The heavenly Lake Pichola is an artificial lake located in the heart of Udaipur, Rajasthan. The oldest and one of the largest lakes of the city, the Lake Pichola observes lakhs of tourists because of its tranquillity and beauty. Flanked by lofty hills, heritage buildings and bathing ghats, it is a dream come true for peace and nature lovers. A visit to the Lake Pichola is incomplete without a boat ride, especially in the dawn. During evenings, it seems the entire place has been dipped in golden as you can see the heritage buildings and the pristine water turning golden with the sun's reflection. The enthralling views will take you to a different world of stillness and will also bring out your romantic side.
Built by Pichhu Banjara during the ruling period of Maharana Lakha in 1362 AD, the Pichola lake is 3 miles in length, 2 miles in width and has a depth of 30 feet. Maharana Udai Singh, enchanted by the charm of the lake enlarged it and also constructed a dam on the shores of this lake. The lush green hills in the backdrop with many royal palaces along its banks is a cherry on the cake. The beautiful City Palace of Udaipur broadens along the eastern banks while the Mohan Mandir is situated in the north-east corner. The renowned Lake Palace is perfectly perched in the middle, and there is the Jag Mandir on the Jag Island.
If you feel the need of taking a hiatus from your monotonous routine, Lake Pichola will always come to your rescue. Peaceful and exciting, it is completely a bliss and a perfect weekend getaway for families as well as lone travellers.
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.
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.
Summers are too scorching in Udaipur as the mercury rises to 40 degrees Celcius. Therefore, it is better to avoid visiting the city between March to June. During monsoons which starts from July and lasts till September, you can get the mesmerizing view of the Pichola Lake. The temperature remains between 25 to 35 degrees Celcius. Winters are also an ideal time to visit the lake as the weather is delightful and calm. The best time of the day to visit the lake is during the evening as the view of the sunset is breathtaking.
Lake Pichola is located in the Udaipur City, Rajasthan. You can easily reach the lake by taking a tonga, autorickshaws or taxis. Local buses can also be hired conveniently.
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