To all the women and girls out there – Have you ever imagined yourself as the Disney princess and yearned for the palace of your dreams? Look no further. Your dream will be fulfilled as soon as you enter Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal.
I was ecstatic. How could it be so beautiful ? Or may be my expectations were too low. Whatever be the case, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, built by the Jaipur ruler for the ladies of the house, is a fairy land in itself. Situated very close to Jaipur’s city palace, this palace was built by Jaipur Maharaja to let royal beauties enjoy the street view, while following the Purdah system of India.
The entrance reminded me of the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad.
Just adjacent to the entrance, there are boards depicting tourist info. Inserting them here for your reference. You just need to tilt your head a bit.
As soon as you enter, a stone slabs welcomes you with the history of Hawa Mahal.
Can you translate this using google ? Try it and let me know the text in English.
The courtyard has a pond in the center which was supposed to be the place where Maharanis played Holi – the festival of colors.The building in front is five storeyed, with each floor owning a different name and a purpose.
Adjacent to the pond is the kitchen with colored glass . If the kitchen is so beautiful, you can well imagine, how ornate the entire palace would have been.
This had been the only palace so far, where we saw a ramp as against the usual use of stairs.
As you go up, you would come across arched doors and intricately crafted ceilings .
The entire architecture symbolizes a perfect fusion of Hindu and Islamic architecture.
From a small window on the fourth floor, you could see the entire Jaipur city and its rich heritage – Jaipur city palace, Jantar Mantar and Jaigarh fort. This view made me really admire the architect of Hawa Mahal .
Look at this image. Now, imagine ladies dressed in vibrant ghagra – cholis, laughing and giggling around the corridors, engrossed in admiring self and the city, performing Ghoomar – a popular folk dance of Rajasthan, the palace all decked up with velvet curtains and marigold and jasmine flowers, with silver vessels laden with food kept at regular intervals. How I wish!!
As you go further up, from the fifth floor, the city view is truly beautiful.
Like I had mentioned before, this palace was built to let ladies enjoy the street processions , hidden from public eye. The entire palace’s facade is a honeycomb structure with small windows for street view and ample air passage to keep the indoors cool and calm during hot summers. Hence the name Hawa Mahal
As for the view, this is all I could see now:
Don’t get disappointed. Look at below image from 1905.
Now go back 100 years and try to imagine the streets of India. Yes it’s all an imagination now, the palace, the street view and the bejeweled era they speak about.