Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Hawa Mahal is a beautiful palace in the heart of the city Jaipur, which is also called as pink city of India. This beautiful and fantastic piece of art was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 and was designed by Lal Chand Usta. The palace was called Hawa Mahal which means palace of winds and was designed in the form of the crown of Lord Krishna, the Hindu God. Hawa Mahal forms part of the City Palace and extends the Zenana or women’s chambers, the chambers of the harem. The original intention of so many chambers in the Palace was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to observe strict “purdah” (cover).

About Hawa Mahal

The Hawa Mahal was strongly influenced by Mughal architecture and is an example of Rajputana architecture. The Hawa Mahal is so designed so as to face the street and it is famous all over the country for its 953 windows.

Hawa Mahal Construction

The palace has five stories whereas the whole structure of the Hawa Mahal is constructed of red and pink sandstone, highlighted with white quick lime. The entrance of the palace opens onto a courtyard with a double-storied building on three sides and one on the eastern wing with three more stories, which is just one room wide. There are no stairs to climb the upper floors of the palace but only ramps.

Hawa Mahal is a pyramid-shaped facade with five stories. It has 953 small windows decorated with tiny lattice work. These pink sandstone windows commonly known as "Jharokhas" are constructed in such a style, that it looks like a giant honeycomb. The air circulation through windows represents the marvelous touch of Mughal designing, which keeps the Palace always cool. The small screened balconies and arched roofs with hanging cornices enhance the beauty of the Palace. The Pyramidal outline and replication of pattern makes it more attractive in appearance.

As a matter of fact, Hawa Mahal is believed to build for the women of the Royal Families, since they had to observe strict "purdah" (cover). The small windows and screened balconies serve the women to watch processions and different activities taking place on the streets. In this manner, the women could enjoy a sense of freedom without showing themselves.

Early morning is considered as the best time to visit the Hawa Mahal Palace, when it is drenched in the golden light of the Sun. At this time, Hawa Mahal appears incredible. One cannot possibly describe the beauty of the Palace in words. The golden light of the early morning sun floats beautifully through the windows of this palace creating a wonderful sight for one and all. The palace has to be visited to experience the true beauty.

How to Reach

Location: Next to the entrance of City Palace
Built by: Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh
Built in: 1799
Highlights: Its Rajputana architecture
How to reach Hawa Mahal: One can easily reach Hawa Mahal from the city by taking local Buses, Rickshaws and Taxis

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