Lake Pichola

Unveiling Lake Pichola: Udaipur’s Jewel of History, Beauty, and Romance

Lake Pichola, an artificial lake that has been mesmerizing visitors since its creation in 1362 AD, is a true gem of Udaipur, Rajasthan. Named after the nearby village of Picholi, this lake is renowned for its tranquil blue waters and breathtaking scenic views.

Over the centuries, Lake Pichola has become a central feature among the many lakes developed in and around the historic city of Udaipur. Its serene beauty and rich history make it a must-visit destination, offering a perfect blend of natural splendor and cultural heritage.

History & Overview

Lake Pichola, one of Udaipur’s most picturesque attractions, has a rich history dating back to 1362 AD. This stunning lake was created by a Banjara tribesman named Pichhu Banjara during the reign of Maharana Lakha. Originally constructed to meet the water needs of the local population, Lake Pichola has since evolved into a centerpiece of Udaipur’s charm and elegance.

Lake Pichola
Photo Credits – Veetrag

Expansion and Development

In the mid-16th century, Maharana Udai Singh II, the visionary founder of Udaipur, recognized the strategic and aesthetic importance of Lake Pichola. He expanded the lake while developing the city, building a dam on the western side to enhance its capacity and beauty. This development transformed the lake into a central feature of Udaipur, surrounded by magnificent palaces, temples, and ghats that have become key attractions for visitors.

Architectural Marvels and Cultural Significance

  • Lake Palace (Jag Niwas): Built on one of the lake’s islands by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1746, the exquisite marble Lake Palace, now a luxury hotel operated by Taj Hotels, stands as a testament to royal luxury. Originally serving as a summer retreat for the royal family, its stunning architecture and unique location make it a major attraction.
  • Jag Mandir: Another island palace on Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir, is renowned for its intricate carvings and historical significance. The construction of Jag Mandir began in 1551 under Maharana Amar Singh and was completed by Maharana Karan Singh in the early 17th century. Legend has it that this beautiful palace inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal.
  • Mohan Mandir: Located in the northeast corner of Lake Pichola, Mohan Mandir was constructed by Maharana Jagat Singh between 1628 and 1652. This elegant structure was designed to allow the royal family to watch the annual Gangaur festival celebrations, adding a cultural dimension to its architectural splendor.
  • Arsi Vilas: Originally built as a small palace and ammunition depot by one of the Maharanas of Udaipur, Arsi Vilas has been transformed into a bird sanctuary. Home to a variety of bird species, including egrets, cormorants, terns, and kingfishers, it is a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts, offering a tranquil retreat within the lake’s serene environment.
  • City Palace Complex: Overlooking Lake Pichola, the grand City Palace complex provides magnificent views of the lake. This expansive complex includes numerous palaces and museums, each offering a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of Udaipur. The intricate architecture and the panoramic views from the City Palace are truly breathtaking.

Interesting Points

  • The lake spans approximately 4 kilometers in length and 3 kilometers in width, with an average depth of 4.32 meters and a maximum depth reaching 8.5 meters.
  • The Sisarma Stream, a tributary of the Kotra River feeds Lake Pichola.
  • Lake Pichola includes its four islands, namely Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir, and Arsi Vilas.
  • Despite the arid land (extremely dry land), Lake Pichola’s water level remains stable, credited to the smart design of its inflow and outflow channels. These engineering feats guarantee a steady and reliable water supply.
  • The stunning Lake Palace, located on Jag Niwas Island, was built as a summer palace for the royal family of Mewar. This architectural marvel appears to float on the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola, adding to its mystical allure.


Boat Riding

Tourists can take boat rides to visit the islands and enjoy the scenic beauty. Boat rides offer a unique perspective of the lake, allowing you to witness its architectural wonders and scenic vistas up close.

Daytime Boat Ride: Enjoy the peace of Lake Pichola during the day as you sail past the grand palaces and temples along its shores. Admire the beautiful architecture of the island palaces and relax in the calmness of the surroundings. The charges for the ride are as follows –

  • Rs. 400 per person for adults
  • Rs. 200 per person for children

Sunset Boat Ride: As the sun begins its descent, embark on a magical journey across Lake Pichola. Watch in awe as the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues, casting a golden glow over the lake. The charges for the ride are as follows –

  • Rs. 700 per person for adults
  • Rs. 400 per person for children

Dharohar Folk Dance (Cultural Performance)

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Rajasthan with evening cultural programs at Bagore Ki Haveli which is adjacent to the Lake. These programs showcase traditional Rajasthani dance and music, offering a glimpse into the rich heritage of the region. Watch mesmerizing performances by local artists, including folk dances like Ghoomar and Kalbelia, accompanied by soul-stirring music played on traditional instruments.

Suggestion – Sunset is a popular time for boat rides, so fares tend to be higher. Consider riding during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and high prices.

Timings for Lake Pichola and Boating

  • Lake Pichola: Open from 9 AM to 6 PM daily.
  • Boating in Lake Pichola: Available from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Best Time to Visit

The winter months, from October to February, are considered the best time to visit Lake Pichola. The weather is pleasant with temperatures ranging from cool to mild, making it ideal for outdoor activities like boating and sightseeing.

If you would like, you can also consider visiting here during the monsoon season. However, heavy rains may occasionally interfere with outdoor activities, so it is recommended to check the weather forecast before making your plans.

Suggestion – Avoid visiting from March to June to evade the scorching heat of the city.

How to Reach

  • Maharana Pratap Airport (Udaipur Airport) is the closest airport, located approximately 24 km from Lake Pichola. You can take a taxi or bus from the airport to reach the City Center or Lake Pichola, and the journey will take about 25 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
  • The closest railway station to Lake Pichola is Udaipur Railway Station, located around 3 kilometers away. From the railway station, you can take an auto-rickshaw, taxi, or local bus to reach the lake.
  • Udaipur is well-connected by road to major cities in Rajasthan and neighboring states. The nearest bus stand to Lake Pichola is the Udaipur City Bus Stand, also known as the Udaipur Central Bus Stand. It is located about 3 km from Lake Pichola.

Location Map for Lake Pichola

What’s Worth Seeing Near Lake Pichola

  1. Lake Palace (Jag Niwas): A luxurious hotel operated by Taj Hotels, situated on an island in Lake Pichola
  2. Jag Mandir: Another island palace on Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir, is renowned for its intricate carvings and historical significance
  3. Bagore Ki Haveli: A historic haveli located at Gangaur Ghat on Lake Pichola
  4. City Palace Complex: A majestic palace complex that overlooks Lake Pichola, featuring a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles.
  5. Karni Mata Temple: A temple dedicated to Karni Mata, accessible via a ropeway from Doodh Talai.
  6. Vintage Car Museum: A museum displaying a collection of vintage cars owned by the Maharanas of Mewar.
  7. Ambrai Ghat: A popular ghat offering spectacular views of the lake and surrounding palaces.
  8. Gangaur Ghat: A historic ghat used for various cultural and religious activities.


Photo Credits:

Featured Image Credits – Prakhar Singh




4 thoughts on “Unveiling Lake Pichola: Udaipur’s Jewel of History, Beauty, and Romance

  1. Debjani Biswas
    Debjani Biswas says:

    Great write-up!

    1. Crazy Hodophile
      Crazy Hodophile says:

      Thanks for the appreciation!

  2. Ridhishree S
    Ridhishree S says:

    I am planning to go to Udaipur in monsoon, so I will definitely go to Lake Pichola too

    1. Crazy Hodophile
      Crazy Hodophile says:

      Sure, Ridhishree. I hope you like this place.

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