Places to Visit

Lake Rajsamand : A Meadow of Azure Depicting Rusticity

rajsamand lake pal

Rajsamand Lake is an epitome of didactic work done by the princely states for the well concern and revampment of society and economy, which could be easily traced by its sun gold essence of gleaming ethics and serenity. This is a massive lake with well built Ghats. It is one of the largest artificial lakes of medieval period. It is a place of small gust of pleasure, where sun shades the waters the lake, precisely pedestrianized and stuffed with beautiful arrays of silver linings is bestowed to the town Rajsamand. The lake contours about 1.75miles wide, 4 miles long and 60 feet deep, having coordinates 25°4’14″N 73°53’15″E.

The fabulous site of this tarn was the result of a dam constructed across the river Gomati, Kelwa and Tali was debuted by Maharana Raj Singh I in the years 1662-1676 with elaborated structures of Jharokas and jettings. The catchment area of the lake is approximately 508 square kilometers.


Why was it Constructed?

The major reason for construction of Lake Rajsamand was to overcome the problem of drought and to render employment for victims of a widespread drought and famine in the year 1661, and to provide canal irrigation to local farmers. It is among the oldest relief works done in Rajasthan. The digging of this foundation began on January 1, 1662. Construction of the actual dam began on January 14, 1676. Mukund Jaggatnath was one of the main architects. It was built in Indo –Persian style and materials used for the construction were stone, rubble and masonry. River Gomti is the main supplier of water to Rajsamand Lake.

rajsamand lake


Architecture & Design:

On the bank of the Dam three mandaps were constructed out of white marble, each mandap has three chokies. The first mandap has very interesting scenes where a newly wed girl is departing from her husband’s house. The villagers are seen in sad postures. It is shown that the husband is dragging the wife; the camel of the camel cart is also seen in a sad posture. The second mandap has a scene of animal fighting. The fight of Elephant with Horse is depicted.

On the southern end of this lake their lies a large embankment 183 m. long and 12 m. high, known as Nauchowki or the nine pavilions. It is believed that the dam measures nine hundred ninety nine feet in length and ninety-nine feet in breadth. Every step measures nine inches and there are nine white marble cenotaphs build on the dam. Each of these cenotaphs is nine feet in height and is at nine degree angle from each other. This embankment has marble terraces and stone steps touching the lake and is dotted with five toranas or weighing arches and chhatris (cenotaphs). The colonnaded pavilions are decorated with depictions of the sun, chariots, gods, birds and dancing girls, exquisite carvings that are claimed to be unique in India. It is overviewed by the Dwarikadhish temple and from the Kumbhalgarh Fort the vista it glitters with gushing water is as captivative as scarlet is. This place is also considered to be the one where Maharana Raj Singh and his descendents organized the event of Tuladan: they were weighed in jewels and gold, the cash value of which was distributed among Brahmans for the construction of temples and tanks for the welfare of the people. The history of Mewar is also inscribed here in 107 stanzas, on its 21 marble stones known as ‘Raj Prasasti‘ an epic by Ranchhor Bhatt. It has also been acclaimed as one of the longest etchings in India. The epigraph has given lot of historical, commercial, civil, educational, weighing system etc. to carve out the history and to bring the different shores of historical facts together. The Rajsamand was also the scene of a desperate battle in the late 17th century between Mewar and the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The Mugals destroyed the torans and ruined all the carvings on the mandap. During World War II, Rajsamand Lake was used as a seaplane base by Imperial Airways for about six years.

There was no provision for sluice gates, at the time of construction of the lake. Irrigation water was supplied by means of a lift irrigation system. The first sluice gate canal was built by the British people, it is 8 km long, and after independence in the 1960s, an ambitious second one was added, which was 35 km long.

Preposterously, in the year 2000, the lake came into the verge of its existence it was just a barren land of rocks and weeds and residents used the Nand Sagar Lake located about 15 km upstream as a substitute then fortunately on the passage of time the monsoon refilled it. Now the Lake Rajsamand has been used for irrigation and its canal network services are used to provide water to 42 villages covering an area of 7,284 hectares. The villages viz.: Peepli, Mohi, Kuwariya, Bhava, Rupakheda etc. are the regular connectors of this water.

