Hawa Mahal, a grand edifice facing the sea on the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam, was constructed between 1917 and 1921. It was built as a transit halt and summer resort for the Maharaja Ramchandra Deo of Jeypore, Orissa. This rich heritage site, once a historical palace, is still being put to use as a popular venue for many civic events. The grand symmetrical heritage structure overlooking the sea is a tourist attraction that is still a host to a number of art exhibitions and events.
Hawa Mahal was designed to extract maximum beneffrom of the cool sea breeze. This palace, a unique two storied symmetrical stone building has twin octagonal projections on either side. Segmented arched openings frame the wooden windows within. To ensure cool comfort within, Burma teak and high Madras roofing have been employed extensively. The Central porch of the main structure has semi-circular arched verandahs and the rectangular wooden windows with ventilators leading into the palace. Two iron grilled staircases in the north side provide access to the first floor. In the bygone days of royalty, the palace witnessed many a grand arrival by the royal family, their honoured guests and huge entourage on elaborately decorated elephants and horses as they converged here for the summers.
This grand palace also played host to innumerable governors and high ranking dignitaries. Some of the prominent guests to this grand palace include the first prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961 who came to Visakhapatnam to inaugurate the Jalusha the first ship manufactured by the Hindustan Ship Yard. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India too stayed in the palace during his stay. This palace has functioned as the first Women’s College of Vizag as well as Nursing School for some time.