Princely apparition

When the water level rises, it can flood up to four stories: The 18th-century Jal Mahal, a hunting lodge and summer retreat, looks as though it’s floating on Mansagar Lake in India

© Rukhlenko/ddp

Maharajas haven’t had much of a say in India for decades now, but many of the magnificent buildings so symbolic of their former power and glory still exist. Visitors flock to the Palace of Wind in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state, and also to Fort Amber, just a couple of kilometers away. Halfway between these two famous sights, the Jal Mahal, or Water Palace, rises mysteriously from the waters of Mansagar Lake. Maharaja Sawal Pratap Singh (1764-1803) used it as a summer retreat and a place to hunt ducks.