Jeypore Hawa Mahal palace, Vizag.- a fascinating heritage structure

Jeypore Hawa mahal palace,

One among the many heritage sites in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, AP, is the Hawa Mahal, an impressive structure on the Beach Road overlooking the sea. Maharajah Ram Chandra Dev IV of the princely state of Jeypore (now in odisha)  bought the sea-front land from Raja Salur to build the summer place. He laid the foundation in 1917 and the purpose was to serve as a summer palace for his family members as well as a transit place  for the rulers on their visit to the Presidency capital Madras and back. The architect  was one  Muppidi Venkat Rao who did a good job taking advantage of the sea-front location. Ingeniously he began the construction work after flattening the uneven rocky terrain. 

interior Jeypore Hawa mahal palace,

Built between 1917-1921 the Hawa Mahal, I presume is  presently  under the control of the government; it is  used as a venue for many public events. This masonry building with one floor and  rounded  arched porch is designed with numerous windows  for better air flows from the sea. The style is that of Gothic  and the structure is ashlar masonry  with twin octogonal projections on either sides. The wooden windows ( about 16) made of quality wood are segmented with arched opening.  Sometimes, NE monsoon rains will be heavy and to prevent rain water getting into interior rooms the windows are provided with sloping roofed sunshade  on either side.The interior walls of the rooms are laid with  Italian tiles and the flooring with  Italian marble and Indian granite. Wooden doors and windows have stained class windows and these and other embellished features make the palace grandeur in look. The tall  spacious halls in the interior have Madras ceiling with wooden  rafters  made of quality Burma teak wood  for durability. The verandahs have semicircular arches.   The pillars in the verandah are of large square columns of stones with interlocking system in the center.  There are intermittent semi-circular arches at doorways and windows on  the load bearing walls. The palace has two parts one for the royal family with kitchen etc and the other for reception, servent quaters and spacious garage. 

The facade of the building  is clad with selective straight cut khondalite stones for better look. A striking feature is unlike many places, the balustrades of the stone railing are cut to precision and fixed without any support of metal rod inside for stability.

As it was common among the many princely families, the portals of this summer palace are the mute spectator to  numerous guests that included many royal families and  colonial officials and their families. Protocols were observed on their visit to the palace and they would receive by the host  grand reception with  caparisoned elephants, horses, parades, etc  After independence the netas who visited this palace included Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961, Dr Babu Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India. In the past,  for some time the palace served as as the first Women’s College of Vizag as well as a Nursing School.,_Visakhapatnam