Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) Udaipur

Jag Niwas (Lake Palace)
Vital Information for Visitors

Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Open & Close:

Open on all day

Visiting Timing:

09:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Entry Fees:



2-3 Hrs


Rajput architecture; Built of marble and granite; Located amidst Lake Pichola; Converted into a luxury heritage hotel.

The Lake Palace or Jag Niwas is a jewel in the heart of Udaipur, Rajasthan. This magnificent structure seems to float like a mirage on the serene waters of Lake Pichola. The history of Jag Niwas dates back to the 17th century when Maharana Jagat Singh II, the 62nd successor to the Mewar throne, envisioned a summer retreat that would epitomize luxury and opulence. The Lake Palace (Jag Niwas), built between 1743 and 1746, is east –facing that allows its inhabitants to pray to Surya, the Hindu sun god, at the crack of dawn (the ‘brahmamuhurt’). Originally named Jag Niwas after its royal patron, the palace served as a royal summer palace. One of the defining features of the palace is its strategic location. The palace is situated on the Jag Niwas Island, providing a sense of seclusion and exclusivity. Its setting amidst the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also serves as a testament to the ingenuity of the architects who envisioned this floating palace. The use of water as both a protective barrier and a reflective surface adds a layer of mystique to the structure.

The palace, built entirely of white marble, appears to emerge like a mirage from the shimmering waters of the lake, creating a surreal and enchanting spectacle. This choice of material not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also reflects the Rajput preference for luxury and elegance. One of the prominent features of Rajput architecture is the use of intricate carvings and filigree work. Jag Niwas is adorned with delicate floral patterns, geometric designs, and depictions of mythological figures, showcasing the masterful craftsmanship of Rajput artisans. The meticulous attention to detail in every carving speaks to the cultural and artistic richness of the era. The palace's façade is a symphony of arched windows, balconies, and ‘jharokhas’, each telling a story of the royal lifestyle. The arches, a hallmark of Mughal influence, provide a sense of grandeur and are reminiscent of the architectural style seen in the forts and palaces of Rajasthan. These arches not only serve an aesthetic purpose but also contribute to the structural stability of the palace.

Jag Niwas is a multi-storied structure with a series of courtyards and pavilions interconnected by intricate staircases. The layout reflects the Rajput philosophy of hierarchical spatial organization, where each level serves a specific purpose, be it ceremonial, residential, or recreational. The palace's tiered architecture is not only visually striking but also functional, allowing for efficient space utilization. The upper room of Jag Niwas highly attracts the visitors for its design. It is a perfect circle of about 21 feet (6.4 m) in diameter. The central courtyard of Jag Niwas is a masterpiece of Rajput architecture. Surrounded by colonnades and adorned with a marble fountain, this open space served as a venue for royal gatherings, celebrations, and performances. The courtyard reflects the Rajput penchant for blending functionality with aesthetics, creating a space that is both practical and visually stunning.

The interior of the palace is a treasure trove of Rajput artistry. The Sheesh Mahal, or the Mirror Palace, is a prime example of the palace's interior splendor. The walls are adorned with vibrant frescoes, depicting scenes from Hindu religious scriptures, royal processions and courtly life. The vibrant colors and detailed brushwork are indicative of the Rajput love for aesthetics and their inclination towards creating spaces that evoke a sense of grandeur and celebration.

One cannot discuss Rajput architecture without acknowledging the importance of water features. Jag Niwas, surrounded by the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola, incorporates several water elements, including fountains, pools, and reflective surfaces. Water, considered sacred in Hindu tradition, is not merely a decorative element but also symbolizes purity and continuity. The architecture of Jag Niwas also embraces the concept of "jal tarang" or water harmonics. The placement of various structures and courtyards is meticulously designed to create a visual harmony with the surrounding water, enhancing the overall sensory experience. The reflection of the palace in the lake adds an ethereal quality to its presence, blurring the lines between reality and illusion.

The architecture of Jag Niwas also incorporates elements of sustainable design, considering the environmental conditions prevalent in the region. The placement of windows and balconies allows for cross-ventilation, ensuring a natural cooling effect in the scorching desert climate. The use of courtyards and open spaces not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also promotes passive cooling, showcasing a thoughtful approach to environmental design that was ahead of its time.

Over the years, the palace has been a witness to the changing tides of history, surviving wars, political transitions, and cultural shifts. Today, it stands as a luxurious heritage hotel, welcoming guests from around the world to experience the regal charm and hospitality of Rajasthan. It is popularly known as the Taj Lake Palace hotel. The white coloured palace, when lit in the night, creates an amazing reflection in the deep water of the lake. It’s one of the costliest and most coveted hotels in the world and run by India’s premier business house - the Tata. In popular culture, the Lake Palace gained international fame when it was featured in the James Bond film "Octopussy," adding a touch of cinematic glamour to its already illustrious history.

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