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Hawa Mahal (India)

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City: Jaipur / Country: India / Region: Asia

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      16.04.2010 14:28
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      A wonderful and unusual piece of architecture.

      The Palace of the winds. Jaipur.

      The palace of the winds in Jaipur otherwise known as Hawa Mahal is a beautiful pink coloured building recognised all over the world but in reality it is only a facade. It looks particularly impressive from the road and is perhaps another highly recognised site from India after the Taj Mahal.

      What is the Hawa Mahal.

      The Hawa Mahal was built so that the ladies of the Maharajahs harem could watch the Royal street processions and the general hubbub and goings on in the streets below without being seen by members of the public. The women could also see what was going on in the market opposite.

      They were able to leave the palace via enclosed walkways so as not to be seen especially by men. The building looks particularly attractive and is built out of red sandstone and coloured Pink with white markings on it which is a distinctive decorative feature of Jaipur and Rajasthan. Jaipur is otherwise known as the pink City. It was built in 1799 by the Maharajah Sawai Pratap Singh for his wives and concubines.

      The building is five stories tall and is shaped in the shape of a pyramid but despite how beautiful this building is it is only a façade building so what you actually see is all that is actually there. There are no palatial rooms or reception rooms behind. There is just enough room behind the facade for the ladies who were in purdah to sit behind and look through one of the 953 tiny windows and lattice screens. The little windows are known as Jharohkas which make it appear a little bit like you would see in a honey comb. Above each window there are small domes with a gold Finial on the top of each of them.

      The many little openings helped to keep those inside cool as a breeze was able to come through the grill like windows. The tiny little rooms behind were also cooled by water fountains from the inner courtyard below. Some of the windows have tiny wooden shutters on them. Although the front of the building is quite ornate the rear is quite plain and

      The Palace of the winds is on a very busy main road in the business district of Jaipur in the heart of the city and the best time to visit it in terms of less traffic and people is in the morning as the sun rises and shines on the building making it appear particularly beautiful against the lovely azure sky. The centre of Jaipur is fairly compact and just a short walk will bring you to the City palace.

      Most of the buildings along this route and in the centre of Jaipur are coloured and decorated in the same pink colour with white markings including the walls of the old city centre which are also painted in this manner hence the name the Pink City. I would thoroughly recommend a visit here for an hour or so

      I would thoroughly recommend spending a bit of time here taking in the views and visiting the city palace.

      You can view the Palace of the winds on You tube.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY6MwiHaP28&feature=related

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