Hawa Mahal: The Palace of the Winds of Jaipur

Hawa Mahal: The Palace of the Winds of Jaipur

Jaipur, the city of India whose buildings and walls have been painted pink since 1876, when Prince Albert visited this city of Rajasthan and then Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh ll decided to dye all the buildings with the color that traditionally represents the hospitality. Doors, palaces and towers began to have their facades tinged with the pink hue that today characterizes the city, but if among all the buildings in Jaipur one must be highlighted, this is the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds.

Visit the Palace of the Winds

Actually this place is only a facade that is part of the complex of the City Palace and was formerly linked to the rooms of the zenana or harem. The women of the palace went to him after their lattices and small windows to watch life pass before them without being seen by anyone.

The best time to visit it and enjoy the beauty of that facade that stands next to the dusty streets of the city is first thing in the morning. At that moment the sun is rising in front of her and no shadow tarnishes the multitude of viewpoints with lattices that cover the entire palace.

The usual thing is to always see it from the street level, but right on the opposite sidewalk, between several shops, there is a narrow staircase that goes up to a terrace. The view from that point improves and you can get beautiful photos in exchange for sometimes having to dedicate a few minutes to the owner of the store on which that roof is located.

Travelers generally do not access the interior of this palace, but it is possible to visit it and see the city as the women of the zenana did. The access is just behind the facade, so you have to go around the block to the first street and there look for the ticket office and the door that allows the entrance and ramp up to each level of the palace.

When you go up through the Palace of the Winds, floor after floor it is easy to imagine there women dressed in vaporous skirts and covered with veils, laughing and enjoying the breeze in the only place in the palace that they were allowed to access to contemplate how it was the life of the city, the only place to browse and comment on the colors of the clothes of other free women to walk the streets; a space where you can watch vendors offer their fruits, fabrics or trinkets. A place to feel that they were part of what they had at their feet but that it was forbidden to see closer than the distance from those windows.

Caution must be exercised when walking through the corridors that lead to each viewpoint because the guardrail that protects is too low and a stumbling block can cause an accident. You also have to dodge the monkeys that have made the Wind Palace their home being they who now take advantage of the lattices to contemplate what happens in the streets of the city, just under their feet.

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