Pichola Lake Udaipur, About Pichola Lake, History of Pichola Lake, Timings of Pichola Lake, Ticket Prices for Boating, Boating in Lake Pichola, Things to Do at Pichola Lake, Guides, Best Time to Visit Pichola Lake, Nearby Attractions of Pichola Lake, How to Reach Pichola Lake.
About Pichola Lake
Pichola Lake is one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes of Rajasthan, India. Located in the heart of the city, Pichola Lake is the oldest and one of the largest lakes of Udaipur. In 1362, the beautiful lake was built by Pichhu Banjara during the ruling period of Maharana Lakha. Talking about the dimensions of Pichhola Lake, it is extended to 3 miles in length, 2 miles in width and has depth of 30 feet.
The beauty of this lake has not separated anyone to attract towards it. The lake looks more enchanting with its scenic surroundings. Maharana Udai Singh must have been certainly captivated by the charm of this pristine lake with the perfect backdrop of lush green hills as when he founded the city of Udaipur, he enlarged this lake. He also constructed a dam made in stone that falls under the ‘Badipol’ region on the shore of this lake.
Pichola Lake is enveloped by lofty Palaces, temples, bathing ghats and elevated hills on all its sides. In the southern part of this lake, there is a hill that is known as Machhala Magra and one can see glimpse of Eklinggarh Fort from here. The City Palace of Udaipur broadens along the eastern banks of this lake. Built by Jagat Singh, Mohan Mandir is situated in the north-east corner of Lake Pichola.
Lake Pichola has two main islands situated on it, the Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. The lake is also famous for its many small islands, temples and bathing ghats. The Jag Mandir is one of the oldest and one of the most intriguing palaces on the lake. It was here that Prince Khurram took refuge and stayed with his wife and two sons. The other magnificent palace here is the Jag Niwas which is known as the City Palace. It has been converted into a heritage hotel and is one-of-its-kind for its sheer magnificence. The Lake also houses the Mohan Mandir, a place from where Rana Udai Singh used to watch the famous Gangaur festival. The other famous island is the Arsi Vilas, where you can enjoy the glorious views of the sunset and see a variety of birds in its courtyard.
History of Lake Pichola
The artificial Lake Pichola was built by Pichhu Banjara, a gipsy tribesman who transported grain, during the rule of Maharana Lakha in 1362 AD. The meaning of the word ‘Pichola’ is the ‘backyard’ and the lake was named after a nearby village ‘Picholi’. Maharana Udai Singh was enchanted by the beauty of this lake that he constructed Udaipur on the banks of the lake.
The lake’s surroundings have palaces, marble temples, family mansions, bathing ghats or chabutaras which were built over the centuries. Some of the renowned are the Lake Palace or Jag Nivas, Mohan Mandir and the Jag Mandir Palace. The Jag Nivas has now been converted into a heritage hotel and is located on the Jag Island. The Mohan Mandir is located in the north-east corner of the lake was built by Jagat Singh between 1628 and 1652. There is also a Arsi Vilas Island which was built by one of the Maharajas of Udaipur to enjoy the sunset on the lake. It is also a sanctuary for different varieties of birds. At several locations where the lake narrows, ornamental arch bridges have been built to span the waterway between the banks.
Boating in Lake Pichola
Boat rides in the serene waters of Lake Pichola is an amazing experience. Tickets are available at the City Palace and it costs around INR 400-600 for adults and INR 200 for children. Charges are high for the sunset cruise. The boats have six to eight seats and are covered with a canopy. Life jackets are compulsory to wear. The boat ride starts at Rameshwar Ghat and it first takes you to the Lake Palace Hotel. Then, it proceeds to the Jagmandir where you can stop for some time and reminisce the scenic views. The view of the sunset during boat rides is captivating. The yellow glow of the palaces nearby with their reflection in the water seem to hypnotise.
Lake Pichola was created by a tribesman Picchu Banjara, and it is the oldest lake of Udaipur during the period of Maharana Lakha’s rule.
The lake has a width of 2 miles, length of 3 miles, and a depth of 30 feet.
Maharana Udai Singh enlarged the lake by having constructed a dam at the Badipol shore, and he also developed the city of Udaipur on the banks of the lake due to its sheer beauty.
Lake Pichola is best known for the splendid architecture done by the Maharanas of Mewar on the several islands, and the many ghats situated at the shores.
A tightrope walker Natini was challenged by Maharana Jawan Singh, who offered her half the kingdom of Mewar to tightrope across Lake Pichola. The legend states that Natini was tricked and the rope was cut off mid-way, which led to her death, but not before she is said to have cursed Maharana Jawan Singh’s family of not having any direct descendants. The curse is believed to have come true since six of the Maharana’s sons were adopted.
Lake Pichola has also spent ample amount of time being dry during elongated periods of low rainfall.
Things to Do
Boating is the most popular activity at Lake Pichola, and sunset boating is quite enjoyable for most tourists as the pristine blue waters look ethereal at evenfall.
Visiting the Lake Palace, situated on one of the islands of Lake Pichola is a must for every tourist. It is also home to a beautiful, luxurious floating hotel for a grand stay.
On one of the other islands is the Lake Garden Palace, which is known for its splendid architecture and is a popular tourist attraction.
Lake Pichola houses a pretty structure known as Mohan Mandir, where Maharanas used to watch the local Gangaur festival celebrations from.
The other island of Lake Pichola consists of a palace and ammunition depot known as Arsi Vilas. This was used by Maharanas to watch the sunset, and it is also a sanctuary to a variety of birds.
There is an arched bridge that connects to Fatehsagar Lake, and was built by Maharana Swaroop Singh, which is a great sight to see.
Hotel Lake Pichola should be paid a visit to for a lakeside view while dining or even for a stay.
Ticket Prices for Boating
Sunset Boat Ride Prices
Timings – 9.00 AM to 6.00 PM
Note: The Boat Rides Timings are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Availability of Guides
Hindi as well as English speaking guides are available on request at private boat rides. Charges are based on the private boat ride prices.
Best Time to Visit
It is not advisable to take a tour of this magnificent city of lakes and palaces in the hot weather. A little relief with the cooling showers can be sensed during the monsoon season, but the duration is short lived because the city does not receive much rain even during the season, making the weather humid and sticky. The best time to visit Udaipur is during the months from September to March. The weather is very pleasant and you can enjoy every bit of your stay during this period. A number of festivals and celebrations take place during this time, the most significant being Shilpgram Crafts Mela, which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world.
Lake Pichola’s eastern shore is home to the brilliant City Palace of Udaipur which is a popular tourist destination.
Shopping and dining are easily available around the streets of Lake Pichola, also the islands which consist of restaurants.
The Jagdish temple and various other traditional havelis are perched upon the banks of the lake, which represent the culture of Mewar.
The Fateh Sagar Lake located close by is a famous tourist attraction as well.
The crystal gallery of the Fateh Prakash Palace complex is a must visit for every tourist.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is 22 km away from the main city. The railway station is located at a convenient distance from the city. Udaipur is connected through a major railway network with all the major cities of India. If you wish to experience that royal feeling, you should travel on ‘Palace on Wheels’, a luxurious train that offers the travellers an unforgettable experience. The city also has a well-established bus service network, which includes deluxe and non-deluxe buses as well as state-run transport.
With a brilliant road network to its credit, you can drive down to the city, or if you don’t want to drive, you can hire a vehicle from the tour operators and enjoy a wonderful chauffer driven journey to this city.