Hawa Mahal

Palace Complex, Jaipur

The Hawa Mahal (Palace of Breezes) is a ventilated residence whose balcony wall overlooks a busy downtown street near the City Palace in Jaipur. Built in 1799, it allowed court women to observe the passing scene while remaining in seclusion. Behind its five-story facade, the balcony wall is only one room thick from front to back.

The distinctive color of the building is characteristic. Jaipur is known as the Pink City, although the buildings seem more salmon-colored to me. The color was first applied in 1856 to honor a visit by Prince Albert, pink being the traditional color of hospitality in Rajasthan.