Lake Pichola Udaipur – Largest Manmade Freshwater Lake
Nestled in the heart of Udaipur City, Lake Pichola is one of the largest manmade freshwater lakes in India. It is the home to the well known Gangaur Ghat and lies in close proximity to several tourist attractions. This breathtaking beauty offers the perfect setting for visitors where they can immerse in its irresistible charm. The serene surrounding with the Aravalli Range in the backdrop looks straight out of the postcard. It is the main highlight of Udaipur and allure tourists from far and wide. Lake Pichola is 4 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide with a catchment area of 55 kilometres.
There are a number of bathing ghats, sacred temples and exquisite mansions scattered on the banks of Lake Pichola. The legendary City Palace stands on its eastern bank, the Mohan Mandir lies on the north-eastern side and the Arsi Vilas can be found on the western end of the lake. Pichola boasts of the best sunset views in Udaipur.
Hence, a trip to the ‘City of Lakes’ is often incomplete without a boat-ride in this magical setting. Float lavishly and marvel at the sight of the lake that completely turns orange during sundown. The picturesque landscape will allow you to have a rendezvous with alluring nature. For a complete makeover of mind, you can escape to this tranquil haven and relish at the intimidating sight of the surrounding.
Suggested Tour : 9 Days – Taj Mahal Tour With Udaipur
History of Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola was constructed in the year 1362 by Banjara under the patronage of Maharana Lakha. Maharana Udai Singh was truly mesmerized by its charm and founded Udaipur City on its bank. He also enlarged the lake by constructing a dam on the lakeshore. All the other islands, temples, ghats and palaces developed over a period of time. The four main islands include the Jag Mandir, Jag Niwas, Mohan Mandir and Arsi Vilas. In the year 1623, Prince Khurram who rebelled against the Mughal King Jahangir took refuge under Karan Singh II and was housed in the grand palace of Jag Mandir.
According to legends, Maharana Jawan Singh promised a tightrope walker (Natani) that half of Mewar City would be gifted to her if she could cross Lake Pichola over a tightrope. Before she could reach the other end, the rope was cut resulting in her death. While dying, the girl cursed the king‘s family that he would never have a direct heir to the throne. The curse came to be true because the seven rulers who succeeded Jawan Singh were not his own descendants but adopted sons.
In the year 1983, a James Bond film was also shot here that resulted in the widespread popularity of Lake Pichola across the globe.
Also Read : Top 10 Largest Lakes in India
Suggested Rajasthan Tours Covering Udaipur
- 9 Days – Rajasthan Tour from Jaipur
- 11 Days – Rajasthan Tour from Mumbai
- 17 Days – Rajasthan Cultural and Wildlife Tour
- 18 Days – Rajasthan Tour
Top Tourist Attractions around Lake Pichola
1. Sunset Ferry Ride
A sunset ferry-ride is one of the most scenic ways to soak up the tranquillity of Lake Pichola. The spectacular sight of the setting sun over the lake offers the best backdrop imaginable. Get lost in the gleaming hues that illuminate the City Palace and add to the shimmering beauty of the lake. The ghats on one side and the grand palaces on the other look strikingly beautiful and impart a dreamy aura that has a peculiar way of making connections. There are options for group boat tours as well as a private ride.
Also Read : Top 10 Places to Visit in Udaipur
Suggested Tour : 10 Days – Rajasthan Tour With Taj Mahal
2. Gangaur Ghat
The iconic Gangaur Ghat is one of the main highlights of old Udaipur city on the banks of Lake Pichola. This ghat is a prime attraction that is favoured by locals as well as tourists. Gangaur Ghat is known for its historical significance and it is the ideal place to witness the true culture of Rajasthan. The auspicious occasions of Gangaur, Jal Jhulni, Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri are celebrated here as the idols are immersed in the lake from this ghat. On a regular day, you can sit on the steps and enjoy the peaceful environment.
Get Complete Guide : About Gangaur Festival
Suggested Tour : 12 Days – Rajasthan Tour from Jaipur
2. Jag Niwas
Jag Niwas is one of the prominent islands that stand in the middle of Lake Pichola. It is the home to the majestic Taj Lake Palace built in 1754 by Maharana Jagat Singh II and later transformed into a luxurious heritage hotel. This magnificent palace is entirely made from sparkling white marbles that treat the sore eyes. The exquisite architecture and the sprawling gardens accompanied by the Aravalli backdrop teleport visitors to the old world that redefines charm. When you are in this stunning castle, make sure to try the authentic Mewari delicacies and witness the vintage car collection that was used by the royals.
Also Read : Top 15 Heritage Hotels In Rajasthan
Suggested Tour : 14 Days – Rajasthan Tour by Car from Delhi
3. Jag Mandir
The Lake Garden Palace, popularly known as Jag Mandir is one of the most spectacular structures that boast a vast history. It was named after the Mewar King, Jagat Singh who used this palace as a summer resort. The grand Rajput monument is entirely made from marbles and yellow sandstone with intricate carvings. The timeless interiors adorned with murals and paintings gave a unique touch to this historic structure. It flaunts a lush garden with blooming flowers that looks pretty lost in time. The complex also houses a heritage museum that contains artefacts belonging to the Mewari Dynasty.
