Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, also known as the palace of the winds or the palace of breeze, is truly remarkable when seen in person. It’s made from pink sandstone and encourages Jaipur’s reputation as “the pink city”. Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by the ruler of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, to provide a vantage point for royal women to observe everyday street life as well as enjoy street festivals from the windows while remaining unseen.
As always, more photos of Hawa Mahal at the bottom of this article
Where is Hawa Mahal located?
Hawa Mahal is on the south western edge of the city palace in Jaipur, facing the street. It is conveniently located and as a tourist you’re likely to pass by it a few times while in Jaipur.
Google Maps link – Hawa Mahal
What is visiting Hawa Mahal like?
The optimal way to visit and enjoy Hawa Mahal is to park there and walk in front of it. There is no current way to go inside of Hawa Mahal, so outside is where all of the action is. The entire visit will take about 15 minutes.
In front of the facade there is a roped off area that you can walk through. As you look up at the pink sandstone building you should take a moment to notice a few its more interesting features.
- The architectural design – This building is a combination of two of the regions architectures, combining the Rajput and Mughal styles.
- The 365 small windows throughout the facade, with a total of 953 windows total – From the outside you will notice honeycomb shapes with lattice based screens on the windows. This design is intended to promote the wind going through them (wind palace) and to promote a cooling affect inside the building
- Reflect on being a royal – Take a moment to imagine that while you are there taking in this amazing building, that there could still be people on the other side of those windows staring back at you. Yes, these windows were built for privacy as much as they were built for funtion.
Take an additional few minutes to take some photos and jump back into your vehicle to go to your next location!
The cooling features of Hawa Mahal
Once again India impresses me with how the wealthy design their buildings to encourage ways to stay cool. Hawa Mahal is no different in this regard. Jaipur gets very hot so I appreciate the forethought.
As mentioned earlier, each of the windows were made in a honeycomb shape, which promotes air flow and encourages wind to go through them. But it doesn’t end there, they created narrow passages that led out from this area which helps to naturally pull the air flow from the small windows further into the building structure!
The lattice screens, aside from offering privacy to the women peering out from the inside, they were designed with small holes to allow the wind to come through them. They also provided shade from direct sunlight for the inside of the building, which of course helps to keep it cooler as well.
The architects also thought about cross breeze. Once the wind has entered the building through one set of windows, there would always be another set strategically placed to encourage the wind exiting the building. On those hot days, getting a breeze through the inside of the building must have been real nice
Is visiting Hawa Mahal worth it?
Yes. Regardless of your itinerary you’re going to pass by this facade, taking that extra brief moment to appreciate the beauty, architecture and history of the building makes the stop worthwhile.
See more on my trip to India
Where can I learn more about Hawa Mahal?
Hawa Mahal wikipedia page
The Atlas Obscura page for Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal – The official Jaipur page