India // Rajasthan //

Hawa Mahal

Jaipur’s most instantly recognizable landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or “Palace of Winds”, stands to the east of the City Palace – it’s best appreciated from the outside during the early morning, when it glows orange-pink in the rays of the rising sun. Built in 1799 to enable the women of the court to watch street processions while remaining in purdah, its five-storey facade, decked out with hundreds of finely screened windows and balconies, makes the building seem far larger than it really is; in fact, it’s little more than a facade. To get inside the palace itself you need to walk for five minutes around the rear of the building, following the lane that runs north from Tripolia Bazaar. Once inside, you can climb up the back of the facade to the screened niches from where the ladies of the court would once have looked down, and which still offer superb views over the mayhem of Jaipur below.