Jal Mahal

3.9 / 5 78 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 1 - 2 Hours

Timings:

6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fee:

Free
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Jal Mahal, Jaipur Overview

Sitting prettily right in the centre of the Man Sagar Lake on the outskirts of Jaipur, lies the splendid and tranquil Jal Mahal. A masterful creation, it is bordered by the Nahargarh Hills. This low rise symmetrical Palace was once a shooting lodge for the Maharajas and now fascinates many visitors from all over the world. Jal Mahal was constructed in the 1750s and was commissioned by Maharaja Madho Singh. It is indeed one of the most photographed monuments in India. The most striking feature of this palace is that while only one storey that appears above the water level, there are in fact 4 storeys submerged underneath.

It is one of the most beautiful architectural palaces built by combining the Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. The entry inside the fort is prohibited, but the view from a considerable distance while boating is enough to mesmerize you. During the evenings, the fort lights up and the reflection of the fort in the lake is absolutely gorgeous. With its impressive beauty and laid-back ambience, the Jal Mahal has become a true tourist delight.

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The history of Jal Mahal is quite ambiguous, and it is not clear as to who exactly built the Palace. It is believed that Jal Mahal, which means 'Water Palace' was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799 to serve as a lodge for duck hunting. It is also surmised that Maharaja Madho Singh I constructed the palace in the year 1750. It was never intended to be used as a palace. Later, the beauty of the palace was enhanced by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber who renovated and added some more structures to it. The Man Sagar Lake was also formed by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh from constructing a dam.

Jal Mahal, a five-storey palace is inspired by the Rajput style of architecture. With four floors submerged in water, only the fifth floor is visible. It is built from red sandstone and four octagon-shaped chhatris are located at the corners of the palace. It was renovated by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the 18th century and has total twenty-one beautifully carved pillars which are the cenotaphs of the royal family. There is a garden on the roof called Chameli Bagh. A platform in the centre of the garden was used for recitals and dance performers. Though the original garden is damaged, it has been created again.
Visitors are not allowed to enter inside the temple. You can just praise its beauty from a distance.

Though tourists are not allowed to enter inside the Jal Mahal, there are couple of exciting things to do at Jal Mahal:

1. Sightseeing
The Water Palace nestled amidst Nahargarh Hills and submerged in Man Sagar Lake looks beautiful at sunrise and sunset. You can just sit and enjoy the scenic view as it unfolds in front of you.
2. Flaunt your photography Skills
 Jal Mahal gives you an amazing opportunity to wake the photographer inside you.
3. Shopping
Near the Mahal, there are many shops selling exquisite handicrafts and jewellery items of Jaipur. You can also find some khadi shops.
4. Camel Rides
The bumpy and thrilling camel ride is also an option.

Jal Mahal or Water Palace which stands on the Man Sagar Lake was a dream come true for bird-watchers. It was a home for various migratory and local birds like flamingos, great crested grebe, pintail, pochards, kestrel etc. Unfortunately, as the quality of the lake went down, their numbers declined.

However, with the restoration work undertaken, some birds can be found at Man Sagar Lake like common moorhen, grey heron, White-browed wagtail and Blue-tailed bee-eaters. An annual birding fair is also held to increase awareness about the lake's condition.

The entry to Jal Mahal has been restricted since it was declared a protected area by the government. The boat ride around the palace has also been stopped. However, it is an amazing place to spend some peaceful time in the midst of beauty and nature.

There is a pathway which surrounds the Man Sagar Lake from where tourists can view the Jal Mahal. It has no entry fee, and you can spend as much time as you like but only during the day time (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM)

The Jal Mahal is located on the route between Jaipur and Amer and is well connected to Jaipur by bus. You can either take the Jaipur-Delhi NH 8 to reach the Jal Mahal by road. Cabs or private cars can be taken to reach the palace from Jaipur. The Rajasthan Road Transport Corporation also run buses regularly on this route.

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