Afloat on a pleasure palace

Kamal Narang | Updated on: Aug 11, 2011






France, which is only slightly bigger than Rajasthan, attracts 75 million tourists a year while Rajasthan gets just 1.28 million.

Recognising the huge role of the hospitality industry in boosting tourist revenue, Rajasthan — a virtual treasure trove of history, culture, arts and heritage — has embarked on the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) model to expand tourist facilities in this desert State.

One such partnership is with Jal Mahal Resorts to develop a 100-acre area around Jal Mahal in Jaipur.

An extremely romantic place with intricate architecture, the building is done in red sandstone and casts an enchanting reflection in the calm waters of the Mansagar Lake. Surrounded by the Nahargarh Hills, Jal Mahal was used for royal duck shooting parties in an earlier era. The lake has a fascinating ecosystem and is a favourite abode of a number of migratory and local birds.

The restoration work started in 2005 and involves cleaning the lake and restoring the dilapidated monument, which once served as the pleasure palace of the erstwhile maharajas of Jaipur.

The project includes the creation of Jal Tarang, a green leisure destination along the lake with environment-friendly accommodation, independent Jaipuri galleries and boutiques, and lakeside dining along a tree-lined promenade — all in keeping with Jaipur's heritage.

On completion of the restoration project, Jal Mahal and Mansagar Lake will once again be opened to the public after a gap of nearly 300 years.

Published on August 11, 2011
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