Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Jaipur, the Pink City of India, boasts a treasure trove of architectural marvels, and at the heart of its charm stands the Hawa Mahal. The ‘Palace of Winds,’ as it is known, has long been an enigma, shrouded in the ethereal beauty of its latticed windows and ornate facade. In this exploration, we delve into the captivating secrets that make Hawa Mahal Jaipur an enduring symbol of elegance and grace.

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Decoding the Meteorological Marvel of Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

History, folklore, architecture, sculpture, the beauty of fresco paintings, etc. are naturally associated with poetic forts and opulent palaces, so the eye of the traveler always naturally searches for them. On the other hand, there are some architectures whose construction can be understood much better only when the hidden science is found. The Hawa Mahal of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is one such type of architecture, like a vast museum of historical buildings. Just as the Chand Bawdi in the Rajasthani village of Abhaneri is a combination of watercraft in sculpture and the Jantar-Mantar construction of Jaipur is a combination of ancient Indian astronomy, the Hawa Mahal is a historical construction based on the scientific theory of meteorology.

Hawa Mahal Visitor Information

Category Details
Name Hawa Mahal
Location Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Address Hawa Mahal Road, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Opening Hours 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Open all days)
Entry Fee INR 50 (Indian Nationals), INR 200 (Foreign Nationals)
Google Maps Location View on Google Maps

 

Most people think it is a palace, when in fact the word ‘Mahel’ (palace) is misleading. On the other hand, the word ‘Hawa’ (air) fits perfectly. As the name implies, the function of Hawa Mahel is to create a feeling of warmth and coolness, for which it has hundreds of windows, openings, and artistic lattices. Before understanding what scientific theory makes the air cool in the palace even in the heat of summer, let’s know about the construction and appearance of the Hawa Mahal.

An Ode to Rajputana Culture

Hawa Mahal isn’t just a structure; it’s a living testament to the rich Rajputana culture that flourished in Jaipur. The ornate motifs, vibrant colors, and regal design tell a tale of a bygone era. Here, we explore the cultural nuances embedded in every nook and cranny of this magnificent palace.

A little history about construction:

Chowk and Hawa Mahal Jaipur
A picture of Hawa Mehel from old times.

Hawa Mahal was built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who was the grandson of Kachwaha (or Kushwaha) Rajput Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and a devotee of lord Krishna, who founded the city of Jaipur in 1727 AD. Pratap Singh was a poet whose compilation of various poetic works is known as ‘Vrajanidhi Granthavali‘. He also built structures like the Vrajanidhi Temple and the Jal Mahal in Jaipur. King Sawai Pratap Singh got the idea to build the Hawa Mahal from the Khetadi Mahal, also called Hawa Mahal, located in the town of Khetadi in Junzunu district of the Shekhawati region. Once, he had to go to Khetadi Mahal to meet Maharaja Bhopal Singh of Jhujun.

Whispers of Wind and Royalty: The Story Behind Hawa Mahal’s Crown-like Majesty in Jaipurhawa mahel 2 scaled

During the visit, he felt that the palace was very well ventilated and cool inside. Impressed by this experience, Pratap Singh, during his return journey, asked his architect Lalchand Ustan (Ustad according to some references) to build a palace of a slightly different design but with massive height. It did not take Ustad Lalchand much time to decide on the design of the proposed palace. Lalchand, aware of Maharaja Pratap Singh’s love of Krishna, decided to shape the palace like the crown of Lord Krishna and make it slightly curved like a crown. This distinctive design became the hallmark of the Hawa Mahal, while over time, the palace itself became the hallmark of the city of Jaipur.

Breezy Marvel: Hawa Mahal’s Architectural Symphony

Hawa Mahal has been built keeping Rajasthan’s hot climate, wind direction, velocity and sunlight in mind. The five-storied palace has 365 windows and 953 openings. The upper part is called Sharad Mandir, and the floors above it are respectively Ratan Mandir, Vithika Mandir, and Prakash Mandir. The top floor is Hawa Mandir. Built with red and pink sand-stones of Rajasthan and Rajput and Islamic architecture, the structure is beautiful in itself, but the shape and carvings of windows, openings, lattices, chhatris (domes), and carvings make it even more eye-catching.

Hawa Mahal: The Enchanting Observer’s PalaceHawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

The Hawa Mahal is a part of the main palace of Jaipur city, built on its south-eastern edge. Rajasthan is home to breathtakingly beautiful temples and palaces, and all of them are as beautiful from the outside as they are captivating from the inside. But Hawa Mahal is not that kind of architecture. Standing on the roadside, the palace looks very beautiful, but after entering, it looks like an ordinary building. The reason for this is that it was not built for the residence of members of the royal family. Rather than that, the Hawa Mahal was built large enough for the women of the royal family to sit on various balconies and observe the city.

