The Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal of Jaipur is a beautiful red sandstone building rising five storey high. Designed in the form of the crown of Lord Krishna, the purpose of Hawa Mahal was to create an extension to the Zenana section of the City Palace and allow the ladies of the court to view the life of the city from behind purdah.
Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. The king took inspiration from the unique structure of Khetri Mahal to build this monument. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad and stands right in the middle of the main market area.
Hawa Mahal is the most famous landmark of Jaipur. It flaunts a mix of Hindu Rajput architecture and Islamic Mughal architecture which make many jaws drop.
It is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument rising to about 50 feet (15 m). It is recognized by the 953 windows on its facade. The tiny windows with lattice work provide the much needed ventilation and give a pyramid like outline to the building. These windows were made to let royal ladies enjoy street happenings and festivals without being seen by the locals.
The Hawa Mahal has an amazing view of the city down below and the Jantar Mantar. The best time to visit the Hawa Mahal is at sunrise when the palace glows in the morning light. A beautiful gateway from City Palace enables entry into the Hawa Mahal. There are no stairways inside Hawa Mahal, only ramps.
You enter into Hawa Mahal through an imperial door that opens into a large courtyard with double storeyed edifices on three sides. There is also an archaeological museum in the courtyard.
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