Located in the heart of the city, Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes in India with its scenic surroundings and the perfect backdrop of the lush green hills.One of the oldest and largest lake in Udaipur, was built in 1362 by Pichhu Banjara during the ruling period of Maharana Lakha. The lake gets its name from the nearby Picholi village which is extended up to 3 mile in length, 2 miles in width and 30 feet in depth. Maharana Udai Singh was so enchanted by the charm of this pristine lake that he enlarged this lake and also constructed a dam over it. The pristine blue waters of the lake leaves a soothing effect on all the spectators hence a boat ride through this lake completes the Udaipur trip.
The lake is surrounded from all the sides by lofty palaces, temples, bathing ghats and elevated green hills from all its sides. In the southern part of the lake a hill called the Machhala Magra can be seen which gives us a glimpse of Ekklingarh fort. The world renowned Lake Palace is built on the Jag island situated on this tranquil lake. Jaggat Singh built the Mohan Mandir in the northeastern corner of the lake. The lake also has the Arsi Vilas Island which is a sanctuary for birds, Sitamata Game Sanctuary on the western shore of the lake and the City Palace. The lake side is lined with the havelis of the nobles, most prominent being the Bagore ki Haveli. The Gangaur Ghat with the triple arched Tripolia stands as a magnificent piece of architecture.
The Lake Palace, is one of the most romantic hotel in the world, built in 1746 as the pleasure palace for Maharana Jagat Singh II. It is one of the most recognizable residences in the world , since it has been featured in many filma and serials most notably in James Bond's Octopussy and The Jewel in the Crown. It is called a floating vision in marble. The Mohan Mandir on one of the island was built by Rana Jagat Singh II as a dedication to Lord Krishna which is delightful perching place for the water birds. Arsi Vilas is another Island structure that has three rooms and an open courtyard at the rear which was buiilt by Rana Ari Singh II in late 18th century.
Rudyard Kipling a great author mentioned about this lake in his Letters of Marque, "If the Venetian owned the Pichola Lake, he might say with justice, 'see it and die' ". Such is the beauty of this majestic lake, it inspires poets and writers. One can undeniably claim that once you see this lake you will fall in love with its grandeur and beauty.