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Lake Pichola Udaipur, Rajasthan
Nestled in the heart of Rajasthan, the enchanting Lake Pichola in Udaipur is a gem that beckons travelers with its rich history and breathtaking beauty. Spanning over 4 kilometers in length and 3 kilometers in width, Lake Pichola is not just a water body, it is a reservoir of tales from the bygone eras.
Lake Pichola, an artificial lake created in 1362 AD, was commissioned by Maharana Udai Singh II, the founder of Udaipur. The lake was constructed to meet the water needs of the city and also to provide a picturesque setting for the city of Udaipur. Over the centuries, it has become an integral part of the cultural and historical tapestry of Udaipur.
Places to Visit Near Lake Pichola Udaipur
The lake itself is a visual feast, surrounded by hills, temples, palaces, and bathing ghats. A boat ride on the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola offers panoramic views of the City Palace, Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, and the surrounding Aravalli Hills. The ethereal beauty of the lake, especially during sunset, is a sight to behold.
The lake’s architecture is more about natural beauty and serenity than man-made structures. However, the surrounding palaces and temples add to the visual grandeur. Over the centuries, the lake has been a lifeline for the city and a source of inspiration for poets, painters, and lovers of aesthetics.
Distance from City: It is centrally located in Udaipur, making it easily accessible from various parts of the city.
Entry Fees: There is no entry fee for the lake itself.
Boat ride Charges:
For a regular boat ride during the day or afternoon, the charges are:
For a sunset boat ride, the charges are:
Visiting Time: Open full day.
City Palace Udaipur
Situated on the eastern banks of Lake Pichola, the City Palace is a marvel of Rajasthani architecture. The palace complex is a blend of Rajput and Mughal styles, featuring intricately carved balconies, courtyards, and a series of interconnected palaces. The City Palace offers a mesmerizing view of Lake Pichola and the surrounding landscapes.
Built over 400 years, the City Palace showcases a seamless blend of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. The intricate carvings, marble work, and the panoramic view from the palace balconies make it an architectural marvel and a testament to the grandeur of the Rajput rulers.
Distance from City: Situated on the eastern banks of Lake Pichola, the City Palace is approximately 2 kilometers from the city center.
Visiting Time: The palace is open to visitors from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Entry Fees: The entry fee for adults is INR 300, and for children (5-18 years), it is INR 100.
Floating like a mirage on the waters of Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir is an island palace that transports visitors to a realm of regality. Built in the 17th century, it served as a refuge for the Mughal prince Khurram, who later became Emperor Shah Jahan. The palace’s exquisite architecture and the serene setting make it a must-visit attraction.
Jag Mandir’s architecture is a fine example of the Mughal school of design. The palace features domes, fountains, and marble pavilions, reflecting the opulence of the Mughal era. It served as a source of inspiration for the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Distance from City: Access to Jag Mandir is through boat rides, which can be availed from the City Palace jetty. The boat ride usually includes a visit to Jag Mandir.
Boat ride Charges:
Before 3:00 PM: ₹450 per person
After 3:00 PM: ₹700 per person
The boat ride from the City Palace jetty to Jag Mandir takes approximately 20 minutes. There is also an option to take a private boat ride, which will cost more.
Also known as the Sajjan Niwas Garden, Gulab Bagh is a verdant oasis near Lake Pichola. Sprawling over 100 acres, it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Udaipur. The garden houses a zoo, museums, and a library, providing a perfect blend of nature and history.
Designed by Maharana Sajjan Singh, Gulab Bagh is a fusion of Mughal and Victorian landscaping. The garden houses the Saraswati Bhawan Library, which is a treasure trove of ancient manuscripts and historical artifacts.
Distance from City: Gulab Bagh is located near Lake Pichola, around 3 kilometers from the city center.
Visiting Hours: The garden is open from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM.
Entry Fees: Entry is free, however, there is a bird park situated inside, for which the entry fee is INR 20 for adults and INR 5 for children.
A testament to Indo-Aryan architecture, the Jagdish Temple, devoted to Lord Vishnu, mesmerizes with its intricate carvings and sculptures that bring Hindu mythology to life. Nestled near Lake Pichola, it serves as a spiritual sanctuary, adding to the region’s cultural charm.
The architecture of Jagdish Temple is characterized by intricately carved pillars, decorated ceilings, and detailed sculptures. The temple is a prime example of Indo-Aryan architecture and stands as a symbol of religious tolerance and harmony.
Distance from City: The temple is centrally located in Udaipur and is easily accessible.
Visiting Hours: It is open from sunrise to sunset.
Entry Fees: No entry fee. However, donations are appreciated for the maintenance of the temple.
Karni Mata Temple
Perched on the Machla Magra Hills, the Karni Mata Temple offers a panoramic view of Lake Pichola and the city of Udaipur. Dedicated to Karni Mata, the temple is a sacred site where devotees seek blessings. The ropeway ride to the temple is an adventure in itself, providing a bird’s eye view of the lake and the city.
