Lake Pichola is an artificial freshwater lake in the historic city of Udaipur which is also known as the city of lakes. Udaipur is one of the most visited cities in Rajasthan, and Lake Pichola is the central nerve of the city. It is the setting for many tourist attractions and romantic sunsets.
The lake is 4 kilometres long and as wide as 3 kilometres with a 55-kilometre catchment area. In and around Lake Pichola are islands, ghats, palaces, temples and palatial mansions.
- Location: Lake Pichola is located in the heart of Udaipur city, close to the iconic Udaipur City Palace and is home to the famous Gangaur Ghat. It is in proximity to the city’s main tourist attractions like Bagore Ki Haveli and Jagdish Temple. It can be easily accessed by bus, auto or taxi.
- Timings: While it can be viewed at any time of day or night, the official timings are 9 am to 6 pm.
10 Reasons To Visit Lake Pichola
1. Sunset boat ride
The best and the most scenic way to enjoy Lake Pichola is to take a sunset boat cruise or a boat ride on its waters. The golden sun setting over the lake, rendering its water in shimmery gleam, the illuminated Taj Lake Palace and other island palaces and buildings on the lake, the sights make for a beautiful scene.
The Gangaur and Lal Ghats on one side while the Jag Mandir and Taj Palace, City Palace all lit up look spectacular from the boat. Take a group boat ride for Rs. 400, or book a private cruise starting at Rs. 1500 up to Rs. 5000.
2. Arsi Vilas and Mohan Mandir
Arsi Vilas is a small palace and an island where the royalty of Udaipur used to watch sunsets and is now a small bird sanctuary where you can spot birds like ducks, egrets and kingfishers. Mohan Mandir is a temple without a deity now mainly used during the Gangaur festival.
3. Jag Mandir
A place where many destination weddings or movie shootings take place, Jag Mandir Palace is a large lake garden palace where you can enjoy a quiet stroll and catch good views of the lake.
There are a lakeside restaurant and bar here to enjoy a fancy evening. Make reservations in advance. There is a small museum open for all. The trip to Jag Mandir provides ample photo ops.
4. Gangaur Ghat
A historical main ghat on the waterfront of Lake Pichola, Gangaur Ghat is one of the main attractions of visiting Lake Pichola. It is the main highlight of the old city area on the banks of Pichola, The ghat is always buzzing with tourists and locals.
It is the main site for the Gangaur Festival and Jal Jhulni Festival. Take memorable pictures on the ghat and sit on ghat steps to enjoy the beautiful sunset views from there.
5. Vintage walking tour
A walking tour around Lake Pichola to its major attractions like City Palace, Bagore Ki Haveli, Gangaur Ghat and other sites is a refreshingly entertaining experience.
A guided tour will help you understand the historical significance of all landmarks near the lake, the old city and will cost you anywhere between Rs 1300 to Rs 4000.
6. Lakeside cafes and restaurants
Whether you’re honeymooning in Udaipur, touring with friends and family or just solo backpacking, a dinner or breakfast at one of Lake Pichola’s charming cafes and restaurants is a must.
Rooftop dining experience while gazing at the changing colors of the lake is an unforgettable experience. Best choices are Upre, Jheel’s Cafe, Ambrai, Raas Leela and Vantage restaurants.
7. Shopping spree
A little for the shopaholic traveller. There are numerous shopping spots and markets around Lake Pichola that you would love.
Some of the must-visit shopping destinations are the Tibetan Market, Chand Pole, Hathi Pole, Bada Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, and Artisan’s Boutique. Shop for juttis, kurtis, jewellery, handicraft items, fabrics, and unique souvenirs.
8. Natini Chabutra
A Chabutra is a raised platform in a courtyard where many activities can be performed. Natini’s Chabutra was built to honour Natini – a tightrope walker and has an interesting legend behind it.
Maharaja Jawan Singh promised her half of Mewar if she tightrope walked across the lake. But while she was about to finish, the rope was cut off and when she drowned, she cursed the lineage of the king, and apparently all six Ranas after he was adopted, there was no direct descendent.
9. Swaroop Sagar Bridge
The ornamental bridge connects Pichola to Saroop Sagar which then connects to Fateh Sagar Lake. Take a stroll on the bridge during the evenings. All lit up in dim yellow lights, the walk will be one to remember.
From a distance, it looks like a bridge over the waters of Venice. Take a solitary walk to capture some great images or to step away from all the tourist buzz in the main city areas.
10. Photographic expedition
During your visit to Udaipur, take extra time to photograph the various colours of Lake Pichola. Whether the light blue waters during the sunrise, the strong blue gold during the day and the majestic orange during evenings or the pitch black night waters reflecting shiny palace lights, the lake is a photographer’s muse.
Capturing palaces, islands, mansions, temples, ghats, restaurants, as well as the tourist and local activities around the lake, will all make for amazing Instagram stories.
One of the most picturesque and romantic lakes set amidst the historic backdrop of heritage buildings, Lake Pichola will be the best highlight of your Udaipur trip and will give you many memorable experiences whether shopping, boating or photography. Have you visited yet? Drop comments and stories below.