Suggested Tour : 14 Days – Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour
4. Arsi Vilas
Arsi Vilas is a little slice of heaven that sits right behind Jag Mandir. It was built by Maharana Arsi Singh to witness the charming sight of the setting sun from the middle of Lake Pichola. Presently, Arsi Vilas is the home to a variety of bird species namely egrets, ducks, kingfishers, coots and so on.
Also Read : Top 20 Bird Sanctuaries in India
Suggested Tour : 10 Days – Rajasthan Tour with Only Luxury Hotels
5. Mohan Mandir
The island of Mohan Mandir boasts of an enchanting temple dating back to the 17th century. However, the striking part is there is no deity inside this temple. History says, this monument was built in honour of Maharana Jagat Singh’s unofficial son and he witnessed the Gangaur Festival from this site. Presently, Mohan Mandir is managed by the State Government and it is the main spot for Gangaur Festivity. If you plan your visit during the festival, you can witness happening firework display on this island.
Suggested Tour : 16 Days – Rajasthan with Mumbai From Delhi
6. City Palace
The splendid City Palace is one of the precious jewels that stand erected on the banks of Lake Pichola. This palatial castle is the classic example of royal grandeur. It is a massive complex that houses several prominent monuments such as the Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, Neemach Mata Temple and so on. City Palace is enclosed by the Aravalli Hills and offers a stunning background that is a visual delight. Constructed with marbles and granites, this heritage landmark has an aesthetic appeal and engraves a picturesque frame in mind. The captivating assortment of mirror work, wall paintings and murals overloads the senses and evokes euphoria.
Also Read : City Palace Udaipur – A Complete Travel Guide
Suggested Tour : 12 Days – Amritsar and Rajasthan Tour from Mumbai
7. Swarup Sagar Lake and Bridge
Swarup Sagar is one of the most significant lakes connected to Lake Pichola. A bridge was built by Maharana Swaroop Sagar at the confluence of these two lakes where tourists and locals flock. There are a number of picnic spots that are located around the lake where one can admire the scenic vistas.
Suggested Tour : 15 Days – Historical Rajasthan With Agra Tour
8. Natini Chabutra
Chabutra is an elevated platform where different activities were performed during the bygone era. Natini Chabutra was built in honour of the natini (tightrope walker) who lost her life after drowning in Lake Pichola. It is said that the king assured her half of Mewar City if she could cross the lake. But the rope was cut and she fell into the lake. While drowning, the natini cursed the king’s lineage and interestingly all the seven sons of Jawan Singh were adopted.
Suggested Tour : 15 Days – The Royal Retreat Rajasthan
9. Bagore Ki Haveli
There are a number of prominent Havelis that are scattered around the banks of Lake Pichola. One of the most popular amongst them all is the Bagore Ki Haveli at Gangaur Ghat. It was built in the 18th century by Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar. It is an extravagant mansion that boasts over a hundred lavish rooms adorned with modern art. There is a small museum located here that flaunts the finest collection of historical artefacts. In the evening, Bagore Ki Haveli hosts an authentic cultural show.
Suggested Tour : 15 Days – Mumbai with Rajasthan Tour
The area around Lake Pichola is lined with artisan shops and boutiques that offer jewellery, apparels, handicrafts, souvenirs and more. Embark on a shopping spree and satisfy the shopaholic within you. Some of the most popular shopping areas include Bada Bazaar, Chand Pole, Bapu Bazaar, Tibetan Market and Hathi Pole.
Also Read : Top 10 Colourful Markets in Rajasthan
Lake Pichola Timings
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Ferry ride timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Lake Pichola Entry Fee
There is no Entry Fee.
- INR 400 (Adult)
- INR 200 (Child)
Sunset Ferry Ride
- INR 700 (Adult)
- INR 400 (Child)
How to Reach Lake Pichola
By Air: Udaipur has a domestic airport at a distance of 20 kilometres from the city centre. There are daily flights that operate from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and so on. There are several taxis and auto-rickshaws available outside the airport that can take you to the main city of Udaipur.
By Train: Udaipur has a railway station that is well connected to all the major destinations in our country namely Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur. There are regular trains to Udaipur from Ajmer, Sealdah and Ahmedabad. You can easily hire an auto-rickshaw or board a taxi from the station.
By Road: Udaipur has an extensive road network and regular buses operate from Jaipur, Kota, Indore and Delhi. There are options ranging from air-conditioned coaches, AC Volvo to state buses. NH 8 is well maintained and one can also enjoy a scenic drive to the ‘City of Lakes’.
Also Read : How to Reach Udaipur
Best Time to Visit Lake Pichola
Winter (October to March) is the ideal time to visit Udaipur and absorb the beauty of Lake Pichola. It looks delightfully calm and mesmerizing that is therapeutic to the mind and soul. The days are usually pleasant and the nights are colder. Temperature varies between 10 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius. It is advisable to avoid visiting Udaipur during summer (March to June). Summers are scorching hot and the temperature rises to 40 degrees Celsius.
Also Read : Best Time to Visit Udaipur
Udaipur is regarded as one of the top monsoon destinations in India. The ‘City of Lakes’ is in its full glory during this time of the year. This region receives relatively lesser rainfall during monsoon (July to September). It is the perfect time to get the best view of Lake Pichola that is brimming with emerald water. During this season there are fewer tourists and you also get good deals on hotels and travel packages. The temperature fluctuates between 25 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius.