Floating serenely on the Mansagar Lake, Jal Mahal is to open to visitors for the first time having undergone a dramatic transformation. The superb restoration of one of Jaipur’s most picturesque buildings has taken more than six years. India Beat were invited to see the results of this iconic project before it opens to the public in a few weeks time. Mansagar Lake has been transformed by a comprehensive program of cleaning and the lake is now home to huge shoals of fish. We boarded our launch at the newly constructed jetty and were spellbound by the view of Jal Mahal and it’s astonishing backdrop of the Aravali Hills and the majestic Jaigarh Fort. After a trip around the Jal Mahal we stepped on to the 200 year old pleasure palace and began to explore. Numerous alcoves and arches on the lower levels provide the perfect place to take in the views before heading upstairs to the charbagh, a traditional kind of garden popularised by the Moghul emperors in the 16th Century. Beautifully proportioned domed chattris and pavilions surround the fountains at the gardens center. All have been brilliantly restored to their former glory. Local artists specialising in the Jaipuri school of miniature painting have been working for months to decorate the arched ceilings of each pavilion and the results are breathtaking. Jal Mahal is surely Jaipur’s brightest jewel and a brilliant example of how Rajasthan’s heritage can and must be saved for posterity. Contact India Beat for more information on how to visit Mansagar Lake and the Jal Mahal.
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