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Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal)

The Pink city still retains the traditional culture and its old character. The walls and stones are plasters as pink which looks fabulous. The major example of architecture in the Pink City is the Hawa Mahal.it was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799. It was a late addition to the city palace. This building is dedicated to lord Krishna and Radha and is built in pink and red sandstone. It is a five storeyed, pyramid shaped structure which is made up of 953 small casements. Each encasement consists of sculptured architecture work on pink windows, curved roofs and small balconies with many windows. Palace of winds is also known as Hawa Mahal.

Jaipur also known as Pink City of India, founded by Maharaja Jai Singh of Kachwaha Section of Rajputs, got the International fame due to its historic monuments with architectural beauty and became the centre of Indian Tourism. This is the most well known land mark of Jaipur and acts as its icon. It is located in the city Palace complex and can be viewed from the road outside. It is a five storey building and it overlooks the Bazar Street. There are 953 jharokas made of pink sandstone. It was built for the ladies of the royal family with the purpose to watch daily life and processions in the outer city.

The tourist can visit this place from 9:00 am to 4:40 pm. Fees for entrance inside the palace of winds is INR 10 for Indians, and INR 50 for foreigners. It is a part of the city palace and is extended towards the Zenana or women quarters. When it is seen in the golden light of sunrise its view is striking. The Royal family of Jaipur apart from using this for the women to see the outside proceedings also used Hawa Mahal to get rid of excessive hot during summers. The unusually designed window screens provided cool air breeze and ventilation. It was built by an architect Lal Chand Ustad, who also helped the Maharaja in planning the Jaipur City. Its architecture shows the real mix of Rajput and the Mughal architecture. The domed canopies, fluted pillars, floral and lotus patterns are the examples of Rajput styles. The work on the stones shows the Mughal influence which differentiates it from the Panch Mahal of Fatehpur Sikri.

The imperial door from the City Palace towards the Hawa Mahal opens in a large courtyard in which double stories buildings are there on the three sides. Hawa Mahal is on the east side of the courtyard. There is an archaeological museum also in the courtyard. Hawa Mahal is also called as chef-d ceuvre as it was the favorite resort of Maharaja Jai Singh because of the internal beauty and decoration of it. The fountains at the center of the chambers, cools the air breeze entering into the chambers. Thus, it kept the entire Mahal cool. Now, the Mahal is maintained by the archeological department of Government of Rajasthan. The interior of the Mahal have many rooms in which different colored marbles add beauty to them and the fountains adorns the beauty of entire Mahal. To reach the top floor, on the back side need based chambers are built with pillars and corridors where ornamentation is done very less as compared to the front part.

One could well imagine the victorious local leader paying his respects to the Sawais at the grand City palace, and having a convenient darshan of the Radha Govind temple from the palace window, before departing down M.I. Road, with his followers idolising him from a top the impressive Hawa Mahal.

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