Jaipur marks wonderful architectural elegance and Jal Mahal stands at the forefront of these works of art. This serene palace nestles amidst one of the biggest artificial lakes in Jaipur. Standing amidst the center of Man Sagar Lake, the palace, when you first look at it, will give you the illusion of almost floating atop the lake and that is the moment when this sight takes your breath away. Jal Mahal or the Water Palace is the most spectacular place among the top attractions in Jaipur. The tranquil water of the lake beautifully reflects the elaborate carvings and makes a fabulous sight one could ever dream of.
History of Jal Mahal
The history of the Jal Mahal, Jaipur is rather indefinite, and the exact origin of the palace is still unknown. Jal Mahal has construction in between 1688 and 1743. Sawai Jai Singh built it for bathing with his queens and Pandit after the Ashwamedha Yagya. At that time it also served as a lodge for duck hunting adventures. It was also used for dancing and various other events. Man Sagar Lake was then formed when a dam was constructed between the hills which led to the formation of the lake.
Another legend states that Maharaja Madho Singh I constructed the palace in the year 1750 as a hunting lodge. There was no intention to use it as a palace. Later, the interior of the palace was enhanced by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber who renovated and added courtyard grounds to it.
The recent Jal Mahal owner is a business tycoon, Navratan Kothar having a 99-year lease to use the Jal Mahal and 100 acres along the Man Sagar Lake. He is working on cleaning the lake and restoration of the Palace.
Jal Mahal Jaipur Architecture
The Jal Mahal palace is an architectural beauty having a Rajput and Mughal style of architecture. The amazing palace with red sandstone and intricate architecture has a five-storey building out of which four floors remain underwater and the top floor is visible above.
The specially designed lime mortar and solid stone walls hold back millions of liters of water and have prevented water seepage for over 288 years. The depth of this lake is 15 feet with its low-lying areas having a depth of 4.9 feet.
The palace is not too high and has four octagonal dome-shaped pillars at four corners with a big one in the center. The rectangular Chhatri on the center of the roof has a look of Bengali style.
Inside, a staircase adjoins the lower floors to an aromatic terrace garden on top of the palace Chameli Bagh which provides a panoramic view of the Aravalli Hills. A platform in the centre of the garden was used for recitals and dance performers. Though the actual garden has deteriorated, it has been developed again. It has been transformed into a restaurant in Jal Mahal Jaipur. Even after braving two centuries, the 288-year-old palace still looks magnificent.
There are intricately carved arches on the ceiling and extensively done-up corridors that give an alluring look to the Jal Mahal Palace. The palace has some exquisite marble cravings which denote the royal touch and there are two pillars in the palace which are the cenotaph of the royal family of Maharaja Jai Singh.
The Renovation process
Later years saw the facade of this heritage site deprecating due to lack of maintenance, sewage and waterlogging. For this, restoration work was undertaken by the Government of Rajasthan to bring the palace to its current impressive state. The intricately redecorated interiors of the palace, featuring floral designs are quite attractive. The restoration work of this palace is that the work was done using traditional materials for plastering, materials that are not used in construction work today. The plaster consists of partly organic material: a mortar mix of lime, surkhi, and sand mixed with gur (jaggery), guggal and methi (fenugreek) powder.
The renovation work started in 2003, to beautify it. In the name of renovation, normal paint was done earlier, which destroyed the original look of the palace. Later, with the help of renowned experts and artists from across the country, this ruined Jalmahal of Jaipur regained its lost charm. The craftsmen and architects with their finest artwork have tried their best to bring back the Jalmahal in the same heritage look as it was built years ago. The 288-year-old Jal Mahal built in Mansagar Lake in Jaipur has been given a royal look by spending 135 crores.
The new look reflects the old charm
The marble and sandstone work in Jalmahal is inspired by the Rajput architecture of Amer and Jaipur. The marble was brought from the same 300-year-old marble mine at Andhi, Jaipur, which was once used to build the palace. New marble nets have been installed by replacing the broken old nets. People had ruined the walls of the palace by writing names on the walls with coal. These walls have been revived by plastering them again with Irish polish and art. Shahi Chameli Bagh, Anand Mahal Tibari and beautiful art galleries are decorated in their original look.
