About Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal, translated as the Palace of the Winds, is Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark.
History of Hawa Mahal
Jaipur in India was built in 1799 for the Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, in order to allow the women of the royal household to see everyday life in the city below them whilst maintaining their modesty. This was necessary at the time as the women were required to observe a purdah – meaning to remain covered.
Constructed of fiery sandstone with an intricate façade that rises into a curve, Hawa Mahal is a striking structure, and has helped cement Jaipur’s reputation as the ‘Pink City’.
The building is a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture, mixing floral and lotus patterns, domed canopies, arches and delicate inlaid filigree work. One of the most prominent features of Hawa Mahal is its large lattice of 935 tiny windows. The interior of Hawa Mahal is far less ostentatious than the outside may imply and in fact some of the levels are very small indeed. Nevertheless, it is worth climbing to the top of the palace for the fantastic views of Jaipur.
The site underwent massive restoration in the early 21st century.
Hawa Mahal today
The palace is part of the composite Jaipur ticket: entrance is from the back of the complex and is relatively well hidden so keep an eye out. The narrow corridors behind the palace’s facade can get extremely crowded and some find them claustrophobic, especially in the heat.
There is also a small museum on site with relics from Hawa Mahal’s royal past which is worth visiting.
Getting to Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal is located in the heart of Old Jaipur, walking distance from other main sites. Entrance is the other side of the complex to the famous pink honeycomb.