Man Sagar Lake, Rajasthan, India

Lake Locations:

India - West - Rajasthan -

One of the modern wonders of lake restoration, Man Sagar Lake has been rejuvenated. The ongoing question is, will the newly-refurbished lake remain pristine or will it again be allowed to degrade? The man-made reservoir located in the Indian state of Rajasthan originated in the 16th century when, after a serious drought, the ruler of Amir built a dam across the Darbhawati River. Water collecting in a low depression eventually formed the 300-acre shallow lake, which quickly became a stopping area for large numbers of birds. Surrounded by the Nahargarh and Arivaldi Hills, the lake was hauntingly beautiful and added to the many attractions of Jaipur city. Unfortunately, the hills were denuded of forests, and silt began to enter the lake. Man Sagar underwent several efforts at restoration over the centuries, the last in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amir, who also built the Jal Mahal, or Water Palace, in the middle of the lake. Constructed as a summer palace, the Jal Mahal is still one of the most striking features of the lake.

Jaipur, called the Pink City for its beautiful pink stucco buildings, is increasing modern yet surrounded with ancient treasures in the form of forts, palaces and legends. Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, is a must-see stop on any tour of the area. A tourism route connects Jaipur with several historic edifices constructed in the late 18th century, including Khilangarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Amer Fort and the temple complexes in the Kanak Vrindavan Valley. Man Sagar Lake lies on the main route to most of these other attractions. Within Jaipur itself, a number of historic points of interest including City Palace and Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum are popular stops on any city tour. The City Palace and adjacent buildings and gardens feature a mixture of Mughal and Rajput architecture with the central Chandra Mahal’s seven stories offering the perfect vantage point from which to overlook the gardens and the old city. Various sections hold collections of old manuscripts, displays of textiles and costumes, armory and weapons and a clock tower.

The Jantar Mantar Observatory, built in the the 18th century, functions using massive masonry instruments with which to study the stars and constellations. A huge sun dial still provides accurate time. In the midst of Ram Niwas Gardens, the Albert Hall Museum founded by Prince Albert in 1876 holds a collection of rare handicraft pieces and archeological treasures. The Hawa Mahal, built in 1799 as a retreat from which the royal females could overlook activities on the street below, is the most-recognized feature of Rajput architecture in the city. Behind its five stories of balconied windows, the building now houses yet another museum featuring exhibits of “Jaipur Past and Present”. And no visit to the city would be complete without at least one visit to the famous bazaars which feature an array of locally-made goods such as camel-skin shoes, fabrics and Rajasthani jewelry.

Nahargarh Fort, built in 1734, overlooks the city from about eight miles away on a hilltop. The fort holds several architectural treasures including the Madhvendra Bhawan and the Hawa Mandir. Equidistant from Jaipur, Jaigarh Fort commands another hilltop overlooking the City of Amir and its palaces. The Jai-Ban, the world’s largest cannon on wheels, is located here. Nearby in the City of Amir, the Amer Fort (also called the Amber Fort) is one of the most visited complexes in the Jaipur area. This four-story fort, with its palace complex built of marble and red sandstone, overlooks Maota Lake.

Between Amir and the City of Jaipur, the Jal Mahal commands the middle of Man Sagar Lake. The palace, built around 1799, can be reached either by a causeway or a fleet of newly-added traditional wooden boats. Five stories, the Jal Mahal has the bottom three floors below the surface, with boats entering on the fourth level. From here, tourists can climb a set of stairs through decorated rooms and hallways to reach the stairway to the beautiful Chameli Bagh rooftop gardens. From here, visitors have an excellent view of the City of Jaipur and the restored Man Sagar.

Man Sagar, after restoration, is again home to a variety of visiting and nesting birds. For the past 13 years a birding festival has been organized to view such species as white-browed wagtail, grey heron, blue-tailed bee-eaters and common moorhens. After the lake was dredged of hundreds of thousands of yards of accumulated and toxic silt, artificial nesting islands were constructed to attract such native avian species as red-breasted flycatcher, marsh sandpiper, large flamingo, redshank, great crested grebe, grey wagtail, pintail, ruff, coot, kestrel and herring gull, all of which used to visit the lake in great numbers.

The improved water quality has allowed the introduction of native plants and aquatic animals again to the lake. Planting of trees and vegetation on the formerly denuded hillsides surrounding the shore has filtered run-off of sediments and created a green oasis at the lakefront. The two incoming streams which formerly directed storm water and sewage into the lake have been diverted to a wastewater treatment plant that now supplies clean filtered water to Man Sagar. The private tourism development group which restored Man Sagar to its former glory also expended considerable effort in refurbishing the Jal Mahal, repairing the palace and installing a large amount of local art in the lower floors of the building.

Man Sagar Lake’s problems are not over, however. One complaint has been that a forbidden invasive species of fish, the African Tiger Fish, now dominates the lake, out-competing native species for ecological space. The trees planted on the surrounding hills are not native trees. And some local groups now object to the ‘private’ development of tourism resources mandated by the public-private partnership that managed the massive clean-up of the lake. India’s current legal system does not adequately protect such partnerships, leading to the opportunity for quasi-official abuse and loss of investment. These problems will have to be resolved in order for India to receive the kinds of international investment and assistance needed to solve environmental issues throughout the country.

Meanwhile, Jaipur and Man Sagar Lake are open for business. International tour companies regularly include Jaipur in their itineraries. The city is supplied with an increasing number of quality hotels, great shopping and local arts and entertainment. Man Sagar and the Pink City of Jaipur are truly an oasis of beauty in the Rajasthan desert, one that should hold a prominent place on the bucket-list of any international traveler. More visitors insure that the value of such partnerships is clearly seen by local officials and citizen groups.

Things to do at Man Sagar Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Man Sagar Lake

  • Tiger Fish

Man Sagar Lake Photo Gallery

Man Sagar Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Surface Area: 300 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,350 feet

Maximum Depth: 15 feet

Drainage Area: 9 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Looking for the Man Sagar Lake forum?

For years, we offered LakeLubbers visitors the option to create an account, vote on favorite lakes, edit lake descriptions and participate in forums.

In 2021, we embarked on a major site overhaul with a new content database system. While the result is a modern and faster site which is now optimized for both desktop and mobile users, it also meant we had to put account options on hold and take some time to reevaluate ways to interact with our visitors. 

We hope you’ll stick around and see what’s new here, and of course, we still welcome your comments and feedback regarding anything on LakeLubbers! You can do that here.

Spread the word! Share our Man Sagar Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.