List of Lakes of Rajasthan

Sambhar Salt Lake/Image Credit: Wikimedia
With an average rainfall of less than 100 cm, Rajasthan is one of the driest regions in India. But having said that, Rajasthan is home to many beautiful lakes. Some are natural but most of them are man-made and being constructed by Royal families of the region to help people to meet their water needs. These lakes can be divided into two categories on the basis of salinity of water:

1. Saline Water Lakes
These lakes are considered as the remains of Tethys Sea. Sambhar Lake and Panchpadra are the famous examples of this type of lake.

2. Fresh Water Lakes
These lakes are developed naturally or being created by people to meet their water needs. Some of the examples are Ana Sagar Lake, Foy Sagar Lake, and Jaimasand Lake.

Saline Water Lakes of Rajasthan

1. Sambhar Salt Lake
Sambhar Salt Lake is the largest saline water lake in India. It is located 96 km southwest of the city of Jaipur. Sambhar Lake name comes from Sakambhari Devi, an avatar of Goddess Durga. The Lake is also mentioned in the epic text Mahabharata as the abode of Shukracharya.

On another hand, Sambhar Lake is known for its pure clean salt. It produces 196000 tonnes of clean salt every year, which makes up 9% of India's total salt production.

Sambhar Lake is one of the Ramsar Wetland sites.

2. Panchpandra Lake
Panchpandra (or Pachpandra) Lake is a saline water lake lies in the Pachpadra town of Bikaner district. The lake is known for its high-quality salt as the water of this lake contains 98% of Sodium Chloride.

3. Lunkaransar Lake
Lunkaransar Lake is a playa (dry lake). The name "Lunkaransar" comes from the Rajasthani "lun" which means "Salt". There was once a salt lake here, which dried up due to various geological and man-made reasons.

4. Didwana
Didwana (or Deedwana) Lake is also a playa (dry lake), lies in Nagaur district. It is second largest playa in Rajasthan.

Other Salt lakes are Tal Chapper (Churu), Degana (Nagaur), Phalodi (Jodhpur), and Kavod (Jaisalmer).

Fresh Water Lakes of Rajasthan

1. Ana Sagar Lake
Ana Sagar Lake is an artificial lake, lies in the city of Ajmer. It was commissioned and built by Arnoraja, grandfather of Prithviraj Chauhan, between 1135 and 1150, to help the local populace.

During the Mughal rule, Jahangir laid the foundation of Daulat Bagh around the lake, and later, Shahjahan added five pavilions, known as Bardari, to facilitate his stay at Ajmer.

2. Balsamand Lake
Balsamand Lake is 5 km away from Jodhpur on Jodhpur-Mandore road. It was built by Gurjara-Parihara rulers around 1159 AD to provide water to the populace of Mandore. Later, Balsamand Lake Palace was built around the lake to serve as Summer home to Royal family.

3. Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sagar Lake is situated in the city of Udaipur. It was named after Maharana Fateh Singh of Mewar. The lake was actually made by the Maharana Jai Singh in 1687, but two hundred years later, earthen bund, which formed the lake washed away during floods. So, it was rebuilt by Maharana Fateh Singh to mark the visit Duke of Connaught in 1889, and it got its name after that.

4. Jaisamand Lake
Jaisamand Lake (also known as Dhebar Lake) is India's second largest man-made lake after Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar. It lies in the district of Udaipur and has area cover of 87 km². It was, once, the largest man-made lake in the world. The lake was commissioned and built by Maharana Jai Singh of Udaipur in 1695 to meet the water needs of Mewar region.

5. Lake Foy Sagar
Lake Foy Sagar is a beautiful man-made lake near Ajmer. It was designed by an English engineer, Mr. Foy, to help the populace of Ajmer in 1882, who were suffering from a great famine.

6. Kailana Lake
Kaylana Lake lies 8 KM west of Jodhpur. It is an artificial lake built by Pratap Singh in 1872. The lake is fed by Hathi Nahar, which is further connected to Indira Gandhi Canal.

