At the beginning of the year i planned a trip to Jaipur of course, when you are going to visit the “PINK CITY” how can you forget HAWA MAHAL JAIPUR one of the marvels of architectural and RAJPUTANA history of Rajasthan.
The visiting time of HAWAL MAHAL JAIPUR is 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
I Started My Journey Early In The Morning That’s why I arrived at Badi Choupar, Jaipur where HAWA MAHAL is located at 10:00 A.M.
Try to Start you journey to HAWAL MAHAL early to beat the crowd.
What is inside Hawa Mahal?
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Well, entering such grandeur is another kind of lifetime experience, especially when you are fond of historical places. Stepping onto the earth where once the Kings and Queen were walking gives you goosebumps if you try to imagine it deep. This is the place where the royals of Rajputana once reigned. I would like to brief you about the history of the place.
Who built Hawa Mahal Jaipur? History Of Hawa Mahla, The palace was built by Kachchawa Rajput Ruler, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh grandson of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. It has been said that he was inspired by Khetri Mahal’s unique structure that he built this grand historical palace. During his time, the art of painting reached its highest peak. He was great patronage to artists. The most wonderful and marvelous example of his connoisseurship is the said palace- HAWA MAHAL. It was built in 1799 and was exclusively designed by Ustad Lal Chand. For detailed history of Hawa Mahal Jaipur you can Visit WikiPedia.
Why Hawa Mahal is called Palace of Winds?
Hawa Mahal is also known as “Palace of Breeze” and “Palace of Winds”, which is not hard to guess WHY because the palace contains 953 windows. The architectural style was such that the place has VENTURI EFFECT, I would not bore you with a detailed diagram of the physics behind it, but in simple words a large number of windows allowed the cool breeze to blow in the palace, to make it more pleasant during summer.
Can we go inside Hawa Mahal?
The Answer Is Yes, You can go Inside Hawa Mahal Jaipur But you need ticket to enter. You can easily get the ticket from the counter at Hawa Mahal
I brought the ticket with a student ID card which costs less than a regular visiting charge so if you are a student and planning a tour to Jaipur, I would like to advise you to keep your student ID Card with you. Entry to the palace is through Anand Pol which leads you to pass through another entry gateway which is called Chandra Pol.
Ticket fee for Indians Travelers : Rs 50. Ticket fee for Foreigners Travelers : Rs 200
This passage leads you to enter a spacious courtyard, which has double- storeyed building on three sides, with Hawa Mahal in the east enclosing it. In the middle of which there is a water fountain ironically DRY.
Wait a bit, the place is full of Surprises.
Hawa Mahal Travel Experience & Facts
I would like to tell you about its unique architectural style, which is an exceptional fusion of Mughal and Rajputana artistic.
The highlights of the former are latticework and filigree along with the arches while the latter are domed canopies, fluted pillars, lotus, and floral patterns. The latticework is mainly included here because of the Purdah system prevalent during that time for women of Royal Families. As they were not allowed to go in public without covering their faces, the lattice (JALI) allowed them a sneak peek at the normal life of common people and the royal processions on the road. The windows are nothing more than that of a peephole.
Hawa Mahal Jaipur Structure
Now let’s talk about the structure of the palace. Seeing Hawa Mahal from the street gives you false anticipation that it might be the entrance of the place but no. Hawa Mahal’s entry is through Royal City Palace. The structure was built as an extension to it (City Palace). The palace has 5 floors and is 50 meters high, and surprisingly it is the tallest building in the world which has maintained itself upright without FOUNDATION. The credit of which goes to its curved shaped architecture.
Now talking about the floors, The 5-floor exterior is akin to that of honeycomb with its large number of windows called JHAROKHAs decorated with latticework. The names of five floors are Sharad Mandir, Ratan Mandir, Hawa Mandir, Prakash Mandir, and Vichitra Mandir; peculiarly there is no temple in the palace at all though each floor has been named as MANDIR.
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The maharaja was devoted to Lord Krishna and therefore, the design of the palace resembles the crown of Krishna, and hence the structure is pyramidal not so surprisingly. It is made up of pink and red sandstone which justifies the epithet of PINK CITY. While viewing it from the outside you would think it must be a very decorative and stylish inside too, but it is plain inside with not so much of colors and design.
