Jal Mahal

The Jal Mahal literally means the “Water Palace”, but when it was built, Maharaja Madho Singh I did not intend to use it as a palace. Instead, it was supposed to be a hunting lodge for the king and his entourage during their duck hunting trips. The palace stands in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city, and is a famous spot till date for sightseeing. The Jal Mahal is designed in a classic Rajput manner, with pink sandstone in a symmetrical style.

While a lot of people come to see the Jal Mahal from the banks of the Man Sagar Lake, not many are aware of the technology and innovative design that has gone into building this ancient palace. On the surface, the palace appears to have one floor, but actually, there are four more submerged levels to the palace as its stone walls hold back millions of litres of water, and the specially designed lime mortar prevents water seepage into the palace, something which it has been doing for more than 250 years.

For now, the palace is not open to a majority of the public, so tourists flock to the banks of the lake to gaze at this magnificent structure. In the evenings, the banks are full of street food vendors as well, and the place gets pretty crowded as people visit what is possibly the most serene spot in the hustle and bustle of the city. The light colour of the sandstone walls creates a sharp contrast with the deep blue of the lake, and one can also see some green foliage sprouting from the inner courtyards of the palace, making it one of the most photographed spots in Jaipur.