Jal Mahal


Over the last 15 years, Jal Mahal has played a very important part in my life. The photos that I have clicked of the historical monument have somehow captured the journey of Jal Mahal from the state of ruin to that of a heritage site thronged by countless tourists everyday. There were times when I saw a large mass of polluted water floating across the Man Sagar. The lenses have captured some moments when instead of being the tourist spot that it is today, Jal Mahal used to be a bathing place for elephants and buffaloes. I have seen the Jal Mahal with dark clouds hovering over it with no onlookers except for children playing in the muddy waters. In the year 2000, Government of Rajasthan entrusted to IL&FS the task of finding a permanent solution to the development requirements of the Man Sagar Lake and the palace. In 2001, Government of Rajasthan initiated a project for the 'Ecological Restoration of Man Sagar Lake' and the palace in its midst to its past glory and to enhance the tourism potential of the precincts, through the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) as the nodal agency. In this one and a half decade, the word heritage has become very common. Everywhere there is talk of saving heritage. But isn’t it true that 15 years ago also, Jal Mahal was a heritage? As seen through these photos, it becomes obvious that at that time little a thought was spared for this historical monument. Today, restored to its former glory, Jal mahal is one of the most visited tourist spots in Jaipur, but whenever I pass through the place, I think of the day, when it lay unattended in a very bad state.