Rajasthan is the most arid state of India with average yearly rainfall less that 100 cm . However, Rajasthan has a large number lakes mostly artificial as well as historical, signifying a tradition of conserving natural resources and respecting nature. The lakes in Rajasthan can divided into types Saline and Fresh water lakes.
Types of Lakes in Rajasthan:
- Saline (Salt) Water lakes
- This are considered as remains of Tethys Sea.
- Deedwana, Lunkaransar, Sambhar, Panchpadra etc.
- Fresh (Sweet) Water lakes
- They have either developed naturally or artificially and get replenished by rainwater.
- Pichhola, Jaisamand, Rajsamand, Ana Sagar etc.
A. Saline (Salt) Water lakes in Rajasthan
- Location: Phulera, Jaipur
- Built by: As per mythology, Scambhari Devi,
- Ramsar Wetland
- Largest in-land salt-lake in India
- Touches border of Jaipur, Ajmer and Nagaur.
- Rivers mantha, rupangarh, khari, khandela drain their water into this lake.
- The lake produces 8.7% of Salt produced in India.
- Lake is managed by Sambhar Salts Limited, a joint venture of Hindustan Salts and the Government of Rajasthan.
- Location: Barmer
- Built by: Natural
- Highlights: Its sodium chloride level is marked at 98%.
- Location: Bikaner
- Built by: Natural
- Highlights: It is a playa lake formed due to deflation.
- Location: Nagaur
- Built by: Natural
- Highlights: Salt produced is non-edible grade because of high fluoride.
- Location: Churu
- Built by:
- Highlights: Has Talchhapar Wild Life Sanctuary
Other Salt lakes in Rajasthan:
- Nagaur: Degana, Kuchaman
- Jodhpur: Falaudi
- Sikar: Rewasa
- Jaisalmer: Kavod
B. Fresh Water lakes in Rajasthan
Ana Sagar Lake, Ajmer:
Anasagar Lake is a scenic artificial lake, commissioned and built by Arnoraj Chauhan, son of Ajaypal Chauhan, between 1135 and 1150 AD. Arnoraj was also known as Anaji, which gives the lake its name. Many years later, Mughal Emperor Jahangir added his touch to the lake by laying out the Daulat Bagh Gardens near the lake. Emperor Shah Jahan too, contributed to the expansion by building five pavilions, known as the Baradari, between the garden and the lake.
Lake Foy Sagar, Ajmer:
A beautiful artificial lake that appears flat, Lake Foy Sagar was built by an English engineer, Mr. Foy in 1892 AD. Interestingly, this work was taken up to provide famine relief through wage employment to locals. Lake Foy Sagar offers a beautiful view of the Aravalli range.
Pushkar lake, Pushkar, Ajmer
According to Hindu scriptures, the sacred Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in in the holy Pushkar Lake. Semi-circular in shape and about 8-10 metres deep, Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.
Siliserh Lake, Alwar
The water palace of Siliserh with a lake surrounded by low wooded hills is on route to Sariska. It lies 12 Kms. Southwest of Alwar. The tranquil lake is nestled in the hills; the sparkling ripples of the lake cover an area of about sq. Kms , surrounded by thick forest and magnificent cenotaphs on its embankment. A royal hunting lodge /palace was built by Maharaja Vinay Singh for his Queen Shila in 1845. It has been converted into a tourist bungalow and is an attractive sot for a peaceful holiday.
Anand Sagar lake, Banswara
This artificial lake, also known as Bai Talab was constructed by Lanchi Bai, the Rani of Maharaval Jagmal Singh. Located in the eastern part of Banswara, it is surrounded by holy trees known as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’, famous for fulfilling the wishes of visitors. The ‘chattris’ or cenotaphs of the rulers of the state are also scattered nearby.
Dailab Lake, Banswara
On the banks of this beautiful lake stands the summer residence of the former rulers. A major part of the lake itself is covered with lotus flowers.
Jait Sagar Lake, Bundi
Located close to the Taragarh Fort, this picturesque lake is surrounded by hills and covered with pretty lotus flowers that bloom during winter and monsoon.
Kanak Sagar Lake, Bundi
About 67 kilometres from the town of Bundi lies this wonderful flat lake. There is also a town named after the lake. One can spot several migratory birds here such as bar headed goose and Demoille cranes all through the year.