While the temple itself is a simple structure, the ropeway leading to it offers a unique vantage point to appreciate the architectural grandeur of Udaipur. The temple holds immense religious importance and is a place of pilgrimage for devotees.
Distance from City: The temple is situated on Machla Magra Hills.
Visiting Hours: The ropeway operates from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Ropeway Charges: The ropeway charges are INR 103 for adults and INR 51 for children (3-12 years).
Exploring Beyond the Shores
Visit Saheliyon Ki Bari
Known as the Garden of the Maidens, Saheliyon Ki Bari is a historic garden adorned with fountains, kiosks, marble elephants, and a delightful lotus pool. Take a leisurely stroll through this garden, which was built for the royal ladies, and marvel at the intricate architecture and well-maintained greenery.
Attend a Sound and Light Show at City Palace
Enhance your understanding of Udaipur’s history by attending the sound and light show at the City Palace. This captivating presentation takes place against the backdrop of the illuminated palace, narrating the tales of valor and romance that define the city’s past.
Explore the Local Markets
Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by exploring the markets around Lake Pichola. The bustling bazaars offer a variety of handicrafts, textiles, and traditional Rajasthani jewelry. Bargaining is a common practice, so don’t hesitate to try your skills and bring home unique souvenirs.
Sunset Views from Ambrai Ghat
For a serene evening by the lake, head to Ambrai Ghat. This picturesque location offers stunning views of the City Palace and Jag Mandir against the backdrop of the setting sun. Enjoy a peaceful moment by the water or indulge in a riverside dinner at one of the nearby restaurants.
Udaipur’s Festivals and Events
Udaipur hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, adding an extra layer of charm to the experience. The Mewar Festival celebrated in March or April, showcases traditional music, dance, and a grand procession. The City Palace and Lake Pichola became vibrant with colors and cultural performances during this time.
Additionally, the Shilpgram Crafts Fair, held in December, is a treat for art enthusiasts. This rural arts and crafts fair brings together artisans from across India, offering visitors the opportunity to purchase handcrafted items directly from the creators.
Things to Do in Lake Pichola Udaipur
Boat Ride at Lake Pichola
Embark on a boat ride to witness the ethereal beauty of Lake Pichola. Sunset boat rides are particularly enchanting, offering breathtaking views of the illuminated City Palace and the surrounding hills.
Explore City Palace
Delve into the rich history and opulence of the City Palace. Visit the various museums within the palace complex, including the City Palace Museum and the Crystal Gallery, to get a glimpse of the royal artifacts.
Visit Jag Mandir
Take a boat ride to Jag Mandir and explore the island palace. The architectural splendor and the serene surroundings make it an ideal spot for photography and introspection.
Stroll Through Gulab Bagh
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Gulab Bagh, surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant flowers. The zoo within the garden is an added attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.
Seek Blessings at Jagdish Temple
Participate in the spiritual ambiance of Jagdish Temple. Attend the prayer ceremonies and marvel at the detailed carvings that adorn the temple.
Ropeway Ride to Karni Mata Temple
Experience an exhilarating ropeway ride to Karni Mata Temple. The panoramic views of Lake Pichola and Udaipur from the hilltop are truly mesmerizing.
A Culinary Adventure
The culinary scene around Lake Pichola is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, reflecting the region’s rich culinary heritage. Indulge in a symphony of tastes, from traditional Rajasthani delicacies to international cuisines, all prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Street Food Delights
Kachori: Savor the crispy, flaky Kachori, a savory pastry filled with lentils and spices.
Pani Puri: Delight in the explosion of flavors with Pani Puri, tiny hollow spheres filled with a tangy, spiced potato mixture.
Mirchi Ka Vada: Experience the fiery delight of Mirchi Ka Vada, deep-fried chilies stuffed with a savory potato filling.
Traditional Rajasthani Cuisine
Dal Bati Churma: Indulge in Dal Bati Churma, a hearty meal consisting of lentils, thick wheat bread, and sweetened crumbled bread.
Laal Maas: Tantalize your taste buds with Laal Maas, a fiery red meat curry, a signature dish of Mewar cuisine.
Ghevar: Conclude your culinary journey with Ghevar, a sweet honeycomb-shaped pastry soaked in sugar syrup.
Fine Dining Experiences
Fateh Prakash Restaurant: Experience the elegance of Fateh Prakash Restaurant, located within the City Palace, offering panoramic views of Lake Pichola and delectable Rajasthani cuisine.
Udaipur Club: Immerse yourself in the colonial charm of Udaipur Club, a heritage establishment serving traditional Indian and international fare.
Harihar Niwas Restaurant: Indulge in the authentic flavors of Mewar cuisine at Harihar Niwas Restaurant, set within a beautiful heritage haveli.
