Jaipur is the city which is known for marvellous historical monuments, forts, palaces and temples. The palaces are unique and grand in style. One of such palace is Hawa Mahal, the palace which has been transformed itself into a brand of Jaipur city. Have a look:
One of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city, Hawa Mahal is located in the heart of Jaipur. This beautiful five-storey palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty.
The palace is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Considered as an embodiment of Rajputana architecture, the main highlight of Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or ‘Jharokhas’ which are decorated with intricate designs. The main intention behind the construction of the Mahal was to facilitate the royal women and provide them a view of everyday life through the windows, as they never appeared in public. The main architect of this palace built of red and pink sandstone was Lal Chand Ustad.
Architecture of Hawa Mahal
The Hawa Mahal palace is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument that rises 50 feet from its high base. The top three floors of the structure have a dimension of one room width while the first and second floors have patios in front of them. The front elevation, as seen from the street, is like a honeycomb web of a beehive, built 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 need-based 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”.
The information to the visitors of Hawa Mahal
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 favourite place of Maharaja Jai Singh as it was his lovable 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 centre 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.
The palace, called a “specimen of fanciful architecture” is located to the south of the Jaipur city, at the main road intersection called the Badi Chaupad (big four square). Jaipur city is well connected by road, rail and air links with the rest of the country. Jaipur Railway Station is a central main station on the broad gauge line of the Indian Railways. As well, Jaipur is connected by major roads, and by the International Airport at Sanganer, at a distance of 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the city.
Entry to the Hawa Mahal is not from the front but from a side road to the rear end. Facing the Hawa Mahal, turning right and again to the first right, leads to an archway entry and then to the rear side of the building. It is particularly striking when viewed early in the morning, lit with the golden light of sunrise.
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