Situated at the centre of Udaipur with sparkling waters this is the heart of the majestic city. It is also the oldest and the largest of its kind in the city, fondly referred to as the city of lakes. The lake is bound by the scenic views with lush hills at the backdrop; the Maharana captivated by its beauty had expanded the lake and also built a dam that is made completely of stone walls that feeds under the Badipol region at the shore of the lake.
The Lake Pichola lies right at the heart of the city of Udaipur enveloped by lofty palaces, temples, bathing ghats and lush green hills. This is the most important tourist spot of Udaipur and can be reached from any part of the city by taking a cab, local bus, auto rickshaw or tonga.
The lakes around the city were primarily built through construction of dams to meet the irrigation needs of the locals. Lake Pichola is one of the largest of these contiguous lakes built around Udaipur over the past few centuries.
The lake is dotted with 4 islands with temples and palaces developed on them to provide breath-taking views of the lake.
The 4 islands are – Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir, and Arsi Vilas.
Jag Niwas hosts the infamous Lake Palace
Jag Mandir Palace also has a palace built atop it of the same name.
Mohan Mandir was built for the king to watch the popular Gangaur festival
The Arsi Vilas Island was initially an ammunition depot which also houses a small palace and was built for the king to enjoy the sunset on the lake.
Arsi Vlas also serves as a bird sanctuary for winged beauties like Coots, egrets, kingfishers, tufted ducks, cormorants and more.
The story of the lake’s construction is an interesting one. It was first built by a Banjara i.e. a gypsy man of the name Pichu Banjara. He was tribesman who transported grain during the reign of Maharana Lakha. Later Maharana Udai Singh got smitten by the beauty of the sparkling waters of the lake with the background of rolling hills behind it and decided to expand the lake and also built a dam at Bandipol. He moved his ruling seat to the banks of the lake and founded the city of Udaipur.
Being the central-most tourist hub in the city, the area around the lake is surrounded by amazing rooftop cafes and restaurants to get your hungry fills. There are also numerous shops selling handicrafts and souvenirs around the area.
Sunset and sunrise are the peak hours of the day to visit the lake. As the weather remains moderate and the views are extraordinary.
Rajasthan is known for its extreme climatic conditions, so in summer months it gets really hot as it gets equally cold during winter months, so preparing for the same is highly recommended
Visiting during the off season for tourists can garner hefty discounts if you seek budget travelling. The months of April to early October are usually low in tourist activity.