Ever wondered what could be the reason behind the making of one of the greatest and prepossessing monuments of 18th century, Hawa Mahal? Well, here it goes:
Hawa Mahal (Palace of breeze or Palace of winds) is a palace in Jaipur, India. The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and it was designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Since Hindu and Muslim kings and majesties were fond of women, marrying them and making heirs, Hawa Mahal was made for the purpose of the security of crowned heads’ wives and royal women.
The history of India is the oldest and most famous. The festivities in India, in late 18th century were really common and were celebrated with full spirit, dominating characteristic, prevailing tendency, and ethos. The noble women wouldn’t be allowed to go after and see those festivals and everyday life in the streets below in order to not be seen by strangers. Hawa Mahal has portholes all over it through which the women would see and enjoy festivities without being seen.
The builders must have had an insight. Perfect engineering and a great structure. Thousands of people visit it every day. This beautiful masterpiece’s five story exterior is inspired by the honeycomb of a beehive with its more than 900 small portholes called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework. Each porthole has miniature windows and carved sandstone grills, finials and domes. Along with working as a veil, it also functions as an air conditioner during the summers. People see Hawa Mahal and consider it as its front but, in fact, it’s the back side of the structure. It rises 15 meters from its high base. A proportion of one room width only is found at the top three floors, while the second and third floors have verandas in front of them. Built in red and pink coloured sand stone, in keeping with the colour scheme of the other monuments in the city, its colour is a full testimony to the moniker of “Pink City” given to Jaipur.
Its frontage depicting 953 alcoves with elaborately carved Jharokhas is a sheer contrast to the plain looking rear side of the structure. Its cultural and architectural heritage is a true reflection of a fusion of Hindu Rajput architecture and the Islamic Mughal architecture; the Rajput style is seen in the form of cupla awning, ridged pillars, lotus and flowered patterns, and the Islamic style as apparent in its stone inlay scroll work and vaults. The Hawa Mahal’s entry from the city palace is through an imperial door. Hawa Mahal, being the favourite resort of Maharaja Jai Singh because of its sophistication and built-in interior, was also know as chef-d’œuvre of Maharaja Jai Singh. The Mahal is maintained by the archaeological Department of the Government of Rajasthan.