Lake Pichola Udaipur was created in 1362 AD by Pichhu Banjara a tribesman. Later Maharaja Udai singh Ji decided to found the city of Udaipur by the banks of the beautiful lake Pichola. The emperor must have gauged the beauty of the lake and in appreciation, gave the world the city of Udaipur. The literal meaning of Pichola is ‘the backyard’ said to be named after a nearby village called ‘Picholi’.
History says that the maharana’s family has been cursed by a tightrope walker; Natini. Maharana jawan singh ji in an inebriated state assured Natini that she would be given half the state of Mewar, if she crosses lake pichola walking on a tight rope, later on the day of the event the rope was cut deliberately before she could reach the finishing point. The talented Natini, drowned in the lake and before her last breath she cursed the Maharana’s family to be deprived of any direct descendants. The curse came true and the rana’s were further all adopted ones. To commemorate Natini- the lake has a raised platform called Natini chabutra.
Situated in the middle of the Lake is the Jag Niwas Island on which stands the proud Lake palace. It is a 250-year-old utterly romantic Palace turned Heritage hotel. The lake palace has the best of marble and mosaic architecture. It is now under the flagship of the Taj Group of hotels. Like the Jag niwas another island called the Jag mandir and Mohan mandir are also prevalent.
Jag mandir on Lake Pichola Udaipur has a palace on the same name. Mohan mandir (north-east of the lake) is the island from where the King would watch the annual Gangaur festival. Maharana Udai singh ji further enlarged the lake by building a stone masonry dam called the ‘badipol’. The city palace of Udaipur and the Arsi vilas island are worth a mention here. The city palace is known for the connectivity of boats to all other parts of the lake and the Arsi vilas is a well-known bird sanctuary. It was made to enjoy the sunset view on the lake.