Lake Palace, Udaipur
The Lake Palace, also known as the Jag Niwas, is a magnificent palace located on Jag Island in Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. It was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II, the 62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar. The palace was originally built as a summer palace and a pleasure resort for the royal family and their guests.
The Lake Palace is known for its stunning architecture and design, which blends Mughal and Rajasthani styles. The palace is made of white marble and features beautiful courtyards, gardens, and fountains. It has 83 rooms and suites, which have been beautifully restored and converted into a luxury hotel. The hotel offers a range of amenities, including a spa, a swimming pool, and fine dining restaurants.
The Lake Palace has also been featured in several movies, including the James Bond film “Octopussy,” which helped to popularize the palace as a major tourist attraction. Today, the palace is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Udaipur and attracts visitors from all over the world who come to admire its beauty and history.
How to reach
Udaipur is a major city in the state of Rajasthan, and the Lake Palace is located in the heart of the city. Here’s how to reach the palace:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Udaipur is Maharana Pratap Airport, which is located about 20 km from the city center. The airport is well-connected to major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or hire a private car to reach the Lake Palace.
- By Train: Udaipur is well-connected to major cities in India by rail. The city has its own railway station, which is located about 4 km from the city center. From the railway station, visitors can take a taxi or hire a private car to reach the Lake Palace.
- By Road: Udaipur is well-connected to major cities in Rajasthan and other parts of India by road. Visitors can take a bus or hire a private car to reach Udaipur. The city is located on National Highway 48, which connects it to other major cities in the region.
Once you reach Udaipur, the Lake Palace is easily accessible by road. The palace is located on an island in Lake Pichola, and visitors can reach the palace by taking a boat from the City Palace or the jetty near Hanuman Ghat. The boat ride takes about 10-15 minutes and offers stunning views of the palace and the surrounding landscape.
Is the palace a Heritage hotel now?
Once the summer resort of the Rajput rulers, the Lake Palace was converted into a hotel by Maharana Bhagawat Singh in the 1960s. With courtyards, fountains, restaurants, and even a swimming pool, the Lake Palace is the ultimate in luxury hotels.
What are the timings and the entry charges?
Casual visitors are discouraged as the Lake Palace is now a Heritage hotel. Non-guests can only come over for lunch or dinner. And that too if the hotel is not full, which it often is.
The history of the Lake Palace in Udaipur is closely tied to the history of the Mewar dynasty, which ruled the region for centuries. The palace was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II, who was one of the most prominent rulers of the Mewar dynasty.
According to historical records, Maharana Jagat Singh II built the palace as a summer retreat for himself and his family. The palace was originally known as Jag Niwas, which means “the pleasure palace.” The Maharana was said to have been inspired by the beauty of the Lake Pichola and wanted to build a palace that would be a fitting tribute to the beauty of the lake.
The palace was designed by the architect Maharana Pratap Singh, and was built using white marble. The palace features beautiful courtyards, gardens, and fountains, as well as a stunning central dome that is made of glass. The palace was also decorated with intricate carvings, paintings, and other artistic details, which are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Over the years, the Lake Palace was used by the royal family for various purposes, including as a hunting lodge and a place to host important guests. In the 20th century, the palace was converted into a luxury hotel, and has since become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Udaipur. Today, the palace is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Mewar dynasty.
What goes behind the architecture?
Lake Palace seems to be magic. Its location in the middle of Pichola Lake is a phenomenal sight for onlookers. One can easily observe the extraordinary taste of intricate craftsmanship. Ethnic themes using textiles and handicrafts enhance beauty all the more. Maharana Jagat Singh had friendly relations with the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He encouraged Shah Jahan’s craftsmen to copy some of the glories of the later’s magnificent buildings at Agra. The successive Rajput rulers found a fantastic summer resort in the palace, with the regal Darbars being held in the courtyards. The courtyards are impressively lined with columns, pillared terraces, fountains, and gardens, all adding to the charm. Each of the rooms is exquisitely decorated with cusped arches, inlaid stones in pink, and green lotus leaves, and painted mirrors. There are engaging apartments like the Bada Mahal, the Khush Mahal, the Ajjan Niwas, the Phool Mahal, and the Dhola Mahal.What are the nearby attractions?
City Palace & Museums
The City Palace is the largest palace complex in the state of Rajasthan. The construction of the palace was begun by Maharana Udai Singh II. The main part of the palace is now a museum, exhibiting a rich collection of interesting artifacts.
Jagdish temple is located north of the entrance to the City Palace. This fabulous Indo-Aryan temple was erected by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. It enshrines a black stone image of Vishnu.
The Fateh Sagar Lake lies to the north of Lake Pichola. As night falls, love-struck local youth can be seen all around. In the middle of the lake is Nehru Park, a popular garden island.
Arsi Vilas or Sunset Point
Arsi Vilas is a small island lying behind Jagniwas. It was built by a former Maharana of Udaipur with a view to watching the sunset. For this obvious reason, it is also known as Sunset Point.
Things to do
The Lake Palace in Udaipur offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors. Here are some of the things you can do when you visit the palace:
- Stay at the Palace: One of the most popular things to do at the Lake Palace is to stay at the hotel. The palace has been converted into a luxury hotel with 83 rooms and suites that offer stunning views of Lake Pichola. The hotel offers a range of amenities, including a spa, a swimming pool, and fine dining restaurants, making it a perfect destination for a luxurious getaway.
- Take a Boat Ride on Lake Pichola: Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful lakes in Udaipur, and a boat ride on the lake is a must-do activity when you visit the Lake Palace. Visitors can take a boat ride to explore the lake and enjoy stunning views of the palace and the surrounding landscape.
- Explore the City Palace: The City Palace in Udaipur is located on the east bank of Lake Pichola, and it is one of the most impressive palaces in Rajasthan. Visitors can explore the palace and its many courtyards, gardens, and museums, which offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region.
- Visit the Jagdish Temple: The Jagdish Temple is a Hindu temple located near the City Palace. The temple was built in the 17th century and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings, making it a must-visit attraction in Udaipur.
- Attend a Cultural Show: The Lake Palace offers cultural shows that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. Visitors can enjoy traditional music, dance, and other performances, which are a testament to the enduring legacy of the region’s culture.
- Visit the Vintage Car Museum: The Vintage Car Museum in Udaipur is a popular attraction for car enthusiasts. The museum features a collection of vintage cars and motorcycles that belonged to the royal family of Mewar. Visitors can explore the museum and learn about the history of these beautiful vehicles.
These are just some of the things you can do when you visit the Lake Palace in Udaipur. The palace offers a range of experiences and activities that are sure to delight visitors of all ages and interests.