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Jag Mandir (Lake Garden Palace), Udaipur

With Udaipur’s vast history and culture come monuments that are not only rich in heritage but also quite attractive as tourist destinations. One of the most beautifully constructed palaces in Udaipur is the Lake Garden Palace, more popularly known as Jag Mandir. The Lake Garden Palace is situated in the middle of Lake Pichola, and has some stunning structures in its complex, including a garden that consists of some of the prettiest flowers. Jag Mandir is also one of the palaces that the rulers of Mewar used as summer resorts. The structure was built by the members of the Sisodia dynasty, started in 1551 by Maharana Amar Singh. Here’s a look at some of the attractive points of Jag Mandir.

Photo by Manoj Vasanth, CC BY 2.0

Interesting Facts

  • Jag Mandir has an intriguing history behind it, which starts with Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who sought refuge with the Mewar Kingdom in Udaipur, where Maharana Karan Singh offered him safety.
  • Shah Jahan, before becoming an emperor, was given stay at Jag Mandir’s Gul Mahal with his wife Mumtaz Mahal, and children.
  • During India’s first war of independence in 1857, Jag Mandir was used as a refuge palace for the women and children of European families.
  • Jag Mandir sits atop one of the two natural islands in Lake Pichola, and was named ‘Jagat Mandir’ in honour of Maharana Jagat Singh, who contributed to the building of new structures including that of Gul Mahal in the Jag Mandir complex. The structure was completed entirely in the 17th
  • Shah Jahan took quite a few ideas from the Jag Mandir construction to put into the Taj Mahal.
  • The palace is made of yellow sandstone and marble, giving it a pretty look overall with the delicate carvings on many of its structures.

Things to See at Jag Mandir

  • One of the best features of architecture in Jag Mandir is the life-size elephants made of marble, who guard the palace.
  • The museum in the complex of Jag Mandir is a must visit as it displays and retains some of the most important parts of the history of the Mewar dynasty and culture.
  • For some delicious Rajasthani cuisine, the Darikhana restaurant in the Jag Mandir complex should certainly be paid a visit.
  • The beautiful garden courtyard is as mesmerizing as anything else in the Jag Mandir area, and it is through this garden that the palace is known as Lake Garden Palace. The garden is home to flowers like moss rose, yew bushes, jasmine, bougainvillea, nasturtiums, and verbenas.
  • The Bara Pattharon Ka Mahal is one of the most fascinating structures of Jag Mandir apart from the Zenana Mahal (women’s quarters) and the Kunwar Pada ka Mahal.
  • Gul Mahal, the most popular attraction of Jag Mandir was first built in 1551, which was further developed during the time of Maharana Jagat Singh. It also consists of the crescent of Islam on the top of its dome. The Mahal is surrounded by black and white murals and paintings, which give it a rather unusual touch as per usual Rajput architecture.
  • The main palace, Jag Mandir, has octagonal towers at the corners topped with splendid domes.

Things to Carry

  • If you visit in the daytime, sunglasses and a hat are recommended.
  • Comfortable shoes to tour through the entire complex go a long way in ensuring a fun experience.
  • Carry a water bottle along. A dinner or lunch at the Darikhana restaurant will give a great end to your day.
  • Capture some of the amazing architecture and scenic beauty in your camera.
Photo by Arian Zwegers, CC BY 2.0

How to Reach

  • The Lake Garden Palace can be reached through a 30-minute or 1 hour boat ride from the Bansi Ghat jetty. There are private boats and cruise rides available.

Entry and Boat Ride Fees

  • 325 per personAdult (for 1 hour boat ride)
  • 165 per personChild (for 1 hour boat ride)
  • 225 per personAdult (for 30-minute boat ride)
  • 115 per personChild (for 30-minute boat ride)

Best Time to Visit

September to March

Nearby Attractions

  • The City Palace situated on the eastern bank of Lake Pichola is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Udaipur.
  • On the other island of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace is also one of the many interesting points of the city.
  • The Jagdish temple near the Lake Palace is also a famous shrine, built by Maharana Jagat Singh.
  • Lake Fatehsagar is close by and can be enjoyed through a sunset boat ride.
  • The Bhartiya Lok Kala museum nearby displays a great collection of turbans, dresses, masks, dolls, and musical instruments of the Rajasthani culture.
  • The Vintage Car museum in the Lake Palace has an envious assortment of the vehicles belonging to the royal families of Udaipur.

Udaipur’s charm and grace lies in its splendid architecture and natural beauty, and Jag Mandir being one of the many popular tourist destinations of the city of lakes, does manage to leave a mark upon the mind of a tourist. Remember to tick off this beautiful Lake Garden Palace from your places to see.

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