The rather contrastingly rich decoration of the exterior doesn’t let you guess the simple and plain interiors of the Mahal. And the top two floors hold not more than a room’s thickness. The way up to the top three floors are not stairs but ramps as it suits the easy-going of palanquin of the queen (as mentioned earlier it was meant for Zenana). The glasswork on Ratan Mandir might surprise you as perhaps it is the only floor with glasswork. And from here you can get a bird’s eye’s view of Jantar Mantar also. Ohkie no more factual stuff.
Why it has been called Hawa Mahal?
As you move through from one floor to another, you can almost feel why it has been called Hawa Mahal, as the air touches your face and hairs. This trip was really wonderful as I felt as if I am one of the Royal Princesses for whom this Hawa Mahal was built, for whom the design was that of a porthole through which I can glance at city road.
It was like I have entered into another time another era, where I am surrounded by the royal assistance. It was like if I order something it would soon be accomplished within no time, and just with a clap. I know it might sound STUPID but trust me when you have a strong imaginative mind with a little bit of creativity you would feel like me. I lost the sense of time and was immersed in the delicacy of the artwork which was where I have been standing.
It was indeed a Mahal, and the best part is you can feel ROYAL just by paying a charge at the entrance. I could hear the laughing of my fellow princesses and could eavesdrop on the tea talks of the queen. I could see the festivals celebrated at that time through the windows and hear common men cursing or praising the royals and envying the pleasure and leisure they had.
I could feel where Maharaja would worship Lord Krishna in one of the temples by reciting hymns to please him. The time was passing by and I felt an urge to take supper and then instantly the appointed tea maker by our teachers offered me tea and I felt rather glad to him to give me such a timeless experience I cannot define in words.
I was back to my REVERIE with the teacup in my hand and got busy with chat chats to the royals (see that is the power of imagination; yeah, it can be considered as foolishness but to me, it was not).
Archeological museum at Hawa Mahal Jaipur
I could see the wars taking place between two Kings to access the throne. I could sense the betrayals of some unfaithful men to the kings, and could hear the conspiracies to get the Crown at any cost. I could hear the mourning of royal men and women after losing their loved ones to the fight for the crown. It resembles the void in royal life as the exterior of royal life might seem perfect and pleasant but inside that MAHAL, they too are humans, they talk, they try to please others, they cry, they laugh, they mourn and do everything which a common man might do emotionally.
The king also worshipped God as the common man does. The queens were longing to get a peek into common man life as the common man would for royal life. You cannot always tell what is going inside a Palace which is all perfect and happy outside but what lay inside is grotesque history and relations that are only loyal to the crown, not the person.
This makes me realize that no matter in which clan you are born and in which time period you are alive Death is inevitable for all. It comes to a King as well as a beggar in the same manner. All the riches of the world cannot buy you immortality. That is the reason perhaps why the royal families built these timeless memorials and monuments to keep them alive through the ages that are to come. This is the way they can be immortal in the hearts and minds of people visiting the places built by them.
Yeah, sure with the time we would not remember the man who built it but we would remember the place which was built right? The king ordering the construction of the site might leave a part of his soul to that place echoing his wordless speech to the walls of the place where once he lived and breathed. We can never forget the contribution of these places to our country’s cultural and archeological history.
Leaving Hawa Mahal Jaipur
The time was passing by and soon we were asked to leave the place to visit other landmarks of Jaipur and this broke my reverie for once and all. The exit through another dimly lit and long narrow passage as the ramps felt that entering Hawa Mahal was easier than exiting this place. I felt as if I have lived an eternity in the Mahal feeling the glimpses myself to the life of Rulers. I was back in the year 2020 no more lost in my thoughts of Royal life. We moved out of the place soon and went to visit other tourist place in Jaipur, which reminds me of the visit to Jaigarh- let’s save this story for later.
But before leaving I would add one more thing about the structure of the place. It resembles the architecture of the Panch Mahal. The common factors between these two might be interesting for you to know. Both the palaces are made in a pyramidal pattern. Both are meant for the Zenana section to follow Purdah it has also originally contained latticework between the pillars. In the middle instead of a fountain, there is a TALAB (pond) to give the place the cooling effect. The difference includes the time period in which they have been built and therefore the ruler by which it has been built.
Rajasthan has many more and great examples of such exquisites, and especially the city Jaipur. It is filled with the architectural works by different rulers at different time periods each of them reflecting a different yet similar life of the Rulers. The City Palace and Hawa Mahal are just one of them. Stay tuned for a more insightful journey to the history of India. and if you are Mountain Lover Do Checkout Jibhi Himachal
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