There used to be a royal garden on the roof of the Jalmahal. Due to a lack of attention for a long time, wild grass had grown here. Now, this garden has been decorated in the Lotus theme. The design of the beautiful railing of Chameli Bagh has been taken from the Kamal Burj Mandal present in the Chandra-Mahal Garden of the City Palace. The Jasmine Garden with four heritage divisions is also beautifully carved. In the jasmine garden, all flowers are white and the air here smells of jasmine, lotus and frangipani flowers.
There are white marble chhatris and tibari around the garden of Jalmahal. The grandest tibari here is Anand Mahal. The Anand Mahal Tibari has been given a new royal look and is adorned with beautiful colours. It is carved out of 22-carat gold as well as Kundan and Meenakari artwork is done on them. This artwork here is inspired by the art of Sileh Khana of Jaipur’s City Palace. Every window of Tibari, which got spoiled by paint, dust and dampness, has been rubbed and beautiful artwork has been done on them. Other than this, Ras Bihari Tibari is based on Rajasthani Art that depicts the Raas Leela of Krishna inspired by Pritam Chowk of City Palace. Work is yet to be done on the remaining two Tibaris which will start soon.
A series of art galleries have also been created in the palace. The walls are decorated with exquisite canvas paintings on five themes. In these paintings, the Jalmahal and its surrounding landscape are shown on a 34 feet long canvas. A special focus has been given to the heritage of Jaipur in these paintings.
Seeing the variety of birds from Jalmahal and the beautiful plains of the Aravalli ranges is no less than an adventure. Wetlands have developed around the palace which attracts birds like herons, sandpipers and stilt birds. Improvements in aquatic life have also been done and the ecosystem is created for many species.
Along with this, the banks of the lake were also developed. Extensive cleaning was done around the palace. Near the Jalmahal, there was moss on the mount made for birds to sit. The broken mount was renovated. Jal mahal has become a sewage dumpsite. Mansagar was completely cleaned to save the Jalmahal. Separate pipes were installed for sewerage. Now sewerage waste does not come to Mansagar. Oxygen level maintenance devices have been installed to keep the store water fresh.
Is the Jal Mahal tour worthwhile?
Jal Mahal was built to provide a breathtaking view of the lake and was ornately constructed along Rajputana architectural lines. However, because it is not connected to the land, Jal Mahal is also a sight to behold from the Man Sagar Dam on the lake’s eastern shore.
Things to do at Jal Mahal
This serene palace is one of the best places to visit in Jaipur. Though there is no entry, there are a few things you can enjoy.
Jal Mahal can prove to be an amazing beauty and every photographer’s dream, having the backdrop of the hills and the palace. Experiment with your photography skills from the seating points at the side of the road. The scene is equally alluring at night when the place illuminates and its glittering silhouette reflects in the dark water around Jal Mahal. It is a sight worth watching and capturing in your memory and camera. During the monsoons, when the sky is heavily cloudy, the verdant hills behind Jal Mahal illustrate a picturesque background and that is why it is probably one of the most photographed sights in Jaipur.
The path beside the lake has seating arrangements where you can sit and savour the beauty of the surroundings. No matter the place scores hoards of tourists, you will get a place all for you to relish the view of the lake and the palace. The real beauty of the palace is visible after the sunset in the evening when the entire palace illuminates in lights casting scintillating reflections in the serene and calm water of the Man Sagar Lake. Jal Mahal in the evening shines like a gold jewel nested in the picturesque Aravali valley conjuring up a breathtaking view.
You can enjoy shopping for some traditional stuff on the path adjoining the boundary wall of the lake. Several hawkers are selling traditional Rajasthani jewellery, mojris and handicraft items. You can try your bargaining skills for sure.
You can enjoy camel rides at the banks of the lake while enjoying the overlooking beauty of nature and munching on some packed refreshments sold by the nearby stalls. Additionally, you will find several photographers here, ready to take your instant picture in traditional attire.
