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Hawa Mahal: Jaipur’s Palace of the Winds

Hawa Mahal loosely translates to “Palace of the Winds.” Its pink façade—designed to resemble Lord Krishna’s crown and made up almost entirely of elaborate windows—is an iconic sight of Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan.

This street view, though most recognizable, is actually the back of the building.

Its architecture of narrow corridors along with intricate lattice work create a cool breeze—quite the relief with the >100°F temperatures. It originally served as a “screen” behind which royal ladies could watch the streets without being seen as they were not allowed in public.

Left: Street view of Hawa Mahal. Right. View of the “window screen” facade from within Hawa Mahal.

Though it’s not immediately obvious, the windows are made of vibrantly colored glass. 

The sitting areas behind these screens are really quite narrow. I’m not sure what kind of chairs or stools they might have used but we had fun looking out and imagining what it might have been.

We were lucky to see a snake charmer on the street below. By the time we left Hawa Mahal, he had gone, but were able to see some of his instrument-playing and the his 2 cobras, flaring their hoods.

We also felt the temperature difference in the narrow room/halls when compared to the other areas. The narrow halls and honeycomb design of the stone lattices create a strong breeze, which honestly feels like there’s a fan running somewhere!

There’s also a courtyard, beautiful door/archways, and views of the city and even forts on nearby mountains.

After our visit to Hawa Mahal, we had a feast at LMB, a well-established hotel that serves traditional Rajasthani thalis (set lunch).

Left: Jon, with our untouched plates. Middle: Menu. Right: Me, AFTER I finished eating and felt like I was exploding from the seams.

Here’s our server’s quick description on which dish is which.

I had a hard time deciphering it, but it was all delicious. The Batis in particular were fun (the balls in the lower left). They were savory, and tasted like a buttery biscuit. We also really found we liked the 3 desserts: 2 were flours mixed with sugar and we were surprised by how much we liked such a simple dish!

I was so full by the end, it was difficult to breath (even though it looked like I hardly touched my meal). Can you believe that this is an all-you-can-eat meal? Unlimited portions—as if you can get through the first round!

The menu was absolutely right, it was an unforgettable experience. 😀

2 Comments

  1. Eve Eve

    Love the idea of their cooling system

  2. red red

    Someone really had their marbles well collected in coming up with such a fantastic and efficient cooling/privacy screen! And your banquet lunch looked amazing, in quantity and variety. Awesome way to be exposed to local cuisine.

  3. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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