Fodor's Expert Review Hawa Mahal
Jaipur's photogenic Palace of Winds was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 so that the women of the court (the zenana) could discreetly take some air and watch the activity on the street below. Every story has semi-octagonal overhanging windows, and each has a perforated screen. This curious five-story structure, named after the westerly winds that blow cool breezes through the 953 windows, or jharokas, is just one room wide, so the wind easily passes through the building and cools the interior (servants also threw water on the lattice, so any breeze would be cooled by the water, and would lower the temperature). The building facade has a delicate honeycomb design with close to 1,000 windows, and is fashioned from pink sandstone. If you are short of time you don't necessarily have to go into the mahal, though viewing it from the outside is most striking at sunset or sunrise. The entrance is at the side.