Rajsamand Lake, Rajasthan, India

Lake Locations:

India - West - Rajasthan -

Also known as:  Rajsamudra Lake

One of the famed ‘Lakes of Udaipur’, Rajsamand Lake lies 40 miles north of the City of Udaipur. The Udaipur region of Rajasthan was once known as Mewar, land of patriots and heroes. The Mewar dynasty traces its roots to the Sun God, with examples of its proud history constructed in beautiful marble. Rajsamand Lake follows that tradition, featuring a beautiful white marble dam and embankment at the southern end. The lake was created by Maharana Raj Singh in 1660 by damming the Gomati, Kelwa, and Tali Rivers.

Used for irrigation and water supply, the reservoir is now used to provide water to the small city of Rajsamand along its southwestern shore. Marble staircases, nearly all consisting of nine steps, touch the waters. Here amid the marble terraces visitors can see the five toranas (weighing arches), where Maharana Raj Singh and his descendants organized the event of Tuladan; the kings used to weigh themselves in gold and then distributed it amongst the Brahmans, making Rajsamand Lake a special religious location.

On the embankment of the lake sit nine pavilions or ‘Nauchowki’, also constructed by Maharana Raj Singh. The beautifully carved pavilions are decorated with pictures of the sun, chariots, gods, birds and wonderful carvings. The history of Mewar is inscribed in 1017 stanzas, on 27 marble slabs called the ‘Raj Prasasti’. The historic text inscribed here is claimed to be one of the longest etchings known in India. Contemporary with the construction of Rajsamand Lake, Dwarikadhish Temple sits along the banks of the lake in the little town of Kankroli. Dwarikadhish is one of the names of Lord Krishna, and the temple is the most significant temple of the Vaishnavas and Vallabhacharya sects.

The main idol of the temple was brought by Maharana Raj Singh in 1671, supposedly from Mathura, the hometown of Lord Krishna. The temple was constructed at the time Rajsamand Lake was dedicated in 1678. Each year a religious festival takes place with numerous devout worshipers arriving to receive the blessings of Lord Dwarikadhish. The temple is a serene and picturesque location from which to view Rajsamand Lake, with a small garden and a library with a huge collection of old books. In recent years Rajsamand Lake has suffered from drought and is much reduced in size. It is expected that a few wet years will return it normal levels.

Many visitors stop here on the way to another popular tourist destination: Kumbalgarh Fort and Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is located less than 10 miles west of Rajsamand Lake. One of the ‘must visit’ locations on the Udaipur region, the fortress has a massive perimeter of 22 miles. Over 360 temples are located within the fort. The view from the fortress heights is spectacular. The wildlife sanctuary holds wolves, leopards, jackals, nilgai deer, sambar deer and various species of birds. Jeep treks are often arranged to Kumbalgarh from the Government Tourist Office in Udaipur.

The trip between Rajsamand Lake and Udaipur holds a number of other destinations of interest. The small city of Kishangarh is a noted location for marble sculpture. A marble quarry nearby produces the marble for many local craftsmen. Roopangarh Fort was built in 1648 on a strategic hill overlook to control the trade route to Sambhar Salt Lake, and the city grew up around it. This was the royal residence for a century, and Kishangarh was the capital of the state. The Fort and the ornate palace next to it have been turned into hotels. As some of the rooms and suites are little-changed from the days when the royals slept here, Kishangarh provides some of the most authentically-royal lodgings in Rajasthan. Kishangarh is also the origin of some of India’s most famed miniature paintings. These miniatures were part of the royal collection, but arrangements can be made to view them via the hotels.

Returning from Rajsamand Lake to Udaipur, tourists who are wise enough to plan their trip for the winter season can enjoy the exquisite handicrafts of Rajasthan by attending the Shilpgram Fair. This festival, spanning 10 days in late November and early December, has been organized to support the local artists and craftsmen of the area. Artwork, hand woven clothing, embroideries, mirror works, camel leather work and handicrafts are all on display. No visitor will be able to leave without falling in love with at least one piece of local art, no matter how large or small.

If visitors still desire to explore the architectural treasures of the Mewar, Udaipur city holds any number of palaces, museums and temples, all reflected in the many waterways that give Udaipur the title of ‘Venice of the East’. The interconnected waterways are based on the several man-made lakes in the city, making travel by boat a pleasant way to view the cultural treasures. The City Palace Museum and the Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum are good choices to view both the artifacts of royal life and the folk arts and crafts of the common citizens. Jagdish Temple is a visual delight, with beautifully-decorated halls and many religious statues. Even the graves of the royal maharanas have their own museum in the Ahar Archeological Museum and Archeological Site.

Multiple choices are available for lodgings: many palaces have been converted to ‘heritage hotels’ with varying degrees of luxury. More modern hotels are also available as are home-stays in local homes, arranged through reputable tour operators. Just visiting the former palaces and forts of the maharanas between Udaipur and Rajsamand Lake will immerse visitors in centuries of history of western India. A more perfect location to experience India can hardly be imagined. Don’t forget to add this to your ‘bucket-list’.

Things to do at Rajsamand Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Boating
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Rajsamand Lake Photo Gallery

Rajsamand Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Shoreline Length: 7 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,793 feet

Maximum Depth: 60 feet

Completion Year: 1660

Drainage Area: 196 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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".

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.


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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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