Nestled at the very bottom of Rajasthan, Udaipur is best known for its temples and palaces that attract thousands of visitors all year round. The city is also a popular wedding destination and a retirement paradise with luxury hotels and beautiful vistas serving as quiet retreats for young couples and old-timers alike. But is that all there is to Udaipur? No! Those seeking an immersive experience of Udaipur and India’s Mughal history must go beyond the palaces and temples. Whatever may be your reason to visit Udaipur, you shouldn’t leave the city without visiting its historic lakes.  The enigma around the city rests firmly on the innumerable lakes that offer visitors panoramic views of shimmering waters against a glorious setting sun. The experience of sitting a few feet away from a lake in Udaipur, sipping on chai, and enjoying the cool winter breeze cannot be traded for anything else. 

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So, come experience this and more in the Venice of the East, the City of Lakes. Here is a list of must-visit lakes in Udaipur.

Top 8 Lakes in Udaipur

1. Fateh Sagar Lake

 Fateh Sagar Lake

Fateh Sagar Lake

Of the many lakes that Udaipur boasts of, the Fateh Sagar Lake ranks high on the list of must-sees. Summer or winter, this beautiful waterbody does not disappoint you. The 2.5-kilometer-long lake was built in the late 17th century by Maharana Jai Singh, and was later remodeled by Maharana Fateh Singh. The lake offers visitors three islands – one with a lush green park called Nehru Park and a small zoo for children to enjoy, another with a public park with water-jet fountains for the general public to enjoy, and the third with a solar observatory called Udaipur Solar Observatory.

This pear-shaped lake with its tranquil waters and gorgeous views of the Aravalli Hills attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year.  The best time to visit Fateh Sagar Lake is between October and March, so you can plan a trip accordingly. And while you are in the city, don’t forget to visit some of the must-visit places in Udaipur.

Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; every day

Entry Fee: No entry fee

Boat Ride Timings: 8:00 am to 4.30 pm; every day

Boat Ride Charges:

₹ 30 per person for regular boat rides

₹ 100 to ₹ 200 per person for motorboat rides

₹ 200 to ₹ 400 per person for speedboat rides

2. Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola

Picturesque, serene, and breathtakingly beautiful, Lake Pichola is an artificial freshwater lake built in the 14th century (in 1362 AD, to be precise). Often featured in Hollywood and Bollywood movie thanks to its picture-perfect grandeur, this lake gets an astounding number of tourists every year. Did you know that the James Bond film Octopussy was shot here on the Taj Lake Palace, a star attraction of this lake? This luxury hotel (which was once a grand palace) is located on Jag Niwas, one of the islands on the lake, and offers the well-heeled services fit for a king and queen.

But don’t be disheartened! This luxury hotel isn’t the only place with great views of the lake. The lake has three more islands on it, namely Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir, and Arsi Vilas. Jag Mandir houses a palace by the same name, and history has it that the Prince of Khurram, who later became Shah Jahan, spent a few years living here, while rebelling against his father, Jehangir. The time he spent here with daily views of the Lake Palace inspired him to build the Taj Mahal many years later. Mohan Mandir is an uncompleted structure that looks like a temple and Arsi Vilas has a palace located on it. All these islands provide beautiful views of the lake. That’s not all! Enveloped by ghats, havelis (mansions), temples, and restaurants on all sides, visitors can choose from a range of experiences and budgets. The beauty of Lake Pichola can be enjoyed from shore too.

By the way, a boat ride on Lake Pichola is a must while you are here. Sunset is a great time to skip across the waters and capture some Instagram-worthy pictures and create everlasting memories with your family and friends.

Timings: 9: 00 am to 6: 00 pm; every day

Entry fee: No entry fee

Boat Ride Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; every day

Boat Ride Charges:

₹ 400 per person for adults

₹ 200 per person for children

Sunset Boat Ride Charges:

₹ 700 per person for adults

₹ 400 per person for children

3. Udaisagar Lake

Udaisagar Lake

Udaisagar Lake

Udaisagar Lake, another prominent name in the list of famous lakes in Udaipur, was constructed in the 16th century during the reign of Maharana Uday Singh. It is believed that the Maharana commissioned the creation of this 4-kilometer-long dam to meet the water demands of his territory. Maharana Uday Singh’s reign over Udaipur was a contentious one, with many battles and wars fought on the banks of this infamous lake. However, even after centuries, Udaisagar Lake continues to be a magnet for tourists and historians alike.

The lake is situated about 13 kilometers from the main city square and can be reached from hotels in Udaipur using local transportation or private vehicles. The best time to visit Uday Sagar Lake is between the months of September and March when temperatures drop to about 11 degrees Celsius. Currently, there are no known boat ride services offered on this lake.

