In this world, India is the only country which rightfully boasts of the rare combination of rich diverse cultural and geographical features. Every year, travelers from across the globle come to India to explore magnificent monuments each showcasing incredible artistic work, culture and architectural excellence. And amidst all the diversity in the heritage that India proudly maintains, Rajasthan is the Jewel in the crown. Bestowing the world with classic examples of architectural splendor and rich culture, this state has now become a favorite tourist spot. Presenting such rich beauty of the past is the heritage building of Jal Mahal.
Jal Mahal, meaning water palace in English, is a beautiful palace that is located in the middle of the majestic lake Man Sagar, in Jaipur. Jal Mahal was started by Sawai Pratap Singh, the ruler of Jaipur from 1778 to 1803. It reached it architectonic brilliance under the vigilance and enthusiasm of Maharaja Jai Singh. It is considered one of the most beautiful architectural palaces that were built with the consummate combination of the Mughal and Rajputana styles of construction. This 255 year old palace, built in red sandstone, often make the tourists astonished of the technological and design achievements of the ancient palace. Though the palace only appears to be a single storey, there are four other storeys at a submerged level. The solid stone walls hold back millions of liters of water and the special designed lime mortar has prevented water seepage for over 250 years. Jal Mahal Palace of Jaipur is an extremely romantic place with its red sandstone intricate architecture casting beautiful reflections in the calm and serene waters of the Man Sagar Lake.
Possibly the most serene sight amidst the chaos of Jaipur, the beautiful low-rise symmetrical palace, Jal Mahal, was once the shooting lodge of the royal duck for the Maharaja, and was a pleasure palace for the royal family. This floating heritage building in the centre of Sagar Lake, stands, rather floats, in sharp contrast to the deep blue of the waters with its sand colored stone walls.. The lake’s eco system is a favorite home of a number of migratory and resident birds, like the large Flamingo, Great Crested Grebe, Pintail, Pochards, Kestrel, Coot, Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff, Herring Gull, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Grey Wagtail and so on. The reserve forest area of the lake catchment has several wild life species such as Deer, Jungle cat, striped hyena, Indian Fox, Indian wild Boar and leopards. But the number of these wild life and aquatic species declined with the worsening in the quality of the lake water in these modern times. Jaipur government has made a tremendous effort to improve both the palace and the surrounding lake. Less than 10 years ago, the palace was an abandoned ruin with water leaking in, while the lake was a foul smelling sewage outlet but today due to the dedicated effort of wildlife teams, the lake’s waters is back to its former glory.
Jal Mahal provides a charming view of the Man Sagar Lake and the Nahargarh hills that surround it. The Mansagar Dam is situated on the eastern side of the lake and provides a good vantage point for viewing the lake and the valley. The original charm of the palace comes alive in the evening when the entire complex is bathed in flood lights and Jal Mahal shines like a jewel nested in the picturesque Aravali valley.