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Jaipur is marked with extraordinary architectural elegance and Jal Mahal prominently stands at the forefront of these works of art. This exquisite palace, located amidst one of the biggest artificial lakes in Jaipur, is secluded from land. Surrounded by Man Sagar Lake, the palace, when you first look at it, will give you the mirage of almost floating atop the lake and that is the moment when you keep looking at this site in complete awe and amazement. The calming water of the lake beautifully reflects the elaborate carvings and makes a fabulous sight one could ever dream of.

History Of The Jal Mahal

A glorious view of lake

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With no official record existing to clarify the exact period of origin of Jal Mahal, legend widely proclaims that it was built in 1799 by the eminent ruler Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, who thought of building this palace only to use it as a hunting lodge for his duck shooting excursions and not at all as a palace to reside in. The origin of even the lake is attributed to him as it was formed when a dam was constructed between the hills which led to the formation of the lake.
Another legend contributes to the confusion that it was actually built by Maharaja Madho Singh in the 1750s to be used as a hunting lodge. His son Madho Singh II made a significant contribution to enhancing the erstwhile interiors of Jal Mahal during the 18th century when he added the courtyard grounds and many other designs that have resulted in the present-day culmination of this monumental palace.


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Present Ownership Of The Mahal

Jal Mahal Captured in a Panoramic View

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Jal Mahal and the lake that outlines it were given a royal reboot by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amer in the eighteenth century. But, years down the lane, I saw the charm and beauty of this heritage site deprecating due to sewage problems and waterlogging. Proper efforts were put into the restoration work to bring the palace to its present glorious state. Though trees are growing the terrace of the place, the garden still hasn’t been made to look like how it was during those days of glory, including the magnificent arched gateways built intricately on the terrace.
The recent Jal Mahal owner, Navratan Kothar, a business tycoon, has secured a 99-year lease to use the Jal Mahal and those 100 acres along the Man Sagar Lake. He is actively working on cleaning the lake and initiating the restoration of the Palace.

Architecture Of The Jal Mahal

An Aerial View

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The Jal Mahal palace is a primary example in an architectural masterclass having a mixture of Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. The majestic palace, endowed with red sandstone and exuding intricate architecture, has a five-storey building out of which the first four floors remain underwater. In contrast, only the top floor is visible from a safe distance. The specifically created lime mortar and solid stone walls have the magical ability to hold back a heavy volume of millions of litres of water, persistently preventing water seepage for over 280 years. The average depth of this lake is 15 feet, and several of its low-lying areas have a mere depth of 4.9 feet.

The palace never appears too high and possesses four octagonal dome-shaped pillars at all four corners, with a large pillar at the centre. The rectangular-shaped Chhatri on the roof’s centre looks like a typical Bengali style. In the palace’s interiors, a staircase connects the lower floors to an aromatic terrace garden on top of the palace called the Chameli Bagh, allowing the viewer to experience a panoramic view of the Aravalli Hills. A platform in the middle of the garden was earlier used as a stage for recitals and dance performers. Though the garden has deteriorated due to the influx of a long time, it has been developed again. It has even been transformed into a restaurant named Jal Mahal Jaipur. Even after two centuries of the world’s constantly changing times, the 288-year-old palace retains that magnificent look.

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Know the location

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The palace is located exactly 4 km north of the main city of Jaipur, on the ever-busy Jaipur-Amer Road. While figuring out the itinerary for a visit to the palace, most tourists also include a trip to the nearby locations of Amer Fort, City Hall Palance and Albert Hall Museum, all located within a close vicinity of 8 km from it. Jal Mahal can be conveniently accessed from the Jaipur- Delhi National Highway No.8, which links Jaipur to Delhi’s capital territory and Mumbai. The Jaipur International Airport is well-connected with all the major cities and a few countries.

You can reach the palace by bus, auto, or even taxi. The nearest bus stop is Shahpura Bagh, just 200 m from Jal Mahal. To explore the various tourist attractions of Jaipur comfortably, you should consider booking a cab from any car rental company in Jaipur and have a hassle-free experience of exploring the pink city of Jaipur.

Best Time To Visit Jaipur

one of the best places to visit in Jaipur

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If you are planning to visit Jaipur and explore its various monuments, including the Jal Mahal, then the months of October to March are considered the ideal time to visit the different parts of the city. These months are relatively more incredible, and you can enjoy walking around the lake and feeling the cool breeze while exploring the Jal Mahal and many other palaces and forts. It is much less stressful and tiring than the deadly hot summer months from April to September.

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Timings And Entry Fees

An enchanting view of Jal Mahal

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Since entry into the premises of the Jal Mahal itself has been prohibited by strict government orders, you will not be able to visit and step into the actual palace itself. However, a pathway around the Man Sagar Lake has been drawn out, allowing tourists to catch the best possible view of the Jal Mahal. No entry fee is charged, and you can visit it anytime between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM.

Further Read: Forts In Rajasthan

Now you have complete information about Jal Mahal and the surrounding monuments and that gives you a list of reasons to visit the pink city of Jaipur. Make sure you plan your trip to Jaipur at the earliest and don’t forget to explore all the historical marvels of this city. Don’t miss out on exploring these wonders and book your tickets now!

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Cover Image credit : Firoze Edassery for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Jal Mahal

When did a renovation of Jal Mahal begin?

The renovation work started in 2003, to beautify it. But under the pretext of renovation, normal paint was done earlier, and this sub-standard work ended up destroying the original look of the palace. Later, with the help of renowned experts and artists from across the country, more intensive work was put in to reverse this ruin and ensuring that the Jalmahal of Jaipur regained its lost charm.

What can be expected inside the palace?

A series of art galleries have also been created in the palace. The walls are beautified and artistically enhanced with exquisite canvas paintings on five particular themes. In these paintings, the Jal Mahal and its surrounding landscape are magnanimously drawn and depicted on a 34-foot-long canvas. A special emphasis has been laid on the rich heritage of Jaipur in these paintings.

Can a tourist step into the Jal Mahal?

Any tourist entry inside the Jal Mahal itself has been prohibited by the strict orders of the Government, hence you will not be able to step into the actual palace itself. However, a pathway has been thoughtfully drawn around the Man Sagar Lake that gives the tourists an opportunity to catch the best possible view of the Jal Mahal. It is worth mentioning that during the days when the palace was open for tourist visits, gondola vessels ferried over the lake, carrying the tourists over to the palace site and giving them an unforgettable chance to enjoy a romantic ride over the lake.

How long does it take to fully explore the Jal Mahal?

Since a regular tourist is not allowed to visit Jal Mahal and the entry to the place was restricted for the public, it does not take more than an hour to see it from the banks of Man Sagar Lake. But, on the footpath adjoining the boundary wall, you will find several hawkers selling Rajasthani jewellery, mojris which are traditional kind of shoes and handicraft items.

Are there any temples near the Jal Mahal?

You can visit some of the famous temples of Jaipur that are incidentally located close to Jal Mahal as you plan your itinerary for the day. There is the Garh Ganesh Temple, Badrinath Temple, Govind Dev Ji Temple and Birla Mandir; all within 10km of the palace's vicinity.

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Category: Jaipur, Places To Visit, Rajasthan

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