Set in the middle of the picturesque Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal in Jaipur is a spectacular structure that seems to be floating on the lake’s surface. An architectural marvel in itself, it is an embodiment of the engineering prowess of the Rajput period.
Jal Mahal, one of the top places to visit in Jaipur, doesn’t have any recorded history about who built it or when. However, it is popularly believed that Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh constructed Jal Mahal in 1799 to serve as a hunting lodge. Some people also credit Maharaja Madho Singh I for the construction of this palace and date its origins back to the 1750s.
Later, the palace was renovated by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber in the 18th century.
After several years of deterioration and neglect, renovation works were carried out in the early part of the 21st century to restore the palace into its former glory.
Jal Mahal stands in the middle of a lake that has a maximum depth of 15 feet and a minimum depth of 4.9 feet. It is a five-storied structure built in the Rajput style of architecture, with influences of the Mughal architectural style. While four of its stories remain under water, only the top story remains visible, giving you an impression that the palace is floating on the waters of the lake.
Jal Mahal has been constructed out of red sandstone. Four elaborate chhatris designed in octagonal shape adorn the four corners of the palace. A huge Bengal-style rectangular chhatri also exists on the roof of the palace. In its heyday, the terrace garden of Jal Mahal was decorated with arched passages.
The alluring view of the palace against the backdrop of the verdant Aravalli Hills is a sight to cherish. The Jal Mahal Palace in Jaipur is among the most photographed structures in India. It is also a paradise for bird watchers as various species of local and migratory birds flock to this lake.
The palace has been declared a protected property by the government and entry to the palace premises are restricted. However, you can spend hours admiring and photographing the palace from the lake shore.
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