Joyful Gates, Royal Courtyards: Secrets of Hawa Mahal JaipurHawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

The entrance to the palace is named ‘Anand Poly’, which means Gate of Joy! Hawa Mahal is mainly built around two rectangular open courtyards. The first open courtyard is Ujas Mandir. Both of these courtyards are connected to each other by rows of door porches. Between these rows is another entrance called ‘Chandra Poly’, above which a balcony was constructed for the maids to sit. When the queens entered the palace, the maids stood in the zarukhas and showered flowers to welcome them.

Crowning Glory: Exploring the Royal Quarters and Panoramic Views of Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Coming to the open courtyard from the Chandra Poli, we can see an open courtyard with rooms and a dining hall around a fountain in the middle. Pratap Mandir is a part of Sharad Mandir. This is the same room where Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh used to write poems in peace. His idol has also been installed here. Artistic metal-clad wooden doors add to the elegance of this royal room. The Ratan temple located above has an open terress called ‘Chandani’ with windows. As the palace is shaped like a crown, the palace gets narrower as you go up to the top floor called Hawa Mandir, you get a panoramic view of Jaipur city from here. The Jantar Mantar in the west, the main palace of the town, and Nahargarh Fort on the hill in the distance can be seen from here.

Window or mini air conditioner?hawa mahel 17

At the northeast corner of the Hawa Mahal is the tallest minaret, which plays its part in the natural ventilation of the palace. The design of the minaret based on the direction of the prevailing wind has given the most space for the passage of air in the north and west directions, while the eastern side of the palace has been designed in accordance with the prevailing winds. Because the women of the royal family who sit on the balconies should feel the wind on their faces, not on their backs! This arrangement shows how advanced Rajasthani engineering was at the end of the eighteenth century.

Breeze Enigma: Unraveling the Venturi Effect at Hawa Mahal Jaipur

venturi effect in hawa mahel

The annual wind speed in Jaipur is 3 to 10 kmph. Even though the speed of the wind is felt higher when standing in any window or balcony of HawaMahel. A science principle applied to palace construction known as the ‘Venturi Effect‘ is responsible for it. The Italian physicist Giovanni Venturi noted in the eighteenth century that if a long, hollow tube filled with liquid and slightly narrowed in the middle of the tube caused a drop in fluid pressure on one side, the drop would pull the higher-pressure fluid toward itself.

The same applies to air as to liquids. Each pore of Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal plays the role of a narrow tube. Hence, the low air pressure at the back of the window continuously pulls in the high-pressure air at the front, and the person sitting in the window gets the benefit of a steady breeze. In this way, the incoming air is slightly cooled again because the compressed air under high pressure near the narrow entrance of the crack or window cools down a bit. In other words, vents and windows act like air compressors and air conditioners.

Cool Oasis: Architectural Marvel and Venturi Effect of Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

One aspect that gives the palace a cool feel is the Venturi effect; another is the stark contrast between the vast construction and the open space. In simple terms, there are no tall structures blocking the air towards the rear of the air palace. Hence, when the wind comes in through the cracks, windows, and lattices, it flows without any hindrance to the open space.

Optimal Design: Hawa Mahal’s Ingenious Ratio for Cool Comfort

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!This palace stands on a land area of 2,22,188 square meters. On the other hand, the total construction area of ​​the palace is not more than 1,12,445 square meters. The ratio of construction area to the plot plays an important role while constructing any building in a dry and hot region like Rajasthan. The lower the ratio, the greater the air flow in the building and the less the walls absorb heat. In Hawa Mahal, that ratio is fifty percent. Construction is half that of open spaces like courtyards, gardens and open spaces.

Heat-Resistant Elegance: The Cool Marvel of Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

The sandstones used in the construction of the Hawa Mahal are heated by the heat of sunlight, but does not transfer the heat to the room. This keeps the room cool. In cities, the cement-concrete walls are thin and the iron bars inside allow heat to flow through them quickly, so the room feels like a furnace. After sunset, the stones of the Hawa Mahel slowly release the heat they have absorbed into the air.

Intricate carving of lattices of Hawa Mahel Jaipur

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

The artistic stone lattices on the windows of the Hawa Mahal add beauty to the building. It also blocks the sun throughout the day and allows air to pass through. However, in many places in the lower part of the palace, the lattices are covered with specially ordered colored glass from Belgium. (Some of the windows were glazed by the Government of Rajasthan a few years ago.) The colorful light coming through these windows is very attractive.

The windows and shutters of the palace have wooden, slatted windows in the central part of the latticework. Carving geometrical shapes like hexagons, squares, rectangles etc. in hard stones is a delicate and highly skilled work. Apart from the hard work of the craftsman, patience is also required. It is no small challenge to accomplish this task without modern machinery and only with a variety of chisels and hammers. A single wrong blow, or even the slightest bit of force can undo all the hard work.

Lattices of Liberation: Hawa Mahal’s Role in Women’s Freedom

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Another function of lattices in Hawa Mahal was also to provide some relief from veiling to the then women of the royal family. The women of the Rajmahal had to cover their faces with veils. She could not show her face in public, so these lattices were very helpful for them to see the activities, events, and festivals inside and outside the palace. An outsider may not know who is behind the lattices, but the women could see everything clearly.

