The Balsamand Lake Palace
A stone's throw away from the ancient capital of Marwar, Mandore, and only 8 km from the city-center of Jodhpur, Balsamand Palace is a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The lake was engineered in the 12th Century but the exquisite red sand-stone palace came later; it was built by Maharaja Jaswant Singh I of Jodhpur in the 17th Century, at the very zenith of Rathore Rule under the umbrella of the Mughal Empire. Set in a private estate of over 60 Acres, with sprawling orchards of lime and pomegranate and landscaped gardens criss-crossed by elegant waterways and even a aqueduct, the palace with its lovely promenade on the lake, was always more than just a residence; a pleasure palace in the finest Mughal tradition of the picnic. In more recent times a tradition has developed with the Royal Family celebrating the first rains in Balsamand; a custom that has led to the palace being referred to as a Monsoon Palace.