Jagniwas Island

Island in Udaipur

Image by Meinzahn Getty Images

Jagniwas Island is about 15,000 sq m in size and entirely covered by the opulent palace built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1754. Once the royal summer palace, it was greatly extended and converted into the Lake Palace Hotel in the 1960s by Maharana Bhagwat Singh, and is now in the hands of the Indian-owned Taj Group. Alas, it doesn’t welcome casual visitors.

One of the world’s top luxury hotels, with gleaming courtyards, lotus ponds and a pool shaded by a mango tree, it has been largely responsible for putting Udaipur on the international tourist map: as half the city will constantly remind you, it had a starring role in the classic Bond movie, Octopussy (along with Shiv Niwas Palace and Monsoon Palace).