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A Journey to Rajasthan’s Stunning Karni Mahal

Ever dreamed of escaping to a magical palace in the middle of a serene lake, surrounded by the
Aravali hills of Rajasthan? Well, your fantasy can become reality with a visit to Karni Mahal. This
stunning sandstone and marble palace sits on the picturesque Jaisamand Lake, offering a
perfect getaway into the royal history of Rajasthan.

As you approach the palace by boat, the grand architecture comes into view, hinting at the
luxurious interior that awaits you. Once inside, you'll feel transported to another era as you
wander the lavish halls and chambers, each room filled with intricate stone carvings, marble
inlays and colorful frescoes. From the palace ramparts, you can gaze out at the lake waters
shimmering under the desert sun and spot local wildlife like nilgai, wild boar and over 200
species of birds.

A stay at Karni Mahal is a magical journey into the opulence and grandeur of Rajasthan’s royal
past. If you are looking to escape from it all and immerse yourself in the romantic atmosphere of a
bygone age, then this secluded palace is calling your name. A visit here will leave you
spellbound by its picturesque setting and inspired by the legacy of its noble history. Your
Rajasthan adventure awaits!

The History and Architecture of Karni Mahal
The Karni Mahal palace has a rich history and beautiful architecture that is sure to captivate
you. Originally built in the 1930s, this hunting lodge was constructed for the Maharaja of
Bikaner. The palace gets its name from the Karni Mata temple nearby, which was frequented by
the royals.

The palace was designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, combining Indian and Persian elements.
Its intricate stone facade is adorned with jharokhas (overhanging enclosed balconies), chhatris
(cupola-like pavilions), and jaalis (stone latticework screens). Stepping inside, you will discover
opulent interiors with marble floors, decorative plasterwork, and mirror-inlaid walls.

The focal point is the grand Darbar Hall, where the maharaja held audiences. Flanked by
massive Corinthian pillars, this regal chamber oozes old-world charm. For the best views, head
up to the palace ramparts or sunset terrace to gaze upon the picturesque lake and Aravalli hills.

Today, the palace has been converted into a luxury heritage hotel, allowing guests to
experience its historic grandeur firsthand. If you want to be transported to a golden age of Indian
royalty, look no further than the magnificent Karni Mahal. Staying here is a journey into the
opulence and elegance of a bygone era.

Exploring the Magnificent Exteriors of Karni Mahal
The exterior of Karni Mahal is truly a sight to behold. As you approach the palace, you'll be
struck by its impressive size and grand architecture. Massive stone walls surround the palace,
with huge wooden gates granting access to the inner compound.

Once inside, you'll find yourself in a large courtyard, with the main palace directly in front of you.
The facade features an intricate mix of Rajasthani and Mughal styles, with carved stone
windows, balconies and entryways. The palace has four floors, each with rows of jharokhas –
enclosed balconies – that provide shade and cooling ventilation.

The entrance to the palace is an imposing stone portal, intricately decorated with carvings of
elephants, lotuses and geometric patterns. As you pass through, you enter a grand hall with
high ceilings, marble floors and decorative archways. Intricate murals and frescoes adorn the
walls, many featuring religious motifs and nature scenes.

Venturing up the marble staircase, you will find the former royal quarters. The bedrooms and
sitting rooms are lavishly furnished, with original paintings, textiles and antique furnishings on
display. From the upper floors, you get panoramic views of the palace grounds, including well-
manicured lawns, stone pavilions and a large stepwell pool.

After exploring the palace, be sure to wander the grounds. There you'll find historic temples,
striking gateways and pavilions that provide shade from the hot Rajasthan sun. A stroll around

Karni Mahal transports you back to the grandeur and opulence of its royal past, leaving a lasting
impression of this remarkable historic site.

A Peek Inside the Opulent Interiors of Karni Mahal
Once inside the palace, you’ll be awestruck by the opulence and grandeur of the royal quarters.
The expansive Diwan-i-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audience, will greet you with ornate pillars,
intricate stone jaalis or latticework, and vibrant frescoes.

The Sheesh Mahal
A true highlight is the Sheesh Mahal, or Palace of Mirrors. Shimmering mirror mosaics and
glass tiles adorn the walls and ceilings, reflecting the glow of candles for a dazzling effect. The
queen’s quarters, known as the Zenana, feature decorative lotus motifs, delicate stone lattice
screens and painted floral patterns.

The Royal Temple
Within the palace grounds, the intricately carved red sandstone Karni Mata Temple is dedicated
to the tutelary deity of the Bikaner royal family. Built in the 16th century, the temple has beautiful
stone columns, arches and filigreed windows. The royal family would worship here regularly,
entering from a doorway connected directly to the palace.

