Jan 042 min read

Architecture of Rajasthan Havelis

written by

Shivani Chougula

The design of Havelis in Rajasthan

Nestled within the arid landscapes of Rajasthan, havelis stand as living testimonials to a rich architectural heritage that has withstood the test of time. They are a very important part of Indian architectural heritage.

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The design features of Havelis in Rajasthan not only reflect the artistic finesse of craftsmen but also tell captivating stories of a bygone era. In this blog, we will unravel the planning principles that guide the layout of Rajasthan havelis, and then explore the distinctive design elements: courtyards, windows, chattris, and jharokhas.

Planning Principles:

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  1. Climate-Responsive Design: Rajasthan's climatic conditions, characterized by scorching summers and chilly winters, heavily influence the architectural planning of havelis. The layout emphasizes natural cooling and ventilation, aiming to create comfortable living spaces despite the extremes in temperature.

  2. Functional Zoning: Havelis are meticulously organized into functional zones, with private living quarters surrounding a central courtyard. This segmentation ensures privacy for the residents while promoting efficient use of space.

Design Features:

  1. Courtyard:

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    The central courtyard, often referred to as the "chowk" or "sahn," is the beating heart of a haveli. Serving as an open gathering space, the courtyard allows natural light and ventilation to permeate the living spaces. This communal area becomes a hub for social interactions and cultural celebrations.

  2. Windows:

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    Windows in Rajasthan havelis are not only functional but also intricate works of art. Decorative jharokhas and jaalis adorn these openings, allowing gentle breezes to circulate while maintaining privacy. The use of vibrant colors and geometric patterns adds a touch of elegance to the façade.

  3. Chattris:

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    Adorning the rooftops, chattris are elevated pavilions that contribute to the visual grandeur of havelis. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, chattris provide shade, offering respite from the harsh sun, and contribute to passive cooling by promoting air circulation.

  4. Jharokha:

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    The jharokha, an overhanging enclosed balcony, adds a distinct charm to the haveli architecture. Crafted with detailed carvings, jharokhas offer residents a private space to observe the outside world. The intricate lattice work also plays a crucial role in diffusing sunlight and maintaining a pleasant indoor environment.

You can learn more about different design elements of Indian traditional architecture here


Rajasthan havelis, with their climate-responsive design and captivating features, continue to stand as architectural marvels. The careful integration of courtyards, windows, chattris, and jharokhas not only reflects the region's cultural ethos but also showcases the ingenuity of architects in creating structures that seamlessly blend functionality with timeless elegance. As we explore the design features of Rajasthan havelis, we gain a deeper appreciation for the enduring legacy of these architectural gems

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Shivani Chougula

Shivani Chougula

An architect navigating the intersection of Art and Architecture.