You may recognize the famous Lake Palace of Jaipur, Rajasthan — the ornate, seemingly floating palace turned hotel located in the middle (you read that right) of Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India — from such shows as No Reservations or the movie Octopussy. But Rajasthan has another notable “floating” palace opening up to visitors in the region about 250 miles to the northeast in Jaipur, where you can finally fulfill that dream of ditching that backpack and sleeping like a sultan for a night (okay, there’s no hotel there yet, but this is India, I’m sure they’ll let you catch a few zzz’s while you’re there).
Originally built “as a place for duck-shooting, kite-flying, picnics and fireworks, and a place [for one tosleep] off their noonday opiate,” the grounds were recently opened up to the public to explore for the bargain price of USD$1. Inside you’ll find stairways, arches, corridors and alcoves painstakingly restored using the traditional knowledge, materials, techniques and artistry of local artisans. While outside you’ll find the Chameli Bagh, or jasmine garden, said to have been designed as a “replicate heaven on earth.” Finally, here’s your opportunity to enjoy a rare bit sereneness in India; opiates optional.
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