The back of the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, an immortal image that represents the beauty of Jaipur city. A multitude of small jharokhas making it look like a gigantic honeycomb. The jharokha is a small latticeworked window, common in these parts of the world, that is designed to allow purdahnashi women to look at the outside world without being exposed to the view of the strangers therein. The reason why it is called Hawa Mahal, ‘hawa’ being the vernacular word for win, is because the arrangement allows for the winds to steal into the palace (‘mahal’) through the Venturi effect.
The sandstone grills of Hawa Mahal have a characteristic colour. The artist has replicated this in this marble watercolour with remarkable skill. Given that the palace structure occupies the majority of the frame, it is the predominant colour in the artist’s palette. Behind the tops of the domes that crown the palace, one could see the pale blue heavens. In broad daylight, the dark interiors of the palace lend it an aura of profound mystery.
The foreground has some interesting details. A row of camels are marching down the back of the Hawa Mahal, with silks on their humps and chunky gold ornaments around their necks. A ubiquitous beast in the Western Desert region of India, they are a symbol of the great state of Rajasthan where Jaipur is situated.
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