Jaipur Local Guide

Hawa Mahal: The Iconic “Palace of Winds” in Jaipur

Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, is renowned for its rich heritage, vibrant culture, and architectural marvels. Among the city’s many historical landmarks, Hawa Mahal stands out as a quintessential symbol of Jaipur’s architectural ingenuity and royal heritage. Known as the “Palace of Winds,” Hawa Mahal is a five-story palace that captivates visitors with its unique design, fascinating history, and breathtaking views.

Hawa Mahal Jaipur
Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Historical Significance

Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, inspired by the structure of the Khetri Mahal in Jhunjhunu. The Maharaja, a great devotee of Lord Krishna, envisioned the palace to resemble the crown of the Hindu god. Designed by Lal Chand Ustad, Hawa Mahal is a splendid example of Rajputana architecture, infused with Islamic Mughal architectural elements, a common feature in many structures of that era.

The primary purpose of Hawa Mahal was to provide the royal women a safe and private place to observe the bustling street life and processions without being seen, in accordance with the strict purdah system prevalent at the time. The intricate latticework of the windows allowed them to witness the outside world while maintaining their seclusion.

Architectural Marvel

Hawa Mahal’s most striking

feature is its honeycomb-like façade with 953 small windows, known as jharokhas. These windows are adorned with delicate latticework that serves both aesthetic and functional purposes. The lattice design not only adds to the palace’s beauty but also allows cool air to pass through, creating a Venturi effect. This natural air conditioning system kept the palace cool during the scorching Rajasthani summers, giving it the name “Palace of Winds.”

The façade, made of red and pink sandstone, embodies the distinctive color palette of Jaipur, often referred to as the Pink City. The palace rises to five stories, with each level diminishing in size as it ascends, creating a pyramidal structure. The top three floors are just a single room thick, while the lower floors have rooms, passages, and balconies.

Intricate Interiors

While the exterior of Hawa Mahal is its most celebrated feature, the interiors are equally fascinating. The palace’s interior courtyards are adorned with fountains and intricate carvings. The rooms are relatively simple compared to the lavish façade, but they reflect the aesthetic sensibilities of the Rajput royals.

The palace is divided into five levels, each accessible by narrow ramps rather than stairs. This design was likely intended to accommodate the palanquins used by the royal women. The ramps provide an interesting way to explore the palace, leading visitors through a series of rooms and passages that open up to stunning views of the city.

One of the highlights of the interior is the top floor, known as the Vichitra Mandir, where the Maharaja would often worship his deity, Lord Krishna. The view from this level is spectacular, offering a panoramic vista of the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and the bustling streets of Jaipur.

Cultural and Historical Context

Hawa Mahal is not just an architectural wonder but also a significant cultural and historical monument. It reflects the socio-cultural norms of the time, particularly the purdah system. The design of the palace ensured that the royal women could enjoy a semblance of freedom within their confined lives, witnessing public events and daily activities from a secure and private vantage point.

The palace also stands as a testament to the skill and creativity of the artisans of the time. The delicate latticework, intricate carvings, and the overall design showcase the high level of craftsmanship that was prevalent in the 18th century. Hawa Mahal’s design also demonstrates the blending of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles, reflecting the cultural exchanges that shaped the region’s heritage.

Visitor Experience

Hawa Mahal is open to visitors from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The entrance fee is modest, with different rates for Indian and foreign tourists. For those who wish to delve deeper into the history and architecture of the palace, guided tours are available. These tours provide valuable insights into the significance of the palace and its various features.

Visitors can enter Hawa Mahal through the Imperial Gate, which leads to a large courtyard surrounded by two-story buildings. The palace’s narrow passages and steep ramps may be challenging for some, but they add to the adventure of exploring this historical monument.

Photography enthusiasts will find Hawa Mahal a paradise. The interplay of light and shadow through the jharokhas creates stunning photo opportunities, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. The view from the top floors offers a unique perspective of Jaipur’s skyline, making it a perfect spot for panoramic shots.

Practical Information

For a comfortable visit, it is advisable to wear comfortable footwear and carry water, as the exploration involves a fair amount of walking. Jaipur’s weather can be quite hot, especially during the summer months, so visiting in the cooler parts of the day or during the winter season is recommended.

Hawa Mahal is situated in the heart of Jaipur, making it easily accessible from various parts of the city. The surrounding area, known as Johari Bazaar, is a bustling market where visitors can shop for traditional Rajasthani jewelry, textiles, and handicrafts. This makes a visit to Hawa Mahal not just a historical journey but also a cultural and shopping experience.

Opening Hours

The Hawa Mahal is open to visitors every day of the week. The standard visiting hours are:

  • Monday to Sunday: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

These hours allow ample time to explore the palace and enjoy its stunning architecture in the best light.

Entry Fees

For Indian Tourists:

  • Adults: ₹52 per person
  • Children (below 12 years): ₹22 per person

For Foreign Tourists:

  • Adults: ₹202 per person
  • Children (below 12 years): ₹102 per person

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Hawa Mahal is early in the morning. The soft morning light enhances the beauty of the red and pink sandstone, making it a perfect time for photography. Additionally, visiting early helps you avoid the midday heat and the larger crowds that tend to gather later in the day.

These fees are used for the maintenance and preservation of this historic site, ensuring that it remains a treasure for future generations to enjoy.


Hawa Mahal stands as a symbol of Jaipur’s rich history and architectural brilliance. Its unique design, historical significance, and cultural importance make it a must-visit for anyone exploring Jaipur. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or a traveler looking to soak in the vibrant culture of Rajasthan, Hawa Mahal offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of India’s regal past.

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