- Would you like to know?
- Which is the second largest lake in Udaipur?
- Which Lake is most haunted by Udaipurites?
- Who built the new big dam?
- What was its first name?
- Which is the biggest island in this lake?
- What is located in the north of this lake?
- Which memorial is located near the lake?
- What are some other attractions near the lake?
The second biggest lake in Udaipur after Picchola, Fatehsagar is the favourite haunt of the old and the young, men and women. While boating in or otherwise strolling around the lake in the evening or in moonlight one can feast one’s eyes and imagination with this bewitching gift of nature. As the sun sets behind the hills in the west, a deep crimson light bathes the hillside and the glen in rich glory and the still water becomes a mirror of burnished gold. At night, from the serpentine road along the lake, popularly known as Marine Drive of Udaipur, can be watched the reflection of lights in the serene water.
Earlier, where Fatehsagar exists now, there was a small lake created during the reign of Maharana Jaisingh. It was known as Dewali Ka Talab, after village Dewali where it was located. The dam was badly damaged by floods during the reign of Maharana Bheemsingh. In 1888, Maharana Fatehsingh built a new high dam that was about 800 meters long and the lake covered an area of about 3 three square kms. with an average depth of about 9 meters. The foundation stone of the embankment was laid by Duke of Connought, the third son of Queen Victoria. So, it was called Cannought Bandh for several years. But later on, as desired by the prince, it was named Fatehsagar. Stone ‘bansis’ were built around the lake at a cost of about six lacs.
As the lake was close to Picchola, a canal was built to connect the two waterbodies. When Picchola is full the water flows down to Fatehsagar through the wooden gate called Kala Kiwad. The excess water of Fatehsagar feeds Udaisagar through river Ayad.
On one of the three islands in the lake is Nehru Garden named after former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Maharana Fatehsingh intended to build an island palace and a lot of construction work was done in his time but when he died the work was stopped. Later on, the state govt. converted the island into a beautiful park. The park is rectangular in shape with semi-circular ends. It is crowned by ‘chhatries’ on each corner and by a ‘baradari’ on the northern fringe. On the southern end is an inviting suite. All these faces the vast sheet of the lustrous water of the lake. The park is dotted with lush green lawns and studded with rows of flowers of multitude enchanting hues. It is enlivened by the play of colourful fountains. Lit in the night they enliven the ripples in the lake. All this creates the scene of an enchanting palace afloat on water. A 375- feet RCC bridge links the 80-seat boat shaped cafe with the park and provides a delightful walk.
On another island in the lake is located the famous solar observatory designed on the model of the one in Big Bear lake in California. It is one of the rare ones located in a lake that takes photographs of the sun and passes them on to other observatories where the sun is out at a time other than that in Lake City. Sharp images of the sun can be taken easily from here as air turbulace here is lesser as compared to other places when it gets hot, especially in summer. The lesser quantity of dust particles in the air and slower velocity of wind here are some other plus points Rajasthan gets the maximum exposure to sunlight and this is yet another advantage. Another island in the lake has been converted into a beautiful garden with several brilliant water jet fountains.
On the hill on the north was built the temple of Neemajmata, the ‘Kuldevi’ of Kayasthas. Once on Hariyali Amawas when the lake was full, Maharana Fatehsingh thought of holding a fair on the ‘Paal’. An announcement was made asking the public to take part in it. There were stalls from the ‘Paal’ to
Neemajmata side. The Maharana accompanied by Maharani Chadi visited the fair. They had ‘darshan’ of the Mata. The Maharani was extremely happy. She wanted that it should be a two-day fair and on the second day only ladies should be allowed to take part in it so that they could enjoy themselves fully and freely. Her wish was granted and now the fair on the second day is exclusively for ladies.
Perched at a height of over 2100 feet from the sea level atop a hillock on the bank of Fatehsagar, Moti Magri, Hillock of Pearls, has a ruined fort and palaces reminiscent of the exquisite achitecture of Mewar. The fort walls have been ravaged by time and weather and now only the roofless palaces in ruins dominate the site to tell the visitors the thrilling history of this land.
On the hillock Maharana Bhagwatsingh built Maharana Pratap Memorial. The central figure here is the gigantic bronze statue of Maharana Pratap
mounted on his loyal steed Chetak that is symbolic as it tells the story of courage, faithfulness, and deep love between men and animals. There are also statues of other heroes like Hakim Khan Suri, Bhamashah, Bhiluraja and Jhalaman. The memorial is set in landscaped Japanese style Rock Garden.
The entry in this 70-acre memorial is through a fort-like gate facing the vast sheet of Fatehsagar lake. Climbing up the ascent of about 150 ft. through a well asphalted serpentine road is really exhilarating. On arrival at the top of the hillock, one is greeted by cool refreshing breeze and betwitching beauty of the enchanting environs of Lake City, its towering palaces, verdant valley and shimmering lakes, all girded and guarded by a ring of lofty hills. The light and sound show is an added attraction.
Along the bank below Moti Magri, is a beautiful gallery that has exquisite paintings of heroes of Mewar and historic events like the battle of Haldighati.
There are ‘chhatris’ on the ‘paal’ and in the middle is a beautiful small marble structure Moti Mahal built by Maharana Karnasingh that was located earlier in the Kunwarpada Mahal. Later on, it was shifted to the bank of the lake.
The recently built beautiful fish acquarium is also a big attraction for visitors.
The artificial waterfall near the overflow is also quite fascinating.
The clean environment, the unmatched scenic beauty and closeness to the city attract a big number of Udaipurites who come here for a walk especially in the morning and evening. They have formed friendly F.S. groups.
During monsoon, Udaipurites eagerly wait for the time when Fatehsagar would overflow. The Municipal Corporation makes special arrangement with multicoloured lighting at the overflow point that becomes a wonderful scene watched by big excited crowds.
Carved out of a rugged rock the Municipal Rock Garden located at a prominent point along the drive on the bank of the lake provides a vantage point from where can be savoured the beauty of the vast sheet of shimmering water and the hills around. The scene of the glowing crimson rays of the setting sun playing with the waterbody is simply mesmerising.
No wonder the ‘paal’ has become a popular venue of the annual flower show and that of several other events all through the year.