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Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds in Jaipur

It is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city. Known as the palace of winds it has some 950 windows called jharokhas, decorated with intricate latticework through which the women of the court could watch everydaylife outside without being seen. It is located in Jaipur’s old town and like all the buildings in this area it's painted in pink. Hawa Mahal, which forms part of the east wall of the City Palace, was built for the women of the royal family. It was a place where they could sit behind the laced windows looking down on the daily street life and parades below without being seen. Hawa Mahal was made in such a way that the breeze circulates through these windows, giving the palace its name.

The Hawa Mahal is a beautifully designed structure, which is in reality just a facade covering what was the women's wing of the city palace. The Hawa Mahal covers 5 floors and its pyramidal structure signifies both the crown of the Hindu god Krishna and the the tail of a peacock implying royalty and power. The names of the five stories are, Sharad Mandir, where autumn celebrations took place; Ratan Mandir owing to the glasswork on the walls; Vichitra Mandir, where the deity Lord Krishna was worshipped; Prakash Mandir; and, Hawa Mandir, after which the Palace came to be known as Hawa Mahal. It is built of red and pink sandstone and is spectacular when it seems to glow in the early morning light. Best views are from the street outside although it is possible to reach the top, although it is by ramps not stairs that you reach the top. Entrance to the Hawa Mahal was originally from the city palace through an imperial door, which opened into a large courtyard surrounded by two storey buildings. There is also a small museum inside.


Located in the heart of Jaipur, this beautiful five-storey palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. 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. 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.

Nearby tourist attractions

The beautiful landmark of Hawa Mahal is surrounded by numerous attractions like the Jantar Mantar, Govind Devji temple, Ram Niwas Bagh, Sisodia Rani Garden and Nahargarh fort. Not to forget, Hawa Mahal also lies in close vicinity of the world renowned UNESCO heritage site of Amer Fort.