Perhaps one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture in India, the Hawa Mahal stands at 50 feet and its unique five-floor exterior depicts the honeycomb of a beehive.
Known as the Palace of Winds for its jumble of windows and screened balconies, the remarkable red and pink sandstone palace sits on the edge of the Royal City Palace. Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sarai Pratap Singh, it was constructed to enable ladies of the royal household to observe the life and parades of the street below without being seen; royal ladies were not supposed to be seen by members of the public or be visible in public areas. Having been a staunch devotee to Krishna, Sarai Pratap Singh designed the palace to resemble the crown of the Hindu god.
Hawa Mahal tours provide the opportunity to stroll through this captivating royal wonder, and explore the beautiful architecture from the city of Jaipur's bygone days. Hailed as one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture in India, the palace was constructed using sandstone, giving it an enchanting rosy hue. Construction using natural sandstone was very prevalent throughout Jaipur at the time, which has resulted in its charming nickname of "The Pink City''. The 953 small windows are decorated with intricate latticework, and the top of the building offers spectacular views over Jantar Mantar and the City Palace on one side views of the Sireh Deori Bazaar on the other. Coloured glass works from some of the windows fill the room with various colours when the sunlight enters. The mahal is particularly striking in the early morning and at sunset, when it is illuminated with golden sunlight. Interestingly, the top two floors of the palace are not accessed via steps but rather by ramps. This was because it made it easier for the palanquins of the royal ladies to be carried up to the top.
Few Hawa Mahal tours would be complete without paying a visit to the onsite museum. This small space is housed inside the courtyard and is home to a great collection of antiques, small paintings and articles from the royal past. Showcasing everything from arrow heads to ceremonial armour, visitors can even see several artefacts dating all the way back to the second century. After visiting the museum, a spot of souvenir shopping is perhaps in order; there are plenty of markets outside the building, great for perusing local products. Hawa Mahal tours can also be combined with visits to other nearby attractions in the city. The Jantar Mantar, an equinoctial sundial dating back to the early 18th century, is a short stroll away and makes for a fascinating look at centuries-old astronomical observatory techniques. A little further afield, the iconic Amber Fort and the fascinating Albert Hall Museum are both extremely worthwhile additions to your Jaipur itinerary.
Visitors can enter the Hawa Mahal palace from the city palace side through an imperial door. The building is open from 9am to 4:30pm and entrance fee is Rs.50. Entrance fee is covered if this is included on our tours – your Tour Manager will advise.
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