Occupying Thar Desert’s eastern fringes and enveloped amidst the craggy Aravalli Hills, Jaipur has much to offer. The city, with its many forts, palaces, and historic sights, is blessed with some of the most impressive relics in North India. Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, with its fancy pink facade, is one such iconic sight that has become almost emblematic of the Pink City. It was erected in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh and is a five-storey structure primarily designed for the ladies of the harem to secretly enjoy the hustle and bustle on the streets below from the 953 windows or jharokhas. Here’s a guide to Hawa Mahal, Jaipur that you can use to navigate the area and enjoy the sight to the fullest.
Things to do/Highlights
Admire the architecture
Hawa Mahal is made of red and pink sandstone and designed in the Hindu-Islamic style of architecture. Its arches, the filigree work, motifs, fluted pillars, canopies, and other wall embellishments are nothing short of exquisite. Architecture and history buffs can spend hours here, while photographers can take hundreds of stunning shots from any angle.
Explore the mahal
While the mahal’s facade is impressive, so is its interior, which can be accessed via an imposing door towards the rear side. The entrance will lead you into a beautiful, large courtyard. The many floors have different names: Prakash Mandir, Hawa Mandir, Ratan Mandir, Vichitra Mandir, and Sharad Mandir. While most of these served the purpose of the ladies, Vichitra Mandir was used by the Maharaja himself as his praying quarter. Visitors are allowed to access them all.
Check out the museum
There’s also a museum within Hawa Mahal’s complex. Here, you can have a look at the weapons, antiques, paintings, and several other items that once belonged to the Rajput rulers. Although remember that this is closed on Fridays.
Things to buy
There’s quite a bit of shopping you can do at the Hawa Mahal market. The market lines the main entrance and has lots of stalls and shops selling awesome stuff from ethnic Rajasthani clothes to souvenirs. Some of the items worth buying from here are handicrafts, footwear, jewellery (precious, semi-precious, and artificial), bags, clothes, and snacks. Remember to bargain for the best deals, though!
Best time to visit
September to February are considered the best months to head to Hawa Mahal – the weather is good, so you can walk outdoors easily. Sunrise and sunset are undoubtedly the best time of the day for visitors to catch stunning views of this attraction. The light at these hours is perfect for photographers angling to get good shots. However, do keep in mind Hawa Mahal’s opening hours if you want to tour inside.
Carrying cameras and other filming equipment inside the mahal’s premises will attract a separate charge ranging from about 0.15 to 0.5 USD.
Touring through the mahal will involve quite a bit of walking and climbing stairs and ramps. Those with mobility issues may want to keep this mind. Plus, wearing comfortable footwear will help.
For the most part, the tour is outdoors, so carry water and stuff to protect yourself from the sun, like sunblock, shades, hat, etc.
Hitching a professional guide
There’s nothing that a reference book or a travel guide will not tell you about Hawa Mahal, so you’ll not find the need to hitch a local tour guide. However, if you want to, there are plenty of tour guides hanging out around the mahal. Remember that their rates are not fixed so you may need to haggle. It’s best to agree on them before starting the tour.
How to get there
Hawa Mahal is in the city’s centre, so it can be easily accessed by any means of transport.
Remember to get off at the J.D.A market stop, which is at a walking distance from Hawa Mahal. This stop falls on several routes, so you need not worry about the frequency and availability of buses. Else, you can hitch one of the bus tours for tourists, which is offered by several travel agencies.
You can hitch auto, motor, or cycle rickshaws, which are easily available across Jaipur. These are the most feasible means to avoid the hassle of parking and negotiating traffic. However, remember that there are no fixed rates for these, so you may need to bargain a bit.
You can either drive down in a private vehicle or hitch a cab (local taxi or Uber) to the mahal. While a cab will drop you off at the mahal itself, driving down in a private vehicle may require you to walk a bit from the parking spot.
You’ll find ample parking near Hawa Mahal. While there are a couple of designated parking lots, there’s quite a bit of street-side parking too. Watch out for the parking assistants hanging out by the parked cars and ask them for a spot.
You can purchase admission tickets from the ticket counter on-site or online here. Remember that rates are different for Indian and non-Indian visitors. You also have the option to explore packages offered by third-party sites such as Viator.
Oftentimes, visitors also go in for composite passes, which can be used to visit other monuments like Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar, and Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur as well. These have a one-day validity and cost about 5 to 15 USD.
Hawa Mahal Skip the Line E-Tickets with Guide
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
Hawa Mahal information
Address: Hawa Mahal Rd, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: For Indian citizens: 0.14 USD (10 INR) | For foreigners: 0.70 USD (50 INR)
Official website: Hawa Mahal
Department of tourism: Rajasthan Tourism
Jaipur Full-Day Tour with Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, City Palace
Duration: 9 hours
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