Mahal. We sisters highly recommend every traveler planning a trip to the Pink City of Jaipur to visit the gorgeous Hawa Mahal.
We hope you guys enjoyed our tour of the Hawa Mahal as much as we did, do leave a comment below to share your thoughts on this historic site. Also, do subscribe to get future updates on new posts through email.