Hawa Mahal is situated in Badi Chauper, where the bangle-sellers set up walls of glittering coloured glass and plastic to tempt the local girls.

Behind them rises a huge City Palace Complex. The crazy Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) borders this side of it, like baroque folly stuck onto the out side wall. Its five-story facade of pink stone encrusted with fine jali work and balconies has 953 niches and windows and is just one room deep.

It was built in 1799 by the architect  Lalchand Usta for the aesthete Pratap Singh (ruled 1778-1803). One of the poetry couplets suggests that the palace was dedicated to Krishna and Radha.

Its function was a royal grandstand so that the palace women trapped in purdah, could watch the street life, including processions. In fact , life in the vast harem of wives and their ladies-in-waiting and all the royal childrens was fairly eventful because the Hindu calender found much to celebrate - Diwali , Dussehra , Holi and celebrations on full moon after rains, when ladies dressed in their finest to entertain the maharaja with games, fun, and dancicing at night.

Visitors today can climb up to enjoy the same view.