Jaisamand Lake, Rajasthan, India

Lake Locations:

India - West - Rajasthan -

Also known as:  Dhebar Lake, Dhevar Lake

One of India’s largest artificial lakes, Jaisamand Lake was created in 1685 when Rana Jai Singh of Udaipur built a marble dam across the Gomati River. The reservoir, originally called Jai Samand, is second only in size to the Upper Lake of Bhopal, India when the latter is full. The large lake covers 21,500 acres. Canals provide irrigation and drinking water to several villages to the west as well as providing drinking water to the City of Udaipur 35 miles away. In the arid Rajasthan area of India, the collection of water via reservoir was, and is, vital to supporting cities and agriculture. The building of these lakes became a point of civic pride and the essence of good governance by the Maharanas who ruled the kingdoms of western India. In his effort to emulate his father’s creation of Rajsamand Lake, Rana Jai Singh created one of the country’s most beautiful and productive lakes. Jaisamand Lake has since become a regular stop on most Rajasthan travel itineraries.

Jaisamand Lake has several islands near the north end of the lake; most are the home of the Bhil Minas tribe. A few fishing villages also inhabit the north end of the lake. But what brings tourists to Jaisamand are the cultural edifices created by the area’s previous rulers. The marble ‘bund’ (dam) is over 1200 feet long and 116 feet high. On the bund are six exotic cenotaphs (monuments) with a Shiva temple in the center. The northern end of the lake has a palace with a courtyard, while its southern end has a pavilion of 12 pillars. The hills to its south have grand palaces with an excellent view of the lake. On the top of nearby hills are two old palaces constructed by Maharana Jai Singh. Beautiful summer palaces of the Udaipur queens are sited on all sides of the lake. Marble staircases descend to the water in several places along the 30-mile shoreline. Some of the old palaces now house government offices.

The lake is a favorite for swimming, boating and diving, with vigilance for crocodiles. Motor boats provide transportation between resorts located on the shore and on some of the islands. One resort in particular is considered one of the most elegant and beautiful in the region. The former forested hunting grounds of the maharanas are now a game sanctuary. The 12,650-acre Jaisamand Sanctuary contains leopard, spotted deer, Indian gazelle, mongoose, wild boar, hyena, jungle cat, fox, wolf, sambar and other species. The lake itself holds crocodile, turtles and a variety of fish. The combined lake, wetlands and forest welcome a wide variety of resident and migratory birds. Jeep excursions can be arranged for exploring the Sanctuary.

Jaisamand Lake is considered one of the lakes of romantic Udaipur, although it is about 35 miles from the city. The city itself, known as the Venice of the East, contains many man-made lakes and canals. Built over several centuries, the lakes have been developed into attractive vistas that reflect ancient marble palaces and beautiful, ever-blooming gardens. Most organized tours arrange for some time to be spent in Udaipur visiting the many cultural treasures located along the waterways. Udaipur has preserved the opulence of the former Mewar rulers. Many of these maharanas are considered national heroes for their defense over centuries against outside armies. Several monuments are found locally in their honor, such as the Maharana Pratap Memorial located on a hill above beautiful Fateh Sagar Lake. Many former palaces have been turned into ‘heritage’ hotels and offer exclusive luxury. Temples such as the Jagdish Temple offer a glimpse into both the expansive architecture and beautifully decorated interiors of the religious sites of the region. Many icons and statues in marble and brass grace the doorways and halls of this beautiful building.

Udaipur is the perfect place to investigate the long history of the people of the Mewar Region. The City Palace on the banks of Lake Pichola holds a museum filled with antiques, curios, sculpture and art from bygone eras. Ancient weapons, coins and articles of royal clothing tell the long story of development in the city of Udaipur and the surrounding area. In contrast to the history of the ruling classes, the Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum explores folk art, handicrafts and traditional objects of the common peoples of the region. The Mewar region of Rajasthan has long been known for its rich tradition of craftsmanship and artistry. Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum works to encourage local artists to continue these traditional crafts.

Travel to Jaisamand Lake is ordinarily arranged via tourism agencies. Differing itineraries will accommodate varied interests. Plenty of local lodgings are available in Udaipur in all price ranges. One need not be heir to a family fortune to enjoy the rich surroundings of many of the smaller heritage hotels that provide the excellent service that Indian innkeepers are known for. If travel to Rajasthan is in your future plans, make sure it includes a visit to Jaisamand Lake. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime destination.

Things to do at Jaisamand Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Antiquing

Jaisamand Lake Photo Gallery

Jaisamand Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Surface Area: 21,499 acres

Shoreline Length: 30 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 930 feet

Maximum Depth: 102 feet

Completion Year: 1685

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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