I still remember looking at the amazing photographs of Hawa Mahal online. That’s how I was introduced to this architectural marvel many years ago. The urge to visit it grew with time. Finally during my Jaipur trip, I got the chance to visit Hawa Mahal.
Hawa Mahal is a lot more than what we get to see in the pictures. Those pictures are usually just a portion of the Hawa Mahal, though it is undoubtedly the most attractive portion, but still it is just one side of the palace.
Hawa Mahal is also known as the Palace of Winds. The word ‘Hawa’ means Wind. An artistic facade, made in the shape of a crown, faces the road on the market area. This facade is what we usually see in most of the pictures of Hawa Mahal.
I decided to travel like many locals do and chose E-rickshaw to arrive at the Hawa Mahal in the morning. The city was awake already. People were rushing to work and the shops were opening. The rickshaw took about 15 minutes to reach my destination which was ‘Hawa Mahal.’
History of Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799. Ustaad Lal Chand was the architect behind this spectacular structure that attracts many tourists from all around the world.
Hawa Mahal was made with the purpose of providing an exclusive place to the women of the royal family where they could look at the daily lives of the people outside of the palace without going out.
Anandpoli Gate is the main gate through which I entered the palace. Stepping inside a courtyard, I arrived at another gate called Chandrapoli Gate. Walking through this gate I was welcomed inside a beautiful courtyard with a fountain at its center.
It looked like the courtyard of the other Rajput palaces.
A portion inside the palace is marked as ‘Pratap Mandir’. This place was used by the Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. A statue of Maharaja is placed here.
Architecture of Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal is a beautiful and exquisite blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. 953 jharokhas or windows of this structure were used by the royal women to peek through and have a look at the markets, festivities and other processions going on outside.
There are lots of tiny, small and big sized windows and jharokhas all around this palace.
Many parapets and boundaries are designed in a way that appear like paper-cutting art that I remember making at school. These jharokhas are the beautiful sitting areas where women would enjoy their time and look at the world outside.
These windows can be called their ‘Windows to the World’ as the women of the royal family could not just roam outside like commoners.
The popular facade of the Hawa Mahal is made in the form of a crown. Various windows appear like many small pieces strung together to create a beautiful monument.
The honeycomb structure of the building makes it stand out from the other famous palaces of Rajasthan. The latticework in the windows, galleries, balconies is spectacular and something that I haven’t seen in any other palace in Rajasthan.
Hawa Mahal is mainly built in red and pink sandstone. It was strategically built close to the city palace so that women of the royal family could conveniently visit it.
Colourful stained glasses used in the windows enhance the beauty of this palace.
The monument has five floors. Narrow stairways lead to the floors above. For an amazing view of the city, don’t forget to get at the top on the fifth floor.
You can have a look at the surrounding places here and also get some good pictures.
Though the space on this floor is limited and it can get crowded during peak hours and tourist season.
A Sculpture Gallery is housed inside the palace that can be an interesting place for people interested in archaeology and history. Various sculptures, art pieces and items that were used during old times are put on display here.
The courtyards inside the Hawa Mahal complex are accessible with a wheelchair. There are stairs and ramps leading to other areas but they can be quite steep and narrow making it inconvenient with a wheelchair.
Toilet facility is available in Hawa Mahal complex.
While visiting the Hawa Mahal, make sure to visit it from the market too. That is where I got to see what I was expecting to see.
Many people choose to visit restaurants and cafes opposite the Hawa Mahal so that they can get some great pictures of the Hawa Mahal and also their own pictures with the famous facade of the Hawa Mahal in the background.
Being a stunning piece of work, this palace is very popular among the photographers. I saw many people trying to find insta-worthy corners of the palace to click pictures.
City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Tripolia Bazar are located at a walkable distance from Hawa Mahal.
Finishing my tour of the Hawa Mahal, I decided to go ahead with my shopping plans starting with Tripolia Bazar. Though Hawa Mahal is not a huge palace like Amer Palace, it is worth a visit for its architectural beauty and uniqueness.
Its location inside the city makes it a convenient must visit attraction in Jaipur.
Hawa Mahal is located in Badi Chaupar in Jaipur city of Rajasthan. It is situated at a distance of about 13 Kms from the Sanganer Airport Jaipur and about 5 Kms from the Jaipur Railway Station.
Hawa Mahal is located in the market and very easily accessible from any place in Jaipur. You can take an auto-rickshaw, e-rickshaw or taxi to reach Hawa Mahal. I personally loved exploring the traditional markets of Jaipur by e-rickshaw as it is convenient, comfortable, economical and you get to enjoy the local people and life during the ride.
Hawa Mahal opens from 9 AM to 5.30 PM daily.
Indian Tourists INR 50, Indian Students INR 5
Foreign tourists INR 200, Foreign Students INR 25
Entry is free for the children below 7 years of age.
Morning time during October to March is the best time to visit Hawa Mahal. The breeze would be cool and pleasant. Morning sun rays entering through the colorful glasses of the windows and ventilators add to the beauty of the palace.
Hawa Mahal is not a huge palace. Hence, an hour is enough to visit it.
This palace was named ‘Hawa Mahal’ because it is quite windy. Its architecture and design incorporates so many windows, jharokhas and latticework make it well ventilated and add to the free flow of wind.
Inside Hawa Mahal, there are many corridors, galleries and enclosed places with lots of windows, latticework, hanging cornices and archways.
Hawa Mahal is famous because of its amazing and unique architecture. 953 windows or jharokhas are beautifully incorporated in the honeycomb design of this palace. In addition to providing a window to the outside world for the royal women, these windows helped in keeping the palace airy and cool.