The flooded palace of Jal Mahal
Flooded by the artificial lake near the city of Jaipur (Rajasthan, India), the unusual marble castle of Jal-Mahal or the Water Palace impresses with its splendor. Unfortunately, very little information has been preserved about the history of this place. It is known that he built the palace of Maharaja Madho Singh in the 18th century (the exact date is unknown) for hunting ducks. Later his son, Madho Singh II, expanded the palace, adding an inner courtyard. Then this place left for two whole centuries and only in 2000 its large-scale restoration began.
Jal Mahal is a very unusual building. In fact, this is not quite a palace. In addition to the garden on the terrace, where the Maharaja loved to enjoy the fresh air, there are no living rooms. The height of the palace is five floors, but only the upper one is not flooded with water. When the lake is fully filled, the first four floors are submerged in water.
Jal Mahal: architecture
Jal-Mahal combines various architectural styles of Rajputs and Great Moguls, which are quite common in Rajasthan. In the architecture of Rajputs, traditional Hindu motifs are traced, and the style of the Great Moguls was influenced mainly by Islamic and Persian architecture. Both styles are in Jal-Mahal.
Corridors and large rooms on the first floor are generously decorated with various drawings. On the terrace of the palace there is a garden with arched passageways. At each corner of the palace there are octagonal towers with graceful domed roofs. And in the center of the terrace is a rectangular pavilion in the style of Bengali architecture, which is called chhatri.
History of creation
The man-made lake Man-Sagar, on which the palace stands, was created in 1610 by the Raj Man Singh in response to the famine and the acute shortage of water, which at the end of the last century affected his state. To prevent the recurrence of such disasters, the Raja ordered the construction of a dam. In addition to the dam, a large reservoir of water was also built, which is now known as Man-Sagar Lake. For decades, the lake supplied the local population with water for drinking and watering. In addition, there lived a large number of bird species.
But in the last century the lake became a place for dumping industrial waste. Dirt and stench repelled visitors from this remarkable monument of architecture.
Restoration of the castle
In 2004, the private company took the problem into its own hands. They wanted to turn the lake and Jal Mahal into a place of rest and a tourist attraction. Over the past decade, the company has been engaged in cleaning the lake and rebuilding the palace. Fortunately, the results met all expectations. The water quality improved and birds and other aquatic animals returned there.
Unfortunately, the Jal Mahal is still closed to visitors, however, you can enjoy its beautiful views, sailing by boat on the lake.