7. Nakki Lake
Nakki Lake is a small natural lake in Mount Abu region of Aravali. However, it is said to be dug by God with their nails, "nakh" to hide themselves and fool a demon and that's how it received its name.

8. Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola is situated in the city of Udaipur. It is a man-made fresh water lake, built in 1362 AD, and named after nearby Pichola village. There are four islands on the lake: Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), Jaga Mandir, Mohan Mandir, and Arsi Vilas (Smaller Palace). The lake is known for its breathtaking view during sunset.

9. Pushkar Lake
Pushkar Lake (or Pushkar Sarovar) is located in the town of Pushkar. It receives its name from the town. It is one of the sacred lakes for Hindus and Hindus described it as Tirtha Raj. It is associated with Lord Brahma, one of the primary Hindu gods who form Holy Trinity along with Shiva and Narayana.

10. Rajsamand Lake
Rajsamand Lake, also known as Rajsamudra Lake, is a lake near the city of Rajsamand. It was built by Maharana Raj Singh in the 17th century. It is fed by river Gomti, Kelwa, and Tali. Its catchment area is around 192 km².

11. Ramgarh Lake
Ramgarh Lake is an artificial lake near Jaipur. It is spread in the area of 15.5 km². During 1982 Asian Games, it hosted rowing events. As of now, the lake has dried up and there is little chance of recharging the lake.

12. Swaroop Sagar Lake
Swaroop Sagar Lake is a man-made lake, situated in the city of Udaipur, and named after Maharana Swarup Singh of Udaipur. It is also known as Kumharia Talab. The Lake was built to balance water levels in the connecting lakes, Fateh Sagar and Pichhola Lake.

13. Talwara Lake
Talwara Lake is a small natural lake that forms in a depression along the route of Ghagra-Hakra near Talwara Village, Hanumangarh.

14. Udaisagar Lake
Udaisagar Lake is one of the five prominent lakes of Udaipur. It was commissioned and built by Maharana Udai Singh of in 1565 to ensure the adequate water supply to the populace of Udaipur.

15. Doodh Talai
Doodh Talai is a smaller lake located adjacent to Lake Pichola in Udaipur.

16. Siliserh Lake
Siliserh Lake is a small man-made lake, built by Maharaja Vinay Singh in 1848 AD, for his queen Sheela. It is made by damming Ruparel River.

17. Dailab Lake
Dailab lake is a small natural lake in the district of Banswara. It is associated with Pandavas. According to legends, Pandavas stayed here during their thirteen-year exile.

18. Jaita Sagar Lake
Jait Sagar Lake, also known as the Lotus Lake, is a 1.5 km long man-made lake in Bundi.  It was commissioned by Jaita Meena and known for its lotus bloom during monsoon and winter season.

19. Kanak Sagar Lake
Kanak Sagar Lake has located at 67 km away from the beautiful town of Bundi. It is winter home to migratory birds like Demoille and Bar-headed goose.

20. Nawal Sagar Lake
Nawal Sagar Lake is an artificial lake in the Bundi. It is surrounded by different step wells. A partially-submerged temple of Lord Varuna lies in the middle of the lake.

21. Gaib Sagar Lake
Gaib Sagar Lake is located in the middle of the city, Dungarpur. It is known for the Shrinathji Shrine complex on its bank.

22. Gadsisar Lake
Gadsisar Lake is another great example of an artificial lake in Rajasthan. It is situated in Jodhpur and was commissioned by Maharana Gadsi Singh to meet the water needs of his populace.

23. Kishore Sagar Lake
Kishore Sagar Lake is an artificial lake built by Bundi Prince Dher Deh in 1346. There is also a Jagmandir Palace in the middle of Kishore Sagar Lake, which was built by a Princess of Kota, around the 1740s.

24. Lake Badi
Lake Badi is another man-made lake in the vicinity of Udaipur. It was built by Maharana Raj Singh I to counter the devasting effect of famine. He named it Jiyan Sagar after his mother Jana Devi, but it later came to known as Badi ka Talab or Lake Badi, due to nearby Badi Village. It supplied water to Udaipur during the drought of 1973.