The Palace of the Winds, Jeypore, India, beautiful as a shell with pink and cream-colored stucco
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the Hawa Mahal at Jaipur in Rajasthan, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. Jaipur was founded in 1727 as an entirely new and prestigious state capital by Maharaja Jai Singh II (r.1699-1743) of the Kachwaha Rajputs. It was built on the site of a royal hunting lodge and garden on a plain ringed by hills five miles south of Amber, the previous state capital. Jaipur is today known as the ‘Pink City’ for the pink wash on the buildings in the old walled quarter of the city. The Hawa Mahal (or Palace of Winds) is the most famous of Jaipur's many palaces, built in 1799 as an addition to the City Palace by Pratap Singh. The unique silhouette of its eastern facade (seen in the picture) functioned as a screen through which the ladies of the palace could watch the processions in the street below and catch the breeze. The curved five-storey facade has 953 finely-screened bay windows with balconies
placed close together, giving the palace a honeycomb effect. The shallow architectural relief details are picked out in white, forming a contrast to the overall ground of pink-wash. This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect, which were sold together with a book of descriptions 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907) and a map. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.