The Jal Mahal palace is supposed to have been built some 300 years ago by direction of Amer’s monarch. It was later repaired in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amer at the time and the creator of Jaipur City.
Mansagar Lake is a man-made lake of around 300 acres. It was built in 1610 by Raja Man Singh, the then ruler of Amer, by damming the Dharbawati river. The dam was originally built of earth and quartzite, but it was subsequently strengthened and turned into a stone structure when Jaipur City was formed in 1727.
The palace was created for the royal family’s enjoyment, as a location to entertain or as a hunting lodge for the emperor and his visitors. Today, tourists may only see the palace’s upper floor. It is really five stories, with four of them buried in the lake. This creates the illusion that the palace is “floating” on the sea.
While the palace looks to be resting on a pristine mirror now, with its image almost growing from the ground, the scenario was very different six years ago. The palace had deteriorated due to neglect, and the lake had become a filthy sewage hole.
The rebuilt palace is again open to the public. Beautiful carvings cover each archway, entryway, and balcony, and all of the columns are finely carved as well. The faint glow of lights from within the palace provides a sense of mystique to the edifice at night.