Nawal Sagar lake, Bundi
Nawal Sagar Lake is an artificial lake that is a major tourist attraction and can even be seen from the Taragarh Fort. There is a half-submerged temple dedicated to Lord Varun Dev in its centre. What makes the lake unique is that one can see the reflection of nearby palaces and forts in its waters.
Gaib Sagar Lake, Dungarpur
The lake is famous for the shrine of Shrinathji that rests on its banks. The shrine complex contains numerous exquisitely carved temples and one core temple, the Vijay Rajrajeshwar Temple. This temple of Lord Shiva displays the skilled craftsmanship of the famed sculptors or ‘shilpkars’ of Dungarpur.
Gadsisar Lake, Jaisalmer
Gadisar Lake was constructed in the 14th century by Maharawal Gadsi Singh to meet the water needs of his arid lands. Considering its importance, many small temples and shrines were constructed around it, transforming it into a pilgrimage centre and a tourist attraction.
Balsamand Lake, Jodhpur
Balsamand Lake is about 5 kilometres from Jodhpur on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road. Built in 1159 AD, it was planned as a water reservoir to cater to Mandore. The Balsamand Lake Palace was built on its shore later as a summer palace. It is surrounded by lush green gardens that house groves of trees such as mango, papaya, pomegranate, guava and plum. Animals and birds like the jackal and peacock also call this place home.
Kailana Lake, Jodhpur
Situated on Jaisalmer road, this small artificial lake is an ideal picnic spot. It is like a canvas with a splash of romantic colours. The beauty of the lake stays with you long after you’ve experienced it.
Kishore Sagar lake, Kota
Kishore Sagar Lake is one of the lakes in Kota which was built in 1346 by the prince of Bundi named Dher Deh. The Jagmandir Palace was built by one of the queens of Kota between 1743 and 1745, and is situated in the middle of the Kishore Sagar Lake.
Rajsamand Lake, Rajsamand
Maharana Raj Singh an able administrator of the fifth generation of Maharana Pratap constructed rajsamand lake in 1662 AD, which is a beautiful example of sculpture and public utility works. The banks known as “Nouchoki” consist of 25 carved stone ‘RAJ PRASHASHTI’ the longest stone inscription in Sanskrit in the world.The stairs, footrest, artistic gates and ‘Mandaps’ are made of beautiful carved marble and the sculpture imparts a new look every time. The whole construction is based on the number 9 which is considered to be the absolute number in Hindu philosophy & mythology.It took 14 years for completion and cost more than 12.5 million rupees at that time. Rajsamand District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India.
Doodh Talai, Udaipur
The road that takes visitors to Pichola Lake has another popular destination – the Doodh Talai Lake. The lake is nestled between several small hillocks which themselves are tourist attractions. The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park and the Manikya Lal Verma Garden are part of the Doodh Talai Lake Garden.
Fateh SagarLake, Udaipur
This delightful lake, bordered by hills and woodlands, lies to the north of Lake Pichola. This artificial lake is connected to Lake Pichola by a canal. The lake houses the beautiful Nehru Island as well as an islet on which stands the Udaipur Solar Observatory. It was inaugurated by the Duke of Connaught and was initially called Connaught Bundh.
Jaisamand Lake, Udaipur
Jaisamand Lake is known for being the second largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. It is popular among the locals as a weekend picnic destination. Locals say that the lake was constructed to halt the waters of Ruparel River. This lake boasts of a large island, which is home to various species of birds, at its centre.
Pichola Lake, Udaipur
Pichola was the name of a village that was submerged and lent its name to the lake when it was expanded. The islands of Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir as housed in this lake. Along the eastern banks of the lake lies the City Palace. A boat ride in the lake around sunset offers a breathtaking view of the Lake and City Palaces.
Udai Sagar Lake, Udaipur
Udai Sagar Lake is one of the five striking lakes situated in Udaipur. Located about 13 kilometres to the east of Udaipur, the construction of this lake was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh. The lake is actually a result of a dam being built on the river Berach to supply adequate water to the Maharana’s kingdom. Udai Sagar Lake is 4 kms in length, 2.5 kilometres in width and about 9 meters at its deepest.