Jaisamand Lake is a comprehensive bounty which lures the beholder to measure the depth of the nature. It is an acquaintance of water which recesses the amiable, placid intrusion into an unmatched experience of paradise. It is also known as Dhebar Lake. The lake was built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1685 utilizing the waters of Gomti River and is the second largest artificial lake of the world, after Aswan dam in Egypt, extending over an area of thirty-six square kilometers. Nine miles in breadth, 102 feet deep and having a circumference of 30 miles. This Marble Dam is 300 Meters long and is a part of the “Heritage Monuments of India“. It is situated on Banswara road, 48 km away from Udaipur at the coordinates 24°16′N 74°00′E.
During the reign of Maharana Jai Singh the lake was constructed to fulfill the great need for water for cultivation in Mewar’s southeastern corner, and it was named after him. The work of this dam was started during his regime but was completed in later years.
It consists of eleven islands some of which are inhabitant by the tribe of Bhil Minas. Two bigger islands are known as Babaka Magara and a smaller one is called Piari. Marble staircases lead into the water, and along the shoreline are several marble chhatris. When the lake was inaugurated on June 2, 1691. Maharana Jai Singh distributed the equivalent of his weight in gold to the people of the adjoining regions as per the chivalry of the medieval period. The northern end of the lake has a palace with a courtyard while its southern end has a pavilion of 12 pillars. The lake also boasts of six interesting cenotaphs carved from marble on its embankment. Rana Jai Singh’s palaces, Hawa Mahal and Ruthi Rani ka Mahal, are set in the foothills overlooking Jaisamand. The summer palaces of the Queens of Udaipur surround Jaisamand Lake on all sides. On the embankment, there are six beautiful chattaris built at intervals and a temple of Narmadeshwar Mahadev. In front of these chhatris ,stands a beautifully carved elephant on a pedestal, with its trunk upwards.
Jaisamand Lake is a main water supply for the city of Udaipur. The gross basin area up to the Jaisamand dam site is 1787 km2. Droughts are a normal feature of the basin and extreme events have become more frequent in recent decades.These lead to an excessive use of lakes and reservoirs. And in 1999, officials statistics shows the augmented use of the dead storage and the reserved water which were to be used only in cases of dire emergency. These same estimates confirm that, in the next few year, even the dead storage will be completely exhausted. In the monsoon of 2006 excessive rains and subsequent overflow of small perennial waters in the catchment caused movement of advance size yearlings into the lake Jaisamand. To water many cities a project of pipeline installation from Jaisamand is made.
Kingdom for Wilderness Unplugged
The surrounding area which is at its most lush in October, soon after the monsoon, is now a wildlife sanctuary which was built in 1957, sprawling over sixty-four square kilometers and is rich in fauna with counts of over 300 bird species.. Attracted by the expanse of water of Jaisamand lake, a host of small birds, local and migratory, habitate the sanctuary. The four-horned antelope, chinkara, chital, wild boar, samhar deer, spotted deer, gazelle and panther are also found here. The sanctuary has also enabled the endangered Indian wolf to breed. The forests used to be a favorite hunting ground for the former rulers of Mewar,
A drive from Udaipur to Jaisamand provides an enchanting view of tall trees on both sides of the window road. A tourist bungalow, a forest rest home and a Baba island resort provide accommodation to the enthusiastic wildlife watchers. This epstile is from seat of Nature. The tourists can even enjoy the beauty of the lake by motorboats. A thirty minute boat ride allows one to see chug across the pristine waters of the Jaisamand Lake. On the top of the two nearby hillocks are the two old palaces constructed by Maharana Jai Singh, which provide an excellent view of the lake.