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Friday, 5 April 2013


Located in the heart of Jaipur city of India, Hawa Mahal was constructed by Maharajah Sawai Pratap Singh of Kachhwaha dynasty in 1799. The palace was designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of Krishna's (Hindu God) crown. Built with red and pink sandstone, it is situated in the main market area. The main highlight of the Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 Jharokhas (windows) which are decorated with intricate designs.

Pratap Singh constructed Hawa Mahal as a continuation of the Royal City Palace. During those days, Rajput royal women did not appear in public or in front of strangers. However, they were keen to follow the day-to-day events and royal processions occurring on the streets. It is for their benefit that the Hawa Mahal was built, complete with small windows and screened balconies. This gave the women a sense of freedom, without appearing in public. The royal family of Jaipur, during their reign, also used the palace as a hot weather retreat: during the suffocating summer season of Jaipur, the unusually designed window screens provided them with much needed cool breeze and ventilation.

Hawa Mahal, designed as a beehive castle with small windows, has a height of 50 feet from its base. This structure, erected on a thin shield or podium approximately fifty feet high, has walls less than a foot thick. Constructed of red and pink sandstone's by Lal Chand Ustad, Hawa Mahal is famous for its windows or 'Jharokhas' which enable free circulation of air within the structure. Its entrance is a door which leads to a spacious courtyard surrounded by two-storey buildings on three sides. Of the five storeys of the Mahal, the top three storeys have the thickness of a single room while the bottom storeys have courtyards. The interior of the Hawa Mahal is stark and plain with passages and pillars reaching to the top storey. The building does not have stairs to reach the upper floors; the storeys are connected by slopes. From Hawa Mahal, you have an excellent view of the city. The monument also has an archaeological museum.

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