Hawa Mahal or the “Palace of Winds” or “Palace of the Breeze”, is a palace in Jaipur, so named because it was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivities while unseen from the outside. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace.
The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-storey exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows decorated with intricate latticework. The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey strict “purdah” (face cover). The lattice also allows cool air through the intricate pattern, cooling the palace during the high temperatures in summers.
The palace is open daily from 9AM to 4:30PM and the entry fee is Rs 30 for foreigners (an extra Rs30 for a still camera) and Rs 10 for Indian citizens.