Hawa Mahal of Jaipur

Hawa Mahal of Jaipur is an iconic architectural gem of Rajasthan tourism, India. In English, it means 'Palace of Winds'. Though it is termed as 'Mahal' or palace, it is in fact a narrow shield and fašade, built of red sandstone, with the purpose to offer the royal ladies a screen to see the bustling market remaining unseen themselves. Its look, history and architecture create great curiosity among the visitors and, hence, Hawa Mahal is considered as a must-see monument of Jaipur.

Hawa Mahal, the five storey elaborate fašade with latticed overhanging windows, was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. Fašade of Hawa Mahal looks more like a screen rather than a palace. Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, was designed by Lal Chand Usta. This iconic structure is the most easily recalled hallmarks of Jaipur. Maharaja Pratap Singh, devout devotee of Lord Krishna, dedicated this Mahal (palace) to Him and hence built the intricate exterior walls to look like a mukut (crown). With 953 small windows meant for cooler air circulation, this semi-octagonal extension of "zanana khana"-the Harem of City Palace was for royal women to observe the processions and bustling activity of everyday life in the street below without being observed themselves. Though people conjecture that the Hawa Mahal was for royal ladies, but in actuality, there is no definite record as to why it was built. The interior of chambers is bereft of any ornamentation which is expected in any royal structure.

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