Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace), in the center of the pink city, was a palace we passed numerous times during our trip to Japiur. The beautiful exterior and height made it hard to miss. However for some reason, I had to seriously prod everyone to see this palace. The driver said it had no parking and nothing to see. My husband went once about 12 years ago and said it wasn’t worth it. My son didn’t look like he could take another palace and my daughter even protested wanting to nurse. But Lonely Planet had it listed as a top sight and I wanted to see it. I kept prodding until everyone reluctantly agreed. I’m glad I did because Hawa Mahal turned out to be one of my favorite sights in Jaipur.
Our driver dropped us off at the front, but we had to go through a collection of alleys to get to the back, where the entrance was. Up a few steps and you were in a fairly nondescript courtyard, seeming to confirm my husband’s memory of the place. But as he was ready to turn around, I saw people at the top. My husband didn’t know you could go up to the different stories of the palace.
Up a ramp on the left hand side of the main courtyard was access to each level of the palace. Each level was a little different with archways, different room layouts, etc. But all had views of the old city. And many had direct access to view through the colored glass one could see from the outside. What made the windows and views interesting was the honeycomb structure. The windows were honeycombed to allow for breeze that gives the palace its name.
|The courtyard at the entrance||Views through the colored glass windows|
|The honeycomb structured walls|
The top had the best views of the Pink City and Jantar Mantar of anyplace we went. The balcony where we stood was the most elaborate out of all of the balconies in the palace. It was worth the heart attack I had each time I watched my son climb the steep stairs and run on the ancient balconies with almost no railing.
|My son enjoyed running the halls in the palace||My daughter enjoying the view from the top balcony|
|Some school children who wanted to take photographs with my son|
We made the climb back down, prodding my son the whole way who now didn’t want to leave, likely because he was enjoying rolling on the floor with his train again. Another package of wet wipes later, our son still looked like pig pen, but was at least a little germ free and ready to be packed up and put on the plane for our trip back to Mumbai.
|A trip the whole family enjoyed|
- Fees: 50 rs for Foreigner, included in the combination tickets purchased at Amber Fort which also includes Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh Fort, and Albert Hall
All photos take by Atma Photography