Sunday, 29 March 2009

India: Jaipur - the Hawa Mahal

Jaipur's most photographed building is its Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. This pink meringue is little more than a facade, just wide enough for a narrow passageway allowing the women in purdah to look down on the activity of the streets through the many carved jalis (fretwork screens)without being seen.

Now both Indians and foreigners traverse the passages, photographing each other in the elegant archways...

...or crouching to gaze out into the bright sunlight.

There are fine views over the old city from this vantage point:

In the opposite direction, beyond the courtyards that fill the space behind the facade, looms the staircase-like structure that is the largest sundial in the world, the centrepiece of Jaipur's remarkable collection of early eighteenth-century astronomical instruments known as Jantar Mantar.

Before leaving Jaipur, we will visit Jantar Mantar for a closer look at its wonders.

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