Hawa Mahal is the Palace of the Winds, or the Palace of the Breeze. It was built in the year 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh (1778-1803). The chief architect for the Hawa Mahal was Ustad Lal Chand. The most striking view of the monument is from the market side, at the back of the monument. There are 953 small windows called jharokhas. Hawa Mahal has two courtyards, leading to a rather thin building of five stories.The ground floor is the Sharad Mandir, where the autumn festivities take place. The first floor is the Ratan Mandir. There is a lot of glass work on the walls here. The second floor is the Vichitra Mandir. The Maharaja worshiped Lord Krishna here. In fact, the Hawa Mahal is shaped like the crown of Lord Krishna. The third floor is the Prakash Mandir. The top floor is the Hawa Mandir because there is a lot of breeze here and the palace is known as Hawa Mahal from this.
Hawa Mahal is about 87 feet high. The entrance is rather simple. And once one passes through two entrances, there are two beautiful courtyards. The inner courtyard has chambers with doors having very fine designs. Then, there are stairs to go up the floors. And in the main building there is exquisite glass work. There are a lot of windows, very small windows, but a number of them spread all over. It is believed that the ladies of the royal family could observe the activities in the market in a discreet way from here. Another striking aspect of Hawa Mahal is the Hawa, or air. As one goes up the floors, the air becomes cooler and fresher and it is a unique experience. From the top one can get an overview of the surrounding areas, the Jantar Mantar, City Palace, the market and the surrounding Aravali Hills.
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