Ever browsed through an Udaipur hotel packages brochure? A little attention-to-detail show you that a lot of the activities often involve Lake Pichola. This is because this lake is the city’s most famous attraction and its history is intertwined with the formation of the city. Here’s a mini-guide to Lake Pichola, the serene waters on which some famous Udaipur hotels stand.
A lake like no other
Lake Pichola is situated in Udaipur, the lake city of Rajasthan. The lake is a human-made freshwater body named after the Picholi village adjacent to it. The lakes were developed over the last few centuries in and around the city of Udaipur. The lakes around Udaipur were mostly constructed by building dams for drinking water and irrigation needs of the city and the localities. The islands have been extended with several palaces for providing views of the lake.
History of Lake Pichola
The lake was founded in 1362 AD by Banjara, a type of gipsy tribesmen who used to transport grain during the reign of Maharana Lakha. Soon, Maharana Udai Singh, in awe of the magnificence of the lake, built the city of Udaipur on the banks of the Lake and a stone masonry dam in the Badipol area along the coast of the lake. The areas near the lake, along with some islands inside the lake have been developed over the centuries, have bathing Ghats or Chabutaras (raised platforms within a courtyard), palaces, family mansions, and shrines of marble.
The islands of Lake Pichola
The Lake has four islands that are the principal attractions in the area. The islands are:-
- Jag Niwas Island – Located at the centre of Lake Pichola and home to the famous Udaipur palace hotel, called as ‘Taj Palace’ or ‘Lake Palace’.
- Jag Mandir Island – This island is also situated at the middle of Lake Pichola and looks like a floating marble residence on the waters.
- Mohan Mandir Island – The island has a temple which had been built in the 17th century by Jagat Singh. The monument looks as beautiful as any temple, however, there is no deity inside it.
- Arsi Vilas Island – This island is the last one located on the west coast of Lake Pichola at the back of Jag Niwas. The island houses a palace and a retreat place for birds.
Havelis & Bridges across Lake Pichola
There are several havelis along the banks of Lake Pichola. Some havelis have been converted into some of the now-known heritage hotels of Udaipur. Among the havelis that haven’t been converted, the Bagore ki Haveli houses a museum and conducts a cultural show every evening. Lake Pichola is well-connected to other small lakes in Udaipur via bridges, and the most well-known among them is the Swaroop Sagar Bridge.
The Leela Palace Udaipur, the magnificent Palace Hotel in Udaipur, is also situated on Lake Pichola. Make your hotel bookings today to experience this magnificent beauty yourself.