Pichola Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Rajasthan. Located in the heart of Udaipur, Pichola is the oldest and one of the largest lakes in all of Udaipur. In 1362 AD Pichola Lake was built by Banjara, a grain merchant with the intention of allowing his carts of food grain to cross over during the monsoon. Later, Maharana Udai Singh, affected by the charm of this lake and extended the lake when he founded the city of Udaipur and also built a dam made of stone that is in the Badipol region on the shore of the lake. Pichola Lake is enveloped by lofty Palaces, temples, bathing ghats and elevated hills on all its sides.
Lake Palace (formerly known as Jag Niwas) is a luxury hotel, which has 8 rooms and suites featuring white marble walls. The Lake Palace is located on the island of Jag Niwas in Lake Pichola, Udaipur. It was built between 1743 and 1746 under the direction of the Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur.
The City Palace of Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan, and was built on a hilltop that gives a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding. The City Palace of Udaipur broadens along the eastern banks of Lake Pichola. In 1983 James bond film Octopussy was shot here. Sound and Light show organised every evening at at the magnificent Manek Chowk in the City Palace of Udaipur.
Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. The construction of the palace was started in 1551 by Maharana Amar Singh, continued by Maharana Karan Singh and finally completed by Maharana Jagat Singh I (1628–1652). Jag Mandir with sculpture of eight elephants adorning the entrance and facing the Lake Palace. Jag Mandir Palace includes Gul Mahal, which was built first as a refuge for Prince Khurram, the Garden Courtyard and the Darikhana on its northern side and Bara Patharon ka Mahal at the eastern wing of the main palace.
Arsi Vilas is a small island which was an ammunition depot, but also a small palace. This one was built by one of the maharajas of Udaipur to enjoy the sunset on the lake. It is also a sanctuary where a large variety of birds like egrets, cormorants, coots, tufted ducks, terns and kingfishers.
Mohan Mandir is another attraction situated in the northeast corner of Lake Pichola built by Jagat Singh from where the king would watch the annual Gangaur festival celebration.
A trip to Pichola Lake would be incomplete with a boat ride. The blue water gives a very calm and soothing sensation and a boat ride during sunset is an experience of a lifetime.
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