Lakes are an important ingredient in the recipe of Rajasthan’s grandeur as they bestow charm on this majestic state. There are many picturesque lakes in Rajasthan which add the much-needed serenity to the harsh desert state. Most of them are man-made and supply drinking water supply to the people. Many of them were used as reservoirs to conserve rainwater in the past. These lakes reflect the amazing planning and construction skills of the people of those times.
Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur: This beautiful lake was constructed by Maharana Jai Singh in 1687 as a medium-sized perennial storage reservoir. It is located to the north of Lake Pichola and is surrounded by hills on three sides and the Pratap Memorial on the fourth. Later, Maharana Fateh Singh reconstructed the dam and the lake was named after him. Today, it is the second major source of drinking water for Udaipur. A drive along its east bank is exhilarating and a lot of visitors go for boat rides to any of the three islands of the lake. The largest island has a boat-shaped café which draws a lot of visitors. On the second island, a high-resolution solar observatory and the smallest, supports a jet fountain. Lake Pichola is connected to this lake via a canal which has gates.
Lake Pichola, Udaipur: Maharaja Udai Singh must have been bowled over by the sheer picturesque view of Lake Pichola surrounded by beautiful hills when he chose to widen it to establish the city of Udaipur. The Jag Niwas (the much-renowned Lake Palace) and Jag Mandir, the two beautiful island palaces in the middle of the lake that amplify its shimmering beauty, were later conceptualized by Maharaja Jagjit Singh. The lake also consists of a large masonry dam called Badipol. The eastern bank of the lake is embellished by the City Palace. A number of marble temples, mansions and palaces and a number of bathing ghats also adorn the lake. The boat ride in the azure waters of the lake, especially, in the backdrop of setting sun is sure to take your breath away.
Sardar Samand Lake, Jodhpur: The charming Sardar Samand Lake, 60 km from Jodhpur is the brainchild of Maharaja Umaid Singh. The drive to the lake is as pleasing an experience as the lake itself with Black Bucks, Neelgais and Chinkaras sauntering around. You get a glimpse of Rajasthan’s rural life as you pass through the Bishnoi villages. (Bishnoi is a community known for its efforts of conserving plant and animal life alike.) The tranquility and serenity of the place are not only a tourist’s delight but also pull a large number of migratory birds which in turn draws more tourists. On the banks of this lake stand the stately summer palace of Maharaja Umaid Singh and the Sardar Samand Lake Resort, the hunting lodge of the Jodhpur royalty.
Gadsisar Lake, Jaisalmer: This is an ancient lake which was built in the year 1156 to conserve rainwater. The lake takes its present name from Maharwal Garsisingh who rebuilt it in 1367. Today it is the source of water supply to the city of Jaisalmer. After all the sand in the area, Gadsisar is like a verdant man-made oasis. Tourists love to leave behind the maddening crowd and head to the outskirts of Jaisalmer to bask in the pristine glory of this lake. Along the banks of the lake, a number of temples and cenotaphs have come up and this bestows religious significance to it. One can also sport a large variety of colorful birds here.
Nakki Lake, Mount Abu: Nakki Lake is a lovely lake in Mount Abu and is surrounded by hills and overhung by the enormous Toad Rock. Boating and exploring the lake’s little islets is a favorite recreation amongst tourists. Nakki Lake is said to have been dug by the Gods with their nails and thus has tremendous religious significance. The word “nakki” too denotes nails. The very popular Raghunath Temple is situated near to the lake.