Even now in Rajasthan the practice of veiling has not been completely abolished, but Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh’s liberal view and respect for women of that time is reflected in Hawa Mahal. Because he made Hawa Mahal specially for women only. For the queen, patranis (Head Queens) and maidservants, the Hawa Mahal was a boon in a male-dominated society. At that time, about 400 women used to feel free from the veil thanks to the lattices here.

Lattices in Modern Architecture: A Breath of Fresh Design

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

In the present day, architects have started to understand the importance of lattices in construction. To protect any building from the direct heat of the sun, verandas, porches, or long windows are made, and lattices are placed in them. By doing this, the air circulation is enhanced. Many houses may have been built in this manner in India, but the example of Rajasthan’s ‘Pearl Academy of Fashion’ suffices to cite here. Engineers have covered the exterior of this entire building with lattices. A lot of energy for air conditioning is saved due to it.

Royal Revelry: Hawa Mahal’s Intimate Celebrations and Unique Architectural Solutions

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

The Hawa Mahal is three times smaller in size than the main palace (City Palace) in the old town area of Jaipur. In addition to the Maharaja of Jaipur, other royal men, servants, and about 400 women, such as queens, Patranis and maids, used to come to the Hawa Mahal to celebrate various occasions and celebrate freely until 1949. To climb the four floors of the palace, the architect Lalchand has built a steep path (rump). There is an interesting reason behind this. The queens of the time wore heavy ornaments and dressed up in heavy clothing; they may have trouble climbing up to four floors. Instead of steps, if there was a steep ramp, heavily clad queens could be carried to the top by maids in wooden wheelchairs. This is called meticulous planning!

Legacy of Respect and Engineering Brilliance: Unraveling the Depths of Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh’s respectful attitude towards women by building the Hawa Mahal, despite living in a male-dominated conservative society, is admirable. The scientific acumen and engineering skills of Lalchand Ustad, the architect of the palace, testify to the high standard of education in every subject in Indian culture at that time. Otherwise, how is it possible to reconcile the subtle scientific principles like aerodynamics and thermal energy with architecture and art? Such structures make us feel proud. The question is to understand them deeply rather than just glancing at them.

Sunset Serenity: The Strategic Placement of Balconies

As the sun sets over Jaipur, Hawa Mahal transforms into a canvas painted with hues of orange and pink. This part of the article dives into the strategic placement of balconies, each offering a unique view of the cityscape. Discover the magic that unfolds during the golden hours at Hawa Mahal.

A Journey Through Time

The Whispers of History: Hawa Mahal’s Role in Jaipur’s EvolutionHawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Hawa Mahal has stood witness to centuries of history, silently observing the evolution of Jaipur. From its construction in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to the present day, this section chronicles the historical events that have left an indelible mark on this architectural masterpiece.

Preservation Challenges: Balancing Time and Tourism

Preserving a cultural gem like Hawa Mahal comes with its own set of challenges. Explore the delicate balance between maintaining authenticity and catering to the demands of modern tourism. How does Hawa Mahal navigate the tightrope of time while retaining its regal allure?

Information for a Perfect Trip:Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before! 

Best Time to Visit:

  • November to March is considered the best time to visit.
  • Summer months are harsh, but visiting during this time allows a clear understanding of the Venturi effect at the Air Palace.

Transportation:

  • Jaipur is well-connected by air, rail, and road to various cities in the country.

Accommodation:Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

Hawa Mahal Details:Hawa Mahal Jaipur Rajasthan min scaled

  • Entry Fee: ₹50/-, ₹25/- for students.
  • Jantar Mantar, including Hawa Mahal, and the main palace can be explored on foot.
  • Combined ticket for eight places costs ₹300/- per person, ₹50/- for students.
  • Other attractions included in the combined ticket are Amber Mahal, Nahargarh Fort, Albert Hall Museum, Sisodia Udyan, Vidyadhar Udyan, and Sargasuli (Isarlat).

Guided Tours:Hawa Mahal Jaipur : Architectural Marvel, Like Never Before!

  • Many agencies offer one-day Jaipur darshan covering all major attractions.
  • Tours often follow a clockwise route.
  • It’s advisable not to rush and appreciate the historical architecture.

Additional Information:

Conclusion

As the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow upon Hawa Mahal’s façade, one can’t help but marvel at the secrets embedded in its walls. What stories do the winds whisper through the latticed windows? What tales lie within the hidden chambers? The answers, much like the palace itself, are timeless and beguiling.

In conclusion, Hawa Mahal stands not just as an architectural wonder but as a living narrative of Jaipur’s grandeur. Its secrets, though veiled in elegance, are an invitation to explore the mystique that makes this palace an everlasting breath of elegance in the heart of Rajasthan.

So, the next time you find yourself in the Pink City, let Hawa Mahal weave its enchanting tales around you, and may you, too, become a part of its timeless legacy.


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