A Haven for Accommodation
Lake Pichola boasts an array of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s budget and preference. From luxurious heritage hotels to cozy guesthouses, find your perfect retreat amidst the city’s enchanting charm.
Lake Palace: Step into a realm of royalty at Lake Palace, a world-renowned heritage hotel offering unparalleled luxury and elegance.
Shiv Niwas Palace: Discover the grandeur of Shiv Niwas Palace, a heritage hotel exuding charm and sophistication.
Udaivilas: Experience the epitome of luxury at Udaivilas, a serene lakeside retreat offering unparalleled hospitality and personalized service.
Chitra Niwas: Immerse yourself in the Rajputana heritage at Chitra Niwas, a boutique hotel with a blend of traditional architecture and modern amenities.
Fateh Garh: Discover the tranquility of Fateh Garh, a heritage hotel nestled amidst lush gardens, offering breathtaking lake views and impeccable service.
Hotel Lake Pichola: A heritage gem in Udaipur, India, offering traditional Rajasthani charm with modern comforts. Enjoy panoramic lake views, rejuvenate at the spa, and savor culinary delights. Experience an authentic Udaipur sojourn.
The Villagio: Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of The Villagio, a charming guesthouse offering comfortable accommodations and a home-away-from-home atmosphere.
Lakendral Palace Guest House: Experience the heritage charm of Lakendral Palace Guest House, a budget hotel to stay.
Practical Tips for Visitors
– Best Time to Visit: The months between October and March are considered the best time to visit Lake Pichola and Udaipur, as the weather is pleasant, and the festivities add to the cultural experience.
– Boat Ride Essentials: If you plan to take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, consider going during the sunset for a magical experience. It’s advisable to carry a hat, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.
– Footwear: Choose footwear that provides comfort and support, as your exploration of the City Palace and temples may involve traversing uneven surfaces.
– Cultural Sensitivity: When visiting temples, dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. It’s essential to respect the local customs and traditions.
– Local Cuisine: Rajasthani cuisine is a culinary gem that you won’t want to miss. Dal Bati Churma, Gatte ki Sabzi, and Ker Sangri are just a few of the must-try dishes. So, embark on a culinary adventure and savor the flavors of Rajasthan.
How to Reach Lake Pichola Udaipur
Udaipur is well-connected to major cities in India by air, train, and road, making it an easily accessible destination.
By Air: Maharana Pratap Airport (UDR) serves Udaipur, with direct flights from major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad.
By Train: Udaipur Railway Station is well-connected to major cities in India, offering a comfortable and economical mode of transportation.
By Road: Udaipur is well-connected by road to major cities in Rajasthan and neighboring states, making it an ideal destination for road trips.
Connectivity and Distance with Major Cities:
Delhi to Udaipur Distance: 620 km (385 miles)
Mumbai to Udaipur Distance: 723 km (449 miles)
Jaipur to Udaipur Distance: 405 km (252 miles)
Ahmedabad to Udaipur Distance: 589 km (366 miles)
Taxi Services in Udaipur
Several taxi services operate in Udaipur, offering a convenient and reliable mode of transportation around the city. There are also numerous tour operators who offer guided tours and packages for exploring Udaipur and its surroundings. These tours provide insights into the city’s history, culture, and attractions, making them an excellent option for first-time visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Lake Pichola famous?
Lake Pichola is famous for its beauty, history, and culture. It has palaces, boat rides, and amazing views.
How much are the boating charges at Lake Pichola Udaipur?
Boating charges at Lake Pichola Udaipur during the Daytime for Adult, it are ₹400 and ₹200 for children. On Sunset, the price hikes up to ₹700 for Adults and ₹400 for children.
Tickets can be purchased at Rameshwar Ghat or online. Boating is popular, so book in advance.
Is Lake Pichola inside City Palace?
No, Lake Pichola is not inside the City Palace. It is a separate location, about 0.2 km away from the City Palace.
What is the best time to visit Lake Pichola Udaipur?
The best time to visit Lake Pichola Udaipur is during the cooler months, from October to March when the weather is pleasant and sunny.
What are the timings for boat rides on Lake Pichola?
Boat rides on Lake Pichola are available from sunrise to sunset.
What are the charges for boat rides on Lake Pichola?
The charges for boat rides on Lake Pichola vary depending on the type of boat and the duration of the ride.
Are there any restrictions on photography on Lake Pichola?
Photography is generally allowed on Lake Pichola, but it is important to respect the privacy of others and avoid disturbing their activities.
What are some of the other attractions near Lake Pichola?
Some of the other attractions near Lake Pichola include the City Palace, Jag Mandir, Jag Niwas, Mohan Mandir, and Arsi Vilas.
In conclusion, Lake Pichola Udaipur is a destination that seamlessly blends history, architecture, and natural beauty. The places to visit and activities to indulge in cater to a diverse range of interests, making it a perfect getaway for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and spiritual seekers. Plan your visit to this oasis in the heart of Rajasthan, and let the allure of Lake Pichola leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.