>Travel Pictures


Current stop: Jaipur's Hawa Mahal
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Next: Settling in to Ranthambore

The Hawa Mahal is one of Jaipur's trademark buildings. Built in honor of lord Krishna (and in resemblance to the shape of is crown), it is an incredible structure that still manages to provide an oasis of calm in the midst of a mad city.

Entering from the back side, don't try to take pictures of the cannons near the door, since they are in front of the police station. And pictures of the police station are forbidden, because they might fall into the hands of Pakistani agents who apparently wouldn't be able to find the station on their own.
Anyways, as we climbed higher in the building, new 'curves' kept appearing on the roof.
So as we played hide and seek in the twisting hallways, we kept looking ahead for better places.

The Hawa Mahal was designed as a way for the ladies of the court to have a private perch from which to watch the goings on in the city. Because, of course, no one was allowed to look at them, there had to be plenty of tiny windows and screens from which to peek. The carved grills also allowed the breezes to flow through, keeping the entire place nice and cool. Even today the street scenes amuse and the breezes refresh...
As we climbed to the very highest levels, the view out over the rooftops was magnificent, and we felt a bit like royalty ourselves.

After a fabulous time crawling around the rooms and hideaways, we were ready for a break and bid farewell to the Hawa Mahal, one of the more magical stops on our quick trip through Jaipur.

And the police station, you ask? Well, those sinister photo taking spies missed out on a great opportunity to get to the top and take a nice aerial shot of the entire police headquarters (the big rectangular building - stretching the width of the picture - that opens on the tree-filled courtyard). Yeah - no pictures of the front gate, but go ahead and look down into the entire complex! This picture wasn't even taken for that purpose - it shows the enormous sundial (Evel Kneivel's ramp-thing) in the middle of a collection of 18th century astronomical observatory machines. We didn't go there, but we looked down into it. And the police station.
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Next: Settling in to Ranthambore
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