: Jaipur, Rajasthan
: Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh
: Multi Layered Red And Pink Sandstone Building
: Hawa Mahal Museum
Built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh the 'Hawa Mahal', Palace of the Wind, is one of the major landmarks of Jaipur. It is an integral part of the City Palace, an extension of the Zenana (women's chambers) standing away from the main complex. This five storey building of unusual architecture designed by Lal Chand Usta, is a stunning example of Rajput artistry made of red and pink sand stone, beautifully outlined with white borders and motif's painted with quick lime.
The monument with a spectacular view of Jaipur city with road avenues, intersections and colourful crowds in the market, was originally conceived with the aim of enabling ladies of the royal household to watch the everyday life and royal processions in the city without being seen by others.
Falling under the Golden Triangle, and being visited by millions of domestic and foreign tourists, the city of Jaipur is a place of high tourist interest. The Pink City, as commonly known, has all sorts of amenities for domestic and foreign tourists. Hotels ranging from 5 star to low budgets are available. The city is linked by Rail, Road, and Air and attracts high traffic in winters.
Views from Hawa Mahal
The upper floors are reached through a ramp rather than the regular stairs, a device to facilitate movement of palanquins carried by servants. This is a less tiresome way as the ramp ascends lazily to the top of the freestanding square tower. Imagine queens and princesses loaded with the heaviest jewelry and covered with the endless yardage of Clothes - skirts and sarees, climbing to the uppermost pavilion heaving and painting for respite from the sweltering summer heat. Here even the May-June winds feel so mild and cool. Jaipur itself appears in all its grandeur, with straight, wide roads, intersections and teeming crowds in the market.
Jantar Mantar looks a collection of mystifying masonry instruments. The City Palace stands apart, surrounded by a maze of courtyards. The Nahargarh fort, perched upon the hill, which slopes down sharply towards the palace, keeps its vigil over the city looks spectacular, a truly fairy-late setting.
Hawa Mahal (Architecture)
The facade of the Hawa Mahal has sometimes aroused unfair judgments as 'a baroque folly' and a 'bizarre piece of architecture'. The five storeyed facade encrusted with elegant trellis work on windows and small balconies have 953 niches. Lal Chand Usta who designed the Hawa Mahal had dedicated it to Lord Krishna and Radha but its fanciful structure appealed to the Maharaja who found it ideal for the seraglio.
The pyramidal outline of the structure has one characteristic feature of architecture - symmetry, and, as in Jain temples, uses repetition of motifs to great enhancement of beauty and looks: "The forms employed are familiar enough, but the bays are crammed together, piled and multiplied so that they combine to form a larger version of themselves, in a manner strikingly reminiscent of a temple shikhara". It has been remarked that the Hawa Mahal marks a certain decline in the architectural standards of Jaipur. This may have been the result of the increasing influence of Mughal architecture. Hawa Mahal shows a noticeable similarity with the Panch Mahal - the palace of winds at Fatehpur Sikri.
The beauty of the Hawa Mahal lies in its fragile appearance, which, like a vision, threatens of vanish into thin air. It is, of all buildings in Jaipur, the most romantic and delicate - which cannot be said of some better-known examples of solid architecture.