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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal or Palace of winds is a place which is situated at Jaipur, in the state of Rajsthan, India. Hawa mahal was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 AD and designed by Lal Chand Usta. It is most important landmark of the city of Jaipur. Jaipur city is also known as pink city of India. It is an interesting building, although it is actually little more than a facade. This honeycombed building was originally built to facilitate the women of the royal household to watch the everyday life and processions of the city.
The Hawa Mahal has five storeys and is constructed of red and pink sandstone, highlighted with white quick lime. The side facing the street outside the palace complex has 953 small windows. The windows of palace are known as jharokhas. The breeze, which is circulated through these windows gives the palace its name and keep it cool even in hot months. The entrance opens onto a courtyard with a double storeyed building on three sides.

History of Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal is an interesting place located in Jaipur City of Rajsthan state. It was built in 1799 AD by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and designed by Lal Chand Usta. King Sawai Pratap Singh was a great devotee of God Krishna and so, he constructed the building like a crown (Mukut in Hindi) of God Krishna. This attractive structure is made up of small casements, each with diminutive window and arched roofs, exquisitely modeled and carved hanging cornices.
Its facade makes Hawa Mahal look more like a screen than a palace. It is a fifty feet high thin protect, less than a foot in thickness, but has over 900 niches and a mass of semi-octagonal bays, carved sandstone grills, finials and domes. All these things give this palace its unique facade.

Why Hawa Mahal built ?
In Indian history there is no correct record that why Hawa Mahal built, only assumption. Looking at Hawa Mahal anyone can say that it was not made for residential purpose. Here visitors can see the lack of decoration on the inner face of the building. It was built at that time when royal ladies observed very strict to cover her faces (Pardah in Hindi). It is believed that this palace helps them to watch procession and other activities on the streets below without being observed themselves.

The breeze, which is circulated through these windows keep it cool in all seasons. The royal ladies not only enjoyed the view but also did so in great comfort and style. The best time to see Hawa Mahal is sunrise when it catches the early morning sun and bathed in its golden light making it glow like a gem. Visitors can also visit other historical places which are situated nearby Hawa Mahal, like Amber fort, city Palace, Albert hall, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort etc. these are also very interesting places of Jaipur.

The Hawa Mahal

Inside of the Hawa mahal - Jaipur

Hawa mahal side view

Hawa Mahal Photo

Busy street at Outside the Hawa Mahal

Back side view of Hawa Mahal

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