Where: Hawa Mahal is located inside the walls of the “Pink City”—the city within a city in Jaipur.
Duration: 20 minutes—5 hours. This really depends on what you want to see. If it’s just snapping a picture of the palace, then that can be done quickly. However, tours are available inside the palace also (which we, unfortunately, didn’t have time for), and also there is quite a bit of action to see around the Hawa Mahal from shopping for sarees and bangles to some temples within the pink walls.
Cost: Free to look on the outside.
A Brief History: It was built at the turn of the 18th century as a summer palace (thus all the windows). Interestingly, the city was built with ladies in mind. Ladies in this time couldn’t be seen, but the very thin (though numerous) windows allowed them to see the streets below. A literal interpretation of “I can see you, but you can’t see me.”
Point of Interest: I’ve heard rumor, rumor only, that across from the Hawa Mahal is a coffee shop on the top floor of the building that gives you a nearly perfect view of the palace. Also, exploring the streets around the palace is nice. There is a street a bit further in where you can watch jewelers create bangles and buy some for your own (always haggle and always know that no matter what, the price you get isn’t going to be the actual worth).
Recommendation: 3.5/5. It’s a really gorgeous palace and it’s lovely how close you can get to it. I’m sure an inside tour was great, but I was disappointed with how much traffic was in the area. Despite possibly being one of the most photographed sights in Jaipur (it’s actually what made me want to go to the city to begin with), tourists don’t gaggle around taking pictures in quite as large of crowds as other places.