Jal Mahal is one of the most splendid architectural palaces sitting in the centre of Man Singh Lake on the outskirts of Jaipur. This masterful creation was earlier a shooting lodge for the Maharajas, but now it has become the most famous spot for sightseeing in Jaipur. Jal Mahal was built by Maharaja Madho Singh in the 1750s for himself and his companions to rest after their duck hunting endeavours. Jal Mahal is a four storeyed building built with red sandstone.
It offers a breathtaking view of the Nahargarh hills and Man Sagar Lake that border it. The most alluring feature of this mahal is that four storeys of this site are submerged underwater, and only one storey lies above the water level. It has a garden at the top that consists of varieties of trees and beautiful flowers.
Jal Mahal is extremely popular among the visitors for it’s striking architecture and detailed craftsmanship. This palace has been built by combining Rajput and Mughal style of architecture. Due to it’s alluring beauty and rich architectural magnificence it has also been touted as one of the most photographed sites in India. The entry is prohibited inside the fort but you can have a view of this magnificent fort from a considerable distance.
History of Jal Mahal Jaipur
In 1956 AD severe famine was experienced by the people of the area where Jal Mahal is currently standing. This led to an acute shortage of water, and the ruler of Ajmer, therefore, decided to build a dam to deal with the problem of scarcity of water. The dam was initially built with quartzite and earth in the eastern side of the breathtakingly beautiful Ajmer Hills. Later, it was renovated in the 17th century into a masonry structure.
This dam is still standing today, and it’s 28.5-34.5 meters wide and 300 meters long. Three gates have also been built in the dam to release a sufficient amount of water to irrigate the nearby agricultural lands. This dam has undergone renovation and restoration by different rulers, but the final renovation was done by Maharaja Jai Singh 11. Other historical places and religious spots like Jaigarh Fort, Amer Fort, Kanak Vrindavan Valley, and Nahargarh Fort were built in the nearby areas of this lake. These are now connected with a tourist corridor of road networks.
It is believed that Jal Mahal was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh as a spot to relax after duck hunting. It is also surmised that this palace was built in 1750 by Maharaja Madho Singh 1. The beauty of this palace was later amplified by Maharaja Jai Singh 11 who completely renovated this palace and added a few more striking structures to it. It is also believed that the Man Sagar Lake was also built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh after constructing a huge dam that served as a source of water for the people in that area.
The architecture of Jal Mahal
Jal Mahal is known for its exquisite architecture and splendid design that beholds the mind of the visitors. It is the finest example of excellent Rajput architecture, and the technical excellence that were not in vogue in the 18th century. The architectural grandeur of this palace comes to life, especially in the evening when the entire complex is covered by floodlights. The beautiful cravings on the shrines and the white marbles that have been used to build the palace make it look like a gem on its own. The reflection of the palace in the Man Sagar Lake gives an illusion of multi storeys standing over the water level.
At the corner of the palace there are four octagon-shaped chhatris and beautiful domes. In the centre, there is a chhatri made in Bengali style. Twenty one decorative pillars are also located in this palace that are considered to be the cenotaphs of the royal family. A platform is there in the centre of the garden area where dance performances and recitals were organized. The original garden got damaged in the past but now it has been recreated again to captivate the attention of the visitors.