Jali screens in the tomb of Akbar the Great near Agra, India

A jali or jaali, (jālī, meaning "net") is the term for a perforated stone or latticed screen, usually with an ornamental pattern constructed through the use of calligraphy and geometry. This form of architectural decoration is common in Indo-Islamic architecture and more generally in Islamic architecture.[1]

The jali helps in lowering the temperature by compressing the air through the holes. Also when the air passes through these openings, its velocity increases giving profound diffusion.[clarification needed] It has been observed that humid areas like Kerala and Konkan have larger holes with overall lower opacity than compared with the dry climate regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan.[2]

With compactness of the residential areas in the modern India, jalis became less frequent for privacy and security matters.[3]


Early jali work was built by carving into stone, generally in geometric patterns, while later the Mughals used very finely carved plant-based designs, as at the Taj Mahal. They also often added pietra dura inlay to the surrounds, using marble and semi-precious stones.[1][4]

See also



  1. ^ a b Lerner, p. 156
  2. ^ "Yatin Pandya on 'jaali' as a traditional element". Daily News and Analysis. 16 October 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  3. ^ Satyaprakash Varanashi (30 January 2011). "The multi-functional jaali". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  4. ^ Thapar, Bindia (2004). Introduction to Indian architecture. Singapore: Tuttle Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 9781462906420.


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