Lake Palace

The beautiful Lake Palace is located on a 4 acre rock foundation on the Jag Niwas Island amidst the clear blue waters of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan. You can reach to Lake Palace through a boat from a jetty at the City Palace. The beautiful palace was built between 1743 to 1746 by the Maharana of Udaipur as his summer resort. It was originally called as Jag Niwas after its founder's name, Maharaja Jagjit Singh. The palace is built facing the east so that its royal inhabitants could pray to Sun God at the dawn of the day. Successive rulers of Udaipur used the palatial building as a cool haven to escape from the scorching summer heat. They expanded the palace further and added pillared terraces, gardens, fountains and spacious courtyards to the original structure. The rulers used to hold royal Durbars in the Lake Palace and enjoy their summer season in its cool environs.

The palace arises out of the turquoise waters of Lake Pichola, just like a fairytale fantasy in white marble. Ethnic themes and elaborate handicrafts have been used in its construction, providing it extra elegance that oozes out from its every nook and corner. The palace consists of several palatial and regal buildings like Khush Mahal, Phool Mahal, Bada Mahal, Dhola Mahal and Ajjan Niwas. There is a lily pond in the palace and also a swimming pool. The rooms of the palace have stained glass windows and are decked with carved arches. The overall ambience of the palace is very romantic and you will simply be carried away with its architectural grandeur and the charm.

Some architectural designs of the Lake Palace have been inspired from Taj Mahal. The upper front room of the palace is made in a perfect circular form, having a diameter of 21 ft. The walls of the room are well ornamented with colorful precious stones and its floor is inlaid with white and black marbles. There is exquisitely beautiful dome on top of the room which is inspired from the dome of Taj Mahal but has distinct touch of Hindu Rajasthani architecture. Emperor Shah Jahan's throne which is sculpted of a single block of serpentine marble and a room made of 12 massive slabs of marble are other attractions of Jag Niwas Island.

The palace has been featured in 1983 James Bond film Octopussy and also in the 1984 British television series "The Jewel in the Crown." Queen Elizabeth, Lord Curzon and the First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy are among the distinguished guests of the Lake Palace who have graced it with their benign presence in the past.

One can admire the breathtaking view of the surroundings from porticos and terraces of the palace. The Lake Palace Udaipur now has been converted into a luxury heritage hotel which is run by the Taj Group. It is a perfect place to enjoy a sumptuous dinner below the starry night amidst the serene waters of Jag Niwas Island. Facilities for excursions to other attractions of Udaipur and Rajasthan are offered to the guests by the hotel staff.

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