Hawa Mahal ( “Palace of Winds” or “Palace of the Breeze”), is a palace in Jaipur, India. It was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, and designed by Lal Chand Usta in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-story exterior is also akin to the honeycomb of the beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas that are decorated with intricate lattice work.The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to observe strict “purdah” (face cover).
Built of red and pink sandstone, the palace is situated on the main thoroughfare in the heart of Jaipur’s business centre. It forms part of the City Palace, and extends to the Zenana or women’s chambers, the chambers of the harem. It is particularly striking when viewed early in the morning, lit with the golden light of sunrise. Royal family of Jaipur, during their reign, also used the Mahal as a hot weather retreat, during the suffocating summer season, for several years, since the unusually designed window screens provided the needed cool breeze.
The Mahal, called as the “specimen of fanciful architecture”, is located to the north of the Jaipur city, at the main road intersection called the Badi Chaupad (big four square). Jaipur city is well connected by road, rail and air links with the rest of the country.Jaipur Railway Station is a central main station on the broad gauge line of the Indian Railways. As well, Jaipur is connected by major highways, and by the International Airport at Sanganer, at a distance of 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the city.
Entry to the Hawa Mahal is not from the front but from a side road to the rear end. Facing the Hawa Mahal, turning right and again to the first right, leads to an archway entry and then to the rear side of the building.