The surrounding hills encircle lush green trees and the serene lake by the shore gets a lot of migratory avian visitors. You can spend a lot of time admiring the mesmerizing beauty of the place at sunset and doing some bird watching. In earlier days when the weather was cleaner, Jal Mahal was home to more than 100 species of local and migratory birds including Flamingo, Pintain, Coot, Ruff, Red-breasted flycatcher, crested grebe, kestrel, pilchards, etc. With pollution the water of the lake became unsuitable for them, gradually their number declined. But after the restoration work, the place offers the enchanting scenery of migratory and other exotic varieties of the chirping flock. One can witness a few birds now at Man Sagar Lake like the grey heron, common moorhen, blue-tailed bee-eaters and white-browed wagtail.
after several years of ban, boating in Jal mahal Jaipur is now open. You can ride on the traditional Jaipur wooden boats and enjoy the palace’s view. As it is a hot bird-watching spot as well, boating lets you unwind from stress with the natural charm of water and birds.
Why is Jal Mahal closed?
Due to an ongoing court case, Jal Mahal is currently not open. In 2003, the Jal Mahal project, which includes Jal Mahal and Mansagar Lake, was put out to bid by the Rajasthan government.
Can we go inside Jal mahal Jaipur?
The Palace is not open for the outsiders. You cannot go inside as the government has restricted entry. The only glimpse you can get is from the road or on the way to Amber Fort. You can go anytime and can spend as much time as you wish.
How is Jal mahal inside?
Since the construction of the palace was to make it a picnic spot rather than a residential structure, there are no personal chambers inside it. It is believed that the palace was constructed during a famine when the lake bed had completely dried up.
Why is the Jal Mahal famous?
The natural beauty surrounding the lake and its precise location make Jal Mahal famous. The water palace is amidst the scenic surroundings of Mansagar Lake and Nahargarh hills. The Man Sagar Dam is on the eastern side of the Jal Mahal lake and provides a good vantage point giving a picturesque view of the lake as well as the surrounding Nahargarh hills. The lake lets you take in the beauty at its optimum. The eye-popping aura of this architecture fascinates a large number of visitors from all over.
Jal mahal Jaipur tourist places
There are many top tourist places of Jaipur near Jal Mahal. You can plan a complete tour including all these places.
- Kanak Vrindavan Mahal (1.4 km
- Garh Ganesh Temple (3.7 km)
- Amer Palace (4 km)
- City Palace (4.4 km)
- Badrinath Temple (5.1 km)
- Anokhi Museum (5.2 km)
- Govind Dev Ji Temple (5.8 km)
- Albert Hall Museum (6 km)
- Jantar Mantar (6.1 km)
- Hawa Mahal (6.2 km
- Jaigarh Fort (6.6 km)
- Bapu Bazar (6.7 km)
Interesting facts about Jal Mahal Jaipur
The most intriguing fact about Jal Mahal, Jaipur is its mysterious yet miraculous structure. The beauty of this lake was the center of attraction of the kings of that time and the king often used to visit it in a boat. King Sawai Jai Singh decided to build a palace in the middle of the lake so that he can take a royal bath in the middle of the lake with his queen and pandits after Ashwamedha Yagya. Jal Mahal is a five-storey building with 4 floors underwater and one above water.
Jal Mahal Jaipur ticket price
There is no entry fee to visit Jal Mahal
Jal mahal Jaipur timings
You can visit it during the day from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Jal mahal Jaipur contact no
0141 263 0714
Jal Mahal Location
Jaipur’s Jal Mahal nestles on the significant Amer-Jaipur route, four kilometres north.
Jal mahal Jaipur address
Amer Rd, Jal Mahal, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002
How to visit Jal mahal Jaipur?
Jal mahal to Jaipur railway station distance is around 11 km and from Amer fort, it is 8 km as it nestles at the main Amer-Jaipur road. It is around 5 KM from the center of the city. It is easily accessible by autos and taxis. Whereas, Jaipur airport to Jal mahal distance is 18.2 km.
Best time to visit Jal Mahal Jaipur
Jai Mahal is best when visited during the rainy season as the natural surroundings become even more charming. You can also plan during October to March. Also, if you visit any other time of the year, for the best experience, visit this beautiful palace either during the morning to feel the peace amidst nature or in the evening when the lights illuminate the palace. This is how to spend a day in Jal Mahal Jaipur.