Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Hawa Mahal (or "Palace of Breeze or Winds") is a palace in Jaipur, India and is one of the prominent tourist attractions in the Jaipur city. Hawa Mahal exhibits a unique combination of Mughal and Rajput architectural styles.

It was in 1799 that the Kachhwaha Rajput ruler, Sawai Pratap Singh, grandson of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh who built Jaipur, constructed Hawa Mahal as a continuation of the Royal City Palace. Sawai Pratap Singh's devotion to Lord Krishna is evident in the palace's construction as it resembles the lord's crown.

The palace, from the front, looks more like a high screen wall. The palace is constructed of red and pink stone.  

The fourth and fifth floor - as seen from the rear side
Though many reasons are cited behind the construction of the fort, Purdah system followed by the Rajputs is said to be one of the main causes. 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.

View of the street from one of the windows

The street opposite to Hawa Mahal
There are 953 small windows called jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework in the palace. The lattice also allows cool air from the Venturi effect (doctor breeze) through the intricate pattern, air conditioning the whole area during the high temperatures in summers.

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.

View of the courtyard and the Amer Fort on the hill

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 entry to the palace is from the rear side. There is no front entrance to the palace.

The entrance to the palace. The ticket counter is close to the entrance.

As per the above plaque, the autumn festival is celebrated on the first floor, second floor in engraved with stones and is called "ratan temple. On the third floor, the king worshiped Lord Krishna. the fourth floor has colored windows and is called the Light temple. The fifth floor has "jharokhas" (or windows), and so is the palace called as "Hawa Mahal".

The second gate of the entrance. The pink color building in the background is the palace.

Art work on the second entrance

Hawa Mahal is the tallest building in the world without a foundation. Hawa Mahal has 5 storeys and it is still standing upright because it is curved and leaning at an angle of 87 degrees.

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 colored glass windows of the fourth floor

Mirror art work at one of the rooms.

The Hawa Mahal has only ramps, instead of regular stairs to reach the upper floors of the building.

The interior of the Mahal has been described as "having rooms of different colored marbles, relieved by inlaid panels or gilding; while fountains adorn the center of the courtyard".

Picture clicked from the fourth floor of the palace

Reflection of the palace in the fountain pool

Panoramic view of the Jaipur City from the fifth floor

More pics of Hawa Mahal

Art work on one of the palace doors

Lord Krishna's temple