11 Stunning Facts about the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

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Rajasthan is a state in India adorned with majestic palaces and forts. It has a rich historical heritage of the Rajputs. There are many archaeological sites across the state. Each one has a unique story and grandeur. But the most iconic monument is the Hawa Mahal. Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh started the construction of this monument in 1799. It has an interesting story and these facts will take you on a trip to know it better and relish its elegance.

11 Stunning Facts about the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

1. Knock, Knock, there is no Entrance

A huge City Palace complex was built in the eastern part of Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan. It is popular as the “Pink City”. The City Palace is a complex of buildings that was constructed during the founding of Jaipur in the year 1727. It was the official headquarters of the Maharaja of Jaipur until 1949 and included all of the city’s administrative buildings as well. Hawa Mahal was incorporated as a part of the larger City Palace. So, it doesn’t have a front entrance; one has to enter from the side of the building. Today, this palace complex operates as a museum and is a treasure of architectural spectacles.

2. The grandson of the founder of Jaipur initiated the palace construction

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of the Kingdom of Amber moved his capital to Jaipur in 1727, and founded the city of Jaipur. Today, Jaipur is amongst the popular tourist destinations in India and the City palace is one of the most visited tourist sites. The immense fortified complex of the City Palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The remarkable Hawa Mahal was built as an extension of this by his grandson Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh (1764-1803) in 1799.

3. 953 Jharokha

The main attraction of the palace is the pink sandstone elevation which serves as an icon of the “Pink City.” This remarkable architectural feature has 953 windows carved into it with ornamented latticework. These windows are called as Jharokas, a stone window that is incorporated into the wall of a building so it overlooks the street below. This kind of window is like the French and English types of windows known as “oriel windows,” a type of bay window that projects from the façade of a building. Hawa Mahal literally translates as the ‘Palace of Winds’ or the ‘Wind Palace’. The small windows were built to keep the wind blowing inside the palace. It was a summer getaway for many Rajput families during olden times. The front elevation looks like a honeycomb. The intricately designed windows give this beehive effect to the structure.

4. The windows had a particular purpose

Hawa Mahal was specifically constructed as a separate complex for the royal ladies. The intent was that, royal women would be able to watch the daily life of the city through the windows. Although Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh wasn’t able to enjoy his newly built palace for a long time as he died 4 years after it was completed, he considered the needs of the ladies of the royal court. The royal ladies adhered to strict rules. They did not appear in front of the public. This tradition required women to stay out of sight of strangers by either covering their entire bodies or by staying in a separate room or behind a purdah. The 953 windows in the mahal were provided the women an opportunity to enjoy festivities outside and look at the hustle-bustle of the city. The windows were designed in such a way that it gave a birds-eye view of happenings down the street below without being seen themselves. The rooms also had separate “Zenana,” the section of the palace reserved for women. The ladies could enjoy the processions, festivals, celebrations and the daily activities like in the market.

5. The Wind Palace

The Hawa Mahal is so named because it features a pleasant wind effect because the literal translation of the palace’s name is “The Palace of Winds” or “The Palace of Breezes.” This outcome is known as the Venturi effect which facilitates the free passage of wind through the windows owing to the directions and the architectural design. This made the palace an enjoyable retreat during the scorching heat of Rajasthan summer months for the royal families. The fountains located within the palace further elaborated this amazing effect. One of the rarely known facts about Hawa Mahal is that its name is based on another palace which was popular as the “Wind Palace” called “Khetri Mahal.” This palace in the city of Jhunjhunu is now in ruins.

6. The palace is compact

The palace was not intended for residence. It was meant for gatherings and occasions. It looks impressive from the street view. But in reality, it is small. One of its remarkable features is that it has only 5 floors and has a height of just 15 meters or 50 feet. The width of the palace is also not massive. It is thin. The top 3 floors only have a single room and the two lowest levels serve as a little courtyard. Thus, its beauty and splendour is due to artistry and design. Its elegance and luxurious feel is in its construction and not its size.

7. Its architecture

The design of the palace displays a unique blend of two distinct architectural styles. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad. The Islamic Mughal and Hindu Rajput architecture have been merged into one structure. The Islamic design is presented in the arches and stone inlay filigree work, the Rajput style is reflected in the form of fluted pillars, doomed canopies, and other floral patterns. The palace is built with red and pink sandstone. The creative carvings and the building of Hawa Mahal stands in the heart of Jaipur in its royal elegance. Hawa Mahal is a reflection of the grandeur of the Rajput Empire.

8. The courtyard features a fountain and an archaeological museum

The inside courtyard can be accessed from the street through the “Imperial door” and has a relatively simple 2-storied building on 3 sides. The palace itself encircles it on the east side.

The courtyard has a fountain in the centre and also has an archaeological museum where you can learn about the different types of architectural styles that emerged during the time that the city was founded. It has relics, collectibles, antique items and in-depth information about the history of the city.

9. Foundation is Absent

This palace stands tall without a foundation. Remarkably, it is the tallest standing building in the world without a foundation. The monument is able to stay upright because it is constructed in a pyramidal shape. It is curved and leans at an angle of 87 degree to balance the structure owing to its lack of solid foundations. It is a five-storey building. Each floor has a different name. The first floor is called the Sharad mandir. The second floor is known as the Ratan Mandir which is ornamented by colourful glasswork. The third floor is Vichitra Mandir. Fourth is Prakash Mandir. And the top floor is the Hawa Mandir after which the Hawa Mahal is named. The palace has no staircase to reach the higher floors. Instead, they have ramps to reach the upper floors.

10. The crown shape

The design of the building is shaped like a Crown. Sawai Pratap Singh was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna who wanted to dedicate the palace to Lord Krishna . Hawa Mahal was built to look like Lord Krishna’s crown. His faith became the source of inspiration for this design. There is a devoted place for Lord Krishna’s worship in the palace in the Vichitra Mandir. The shape of the palace is unique, appealing and aesthetically beautiful.

11. Most photographed

Hawa Mahal is the most photographed place in India. It appears on social media, print media, videos, articles, magazines and covers. It is very popular. It is famous on Instagram as well. Everyone wishes to take a perfect picture in its backdrop. It is so iconic and aesthetic that it attracts the camera lenses and offers spectacular views and angles.


India has a rich heritage. There were many empires. The Rajputs and their empire is an integral part of the Indian history. There are several fascinating forts and palaces in Rajasthan. There are many tourist destinations in and around Jaipur. But Hawa Mahal is undoubtedly the most iconic monument. It is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Jaipur. The artistic carvings, aesthetic design, royal architecture and the sheer splendour of this palace is attractive and majestic. It is also incredible and one-of-its-kind. It ornaments the heart of the city and stands in pride.

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