The city and palace were founded by Udai Singh, an ally of Shah Jahan, in 1567. An artificial lake, Lake Pichola, a palace and islands became part of a stupendous landscape composition. There are hunting lodges on the hills and gardens on the islands. Jag Nivas island is now the Lake Palace Hotel, made famous in the James Bond film Octopussy. Jag Mandir island has a garden with three towered pavilions arranged round a pool with fanciful shaped sides. The Saheliyon-ki Bari has an internal court with a square pool and a chhatri which is a fountain. The Khas Odi hunting lodge has a cage for wild animals. Within the palace are enclosed courts. The Amar Vilas at the top of the palace has a garden with trees and plants growing round a square pool. The Badi Mahal, has a garden with a square marble bath used by the royal family.
During monsoon season, the gardens here are green and interesting, with foliage everywhere. Also stunning are the views from the palace over Lake Pichola. But don't expect a classic garden... it's the Palace that gets the 5-star rating!!
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