Timings: N/A

Entry Fee: No entry fee

4. Jaisamand Lake (Dhebar Lake)

Jaisamand Lake (Dhebar Lake)

Jaisamand Lake (Dhebar Lake)

This is the second largest artificial lake in India and situated about 50 kilometres from the city of Udaipur. The 14-kilometer-long lake came into existence in the 17th century during the reign of Maharana Jai Singh on the banks of Gomati River. The Maharana is believed to have built an enormous dam out of marble with six cenotaphs as a means of irrigation during Rajasthan’s months of intense drought. The dam on this lake is so massive that it has a Shiva temple built atop it. 

Palaces and cenotaphs carved out in marble, and elaborate pavilions dot the perimeter of the lake. It has seven islands, one of which has a tribe that continues to thrive there even today. Jaisamand Lake also hosts a tranquil sanctuary – Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary – where you can spot migratory birds, and animals. It is believed that back in the day, the sanctuary served as the hunting ground for the royal family. Today, it draws scientists, bird enthusiasts and tourists all throughout the year.

Timings: 24×7; every day

Entry Fees: No entry fee

Boat Ride Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; every day

Boat Ride Charges: Between ₹ 30 to ₹ 80 per person

5. Rajsamand Lake

Rajsamand Lake

Rajsamand Lake

Rajsamand Lake, alternatively called Rajsamudra Lake, was built in 1660 by Maharana Raj Singh. Tourists planning on checking out the lake can take in the length and breadth of this historic construction with quiet walks while enjoying panoramic sunsets all year round. At the southern tip of the lake, there are ghats made out of marble that lead into the lake. Visitors get to witness and appreciate the etchings carved on the 12 marble pavilions that dot the embankment, describing the account of Mewar city. A big slice of history has thus been preserved right here at the Rajsamand lake.

The best time to visit the lake is during sunrise as it promises a magical view of sun-kissed waters, against a colorful sky. Tourists flock to Rajsamand to catch this scene that lasts anywhere between 2 – 3 hours in the summer months in India. And that’s another reason for shutterbugs to visit the lake.

There are many other places in the city where you can enjoy the beauty of the setting sun. You might want to check our blog on the best places for chasing sunsets in Udaipur

Timings: 24×7; every day

Entry Fee: No entry fee

6. Badi Lake (Jiyan Sagar)

Badi Lake (Jiyan Sagar)

Badi Lake (Jiyan Sagar)

Jiyan Sagar or Badi ka Talab is another artificial freshwater lake built by Maharana Raj Singh to counter a devastating famine in the village of Badi back in the 17th century. The king named it Jiyan Sagar after his mother, Jana Devi. In 1973, during a severe drought in Udaipur, residents relied on the freshwater from Lake Badi to get by but today, it is a mesmerizing point of attraction in Udaipur city.

Visitors can be seen enjoying the stone-laden walkway around this small lake while taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Situated merely 12 kilometres from the city, Lake Badi has a short perimeter, making it perfect for a quick break between sightseeing stops in Udaipur.

Want to explore some lesser known attractions in the City of Lakes? Read our blog on the off-beat places to visit in Udaipur for some fascinating ideas.

Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; every day

Entry Fee: No entry fee

7. Doodh Talai (Milk Pond)

 Doodh Talai (Milk Pond)

Doodh Talai (Milk Pond)

Udaipur is also home to smaller lakes that lie adjacent to the bigger showstoppers. Dudh Talai, for example, lies at the southeastern end of Lake Pichola. Known as the Pond of Milk, it once served as a grazing area for the cows that supplied milk to the royal family. It is almost like an island with its own lake within, complete with a walkway encircling the reservoir. Getting up to Doodh Talai is a rewarding experience as it offers stunning views of Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir, and Lake Palace. Two adjacent gardens, Manikya Lal Verma Garden and a spellbinding musical garden (Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park) can be added to your itinerary as well.  If you are not in the mood for these, then do for a camel or horse ride, perhaps?

Timings: 24×7; every day

Entry Fee: No entry fee

8. Swaroop Sagar Lake (Khumaria Talab)

Swaroop Sagar Lake (Khumaria Talab)

Swaroop Sagar Lake (Khumaria Talab)

Swaroop Sagar Lake, located between Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake, is an engineering marvel built by Maharana Swaroop Singh of the Mewar dynasty in the early 19th century, in typical Mughal fashion. Fast forward to the 21st century, and it continues to resolve the city’s water congestion problems.

Devotees arriving at the nearby Jagdish Temple can take a break with a picnic on the banks of this lake. A fully functional dam on the Swaroop Sagar Lake serves as an effective embankment during the monsoon months. The lake enjoys great proximity to the city so visitors to Udaipur can come here to unwind on a busy day and maybe even enjoy a boat ride.

Timings: 8:00 am to 6:30 pm; every day

Entry Fee: No entry fee

Once you have visited all these lakes and other sightseeing places in Udaipur, your next destination should be Jaipur, located about 400 km from Udaipur. There are many must-visit places in Jaipur where you can experience the city’s undying charm. Are you a history buff looking for places rich in history and heritage? You could also visit some of the forts in Jaipur that mark the city’s map.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Udaipur today and experience its history, charm, culture, cuisines, and much more.