|The Lake Palace on Lake Pichola|
Resembling a Venetian palace and built entirely of marble, this stark white confection of cupolas, tranquil gardens with lily ponds, fountains and sprays of crimson Bougainvillea occupies a four acre rock in the middle of Lake Pichola.
Built in 1746 as a venue for Udaipur’s royal prince Maharana Jagat Singh II to entertain his paramours, the Lake Palace to this day, weaves a spell of enchantment around all who visit .
|A night view from the Lake Palace across Lake Pichola|
As I sat at the window of our suite the ancient chant of a muezzin calling the faithful to prayer and the passionate, tremulous notes of an Indian gazal drifted across the water. Close-by a grey cormorant perched on the bow of a fishing boat with wings spread wide to catch cool breezes, whilst clumps of water hyacinth splashed with blue swayed sensuously at each passing of the water taxi.
Illustrious guests visit the Lake Palace
Since those days relations with Britain have improved. In 1961 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were guests of the Maharana. The following year Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister, Princess Lee Radziwell were entertained at the palace. To this day Udaipur’s water palace remains a venue for royalty and the distinguished. The Shah or Iran, the Queen of the Netherlands, His Majesty Shri Wangchuck, Prince of Bhutan and his Queen are just a few of its royal visitors.
Posted by Anne Gordon on Saturday, 13th November, 2010