Vintage Car Collection

For car enthusiasts, the palace’s vintage car collection is a real delight. It includes rare models
like a 1939 Cadillac, a 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom and a 1936 Vauxhall. These vehicles were
once used by the Bikaner royals for special occasions, adding to the aristocratic ambiance.

A tour of the palace offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the aristocrats of yore. Every inch
of this red sandstone edifice is a work of architectural mastery and artistic vision, showcasing
the finest examples of Rajasthan’s regal heritage. A visit to Karni Mahal is truly a royal
experience, transporting you to an era of opulence and splendor.

The Beautiful Surroundings of Karni Mahal
The surroundings of Karni Mahal are as stunning as the palace itself. When you emerge from
the intricately carved stone walls of the palace, you'll find yourself surrounded by the serene
waters of Jaisamand Lake and the Aravali Hills.

Jaisamand Lake
Just outside the palace walls, the massive Jaisamand Lake stretches out before you. This
artificial lake was constructed in the 17th century and is one of the largest man-made lakes in

India. Take a boat ride on the peaceful waters to fully experience its grandeur. You may spot
some of the lake's resident birds like coots, pintails, shovellers and brahminy ducks.

Aravali Hills
The Aravali Hills form a dramatic backdrop behind Karni Mahal. The palace was strategically
built at the base of a pass through these ancient hills, which are one of the oldest mountain
ranges in India. Take a nature walk through the surrounding forest to get a glimpse of the local
flora and fauna. You may encounter monkeys, antelopes, jackals and even leopards in their
natural habitat.

Rural Village Life
Just outside the palace gates, experience authentic rural Rajasthani life in the nearby villages.
Watch the villagers go about their daily activities like farming, pottery making, weaving colorful
textiles and herding sheep and goats. The mud huts, haystacks and cattle are reminiscent of a
time gone by. Strike up a conversation with the friendly locals to get a sense of their daily lives
in this idyllic setting.

The natural beauty and cultural heritage surrounding Karni Mahal provide a vibrant backdrop to
the opulence of the palace. Venturing outside the palace walls will give you a glimpse into
traditional village life in Rajasthan and an appreciation for the history of the Aravali Hills. A
perfect complement to the grandeur of Karni Mahal, the surroundings offer an authentic Indian

How to Get to Karni Mahal in Jaisamand
Karni Mahal is located in the small town of Jaisamand, about 45 kilometers south of Udaipur in
Rajasthan, India. To get there, you have a few options:

The easiest way to reach Karni Mahal is to drive. It will take around 1 to 1.5 hours from Udaipur,
depending on traffic. Head south on NH76, turn right onto SH29 which leads directly into
Jaisamand. The palace is well signposted once you enter town. There is ample parking
available at the palace.

Public busses run regularly between Udaipur and Jaisamand. Catch a bus from Udaipur’s main
bus stand to Jaisamand. The ride will take 1 to 2 hours. From the Jaisamand bus stand, you can
take an auto rickshaw or taxi the short 4 km ride to Karni Mahal.

The nearest major railway station is Udaipur, which has train service from cities across India.
From Udaipur, you can take a bus or taxi to Jaisamand and then onto Karni Mahal. The total trip
will take at least 2 to 3 hours including transfers.

Once at Karni Mahal, soak in the scenic beauty of the historic palace set on the banks of the
massive Jaisamand Lake. The palace was built in the 17th century in a blend of Rajasthani and
Mughal architectural styles. Explore the palace’s Durbar Hall, Badal Mahal, Moti Mahal and
Hawa Mahal. The palace museum displays royal artifacts like paintings, sculptures and ancient
scriptures. Stroll through the well-manicured palace gardens and you may spot some of the
resident peacocks.

Karni Mahal makes a perfect day trip from Udaipur to experience the grandeur of Rajasthan’s
royal heritage in a peaceful lakeside setting. The palace is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
There is an entrance fee of Rs. 50 for Indians and Rs. 200 for foreigners.

So there you have it, an inside look at the magnificent Karni Mahal in Rajasthan. After exploring
the opulent palace, taking in the scenic beauty of the lake and surrounding hills, and learning
about its rich history, you'll come away with memories to last a lifetime. When you set off on
your Indian adventure, be sure to make Karni Mahal a must-see stop. The palace's grand
architecture, vibrant frescoes, and sprawling gardens will transport you to another era. And the
stunning sunsets over Lake Jaisamand viewed from the palace ramparts are not to be missed. If
palaces, lakes, vibrant culture, and natural beauty are what you seek, Karni Mahal delivers all
that and more. Head to Rajasthan and experience the magic of Karni Mahal for yourself!

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