Jaipur’s most iconic landmark, Hawa Mahal literally translates to ‘Palace of the Winds’ and is perhaps the most photographed monument in the historical pink city. It is situated bang in the middle of the Old City or Walled City of Jaipur and is akin to a fairytale come true.
It was constructed in 1799 as an extension to Royal City Palace and is a dazzling structure in pink-sandstone that rises an astonishing five storeys. It was originally constructed by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch everyday street scenes of Jaipur and the various processions on festivals without being seen.
It lies near Choti Choupad and has 953 windows on the outside walls. I had seen it a million times from outside and at night it looked even prettier. So, when an opportunity came knocking I knew it was time to visit the Hawa Mahal, for real. And what a glorious experience indeed.
On another one of my explorations in Rajasthan, I visited Jaisalmer but am yet to write about it. In the meanwhile, here is a fantastic post by Rashmi and Chalukya on Top things to do in Jaisalmer Fort. Do check it for their detailed explorations.
So in the never ending tourist vs traveller debate, I simply say that as human beings we want to be everything without being judged. My travel style is that I move around like a local and avoid touristy things yet once in a while it is absolutely normal to become a tourist in my own city. I loved walking down the street of Hawa Mahal feeling like an outsider!
And yes, this Hawa Mahal experience tells me that monsoons are the best time to visit Jaipur. There are hardly any tourists here right now, the hotels are cheap, you can have the sights to yourself and taste authentic Rajasthani food, experience the various colourful festivals like Teej for a peek at Rajasthani life. Come October and the world will descend, then the locals hardly have time to talk as it is high season awash with foreigners.
If you like this post on Jaipur, then links to other posts are :
A sunrise in Jaipur on a stormy morning
Sights from Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur
Jaipur Literature Festival – A guide
Happy travelling, even if you can’t venture outside all it needs is a change in mindset. Travel, be a tourist in your own city. Do not let the world tell you won’t enjoy it, the monsoons are a time for the outdoors. Make the most of the bounty.
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12 thoughts on “Being a tourist in my own city – Inside Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal”
Really Nice Blog..
From this blog I came up with the knowledge about Jaipur and its royal culture. There is also Virasat Restaurant which is famous place to visit in
Jaipur where you get royal experience by live music, folk dance, Rajasthani thali, Daal baati choorma.
Hi Rishb, thanks for the compliment. Very sorry to tell you but I didn’t like Virasat’s offerings at all, and lesser said about the staff – the better. Anyway, best of luck 🙂
On being a tourist in your own city – It surely gives a different perspective to see the same “mundane” things from different perspective.
I get that sense from your pictures 🙂
Cultural experiences remain one of my most favourite reasons to visit a place and Jaipur needs to be explored.
Indeed, true that. Also it gives us the chance to see the world through different eyes. Jaipur is a fabulous small city to have a home in! I am lucky.
Hawa Mahal builds in the shape of the crown of Lord Krishna. Sawai Pratap Singh being a follower of Krishna, build the monument in this style.
Thanks for the information, Prakhar.