The charm exuded by the unparalleled beauty of the Rajsamand Lake is infectious and the tourists are attracted to this place. It has genuine beauty of its own, especially when women clad in hues of yellow, green, purple accommodate the lake on the festive of Gangaur and Teej. The provocative thing of this place is its purity of water, the shimmering and dancing rays of sunbeams of the settling god and the colour changing water beckons the tourists to its charm by over whelming their hearts.

Photos By : Hemant Paliwal

Places to Visit

Gulab Bagh and Zoo – An Engrossing Domicile of Relishment

Nestled in the fertile valley of Udaipur, beneath the banks of lush Lake of Pichhola stands the shinning, the enchanting pleasure park baptism as Gulab Bagh. It is spread over 100 acres of land at an elevation of 593 meters and having coordinates 24°34′17″N 73°41′34″E. It brings a sense of history and an aura of class which this masterpiece engulfs within itself. As the name suggests it also brings that fragrance and feathery touch of a rose leaf to those who truly appreciates its beauty. Though portraying the scenic imagination of then ruler Maharana Sajjan Singh Ji, it also preserves a sense of history within its cold frames. Gulab Bagh not only represents the traditions of Udaipur but of whole India, an act which can be justified as it is being the fourth oldest zoos in Indian subcontinent.


Gulab Bagh In Its Earlier Years :

Gulab Bagh is one of the most famous and the biggest of all gardens of Udaipur. The garden was built by the then Maharaja of Udaipur Maharana Sajjan Singh ji in the year 1878 and hence precisely  known as Sajjan Niwas Garden but due to  the avaiability of numerous varieties of roses, this garden is also known as Gulab Bagh or Rose Garden. The garden consists of a wide variety of flora such as Lotus Pond, and many prominent trees that included many species of mangoes, guava, grapes, lemon, berry, mulbury, rayan, pomegranate, bananas, sapota, tamarind, bullock’s heart , lichi, arjun trees, wood apple, karonda, campher, citron, jamun, pummelo, meetha neem, kargi lime, ficus species, anola, jack fruit, dhanverjia, grandi flora, jasmin, dawood etc. After making the garden prominent amongst the locals, T.H. Story imported variety of flora from various regions of India, their enchanting beauty can be only witnessed here with natural quaintness. Not only this, he also imported from other British colonies, resulting in huge and wide variety of trees and shrubs for the garden. In 1882, a name plate was placed on all the trees which included a Hindi name of the tree, English name of the tree and the botanical name. The boundary of the garden was constructed in the year 1885-86 and the garden was divided into 45 parts according to different flowers, trees, zoo complex and so on.


gulab-baghPhoto Courtesy :

Gulab Bagh also encompasses a museum, originally known as Victoria Hall Museum, laid by Maharana Sajjan Singh on 2nd November 1890. The inauguration was done by Lord Lansdown. Mr. Gauri Shankar Ojha was the first curator of this museum in the year 1890. This museum proved to be encampment of flimsy collection which comprised of things and many stone manuscripts dating from 3rd Centaury B.C. to 17thCentaury A.D. A library was constructed in the premises of the garden by Maharana Fateh Singh which is now known as Saraswati Bhawan Library. This public library has large volumes and illustrated manuscripts on history, archaeology, Ideology. The museum, reading room and the library are inside the Victoria Hall. The library is replete with Queen Victoria’s displaced statue.

The enclosure has a two way entrance for its visitors and the main gate was exclusively made in the eye of Maharana, on the top of it is the sign of Raj Gharana and a lion on either side of it depicts the paradigm of Mewar culture. As entered one can have leisure walk in the tree lined landscape to relax amid the greenery. The location of Gulab Bagh Zoo is unique in the sense of its proximity to the main city and other tourist places as well as the natural environment of dense vegetation of the garden. The garden consists of large ponds covered with lilies and several varieties of trees that provide ample shade to the visitors .The well trimmed shrubs in the shape of animals and the cemented portray of animals ads an enhancement to the garden and urges the passer-by to have snap with them. Municipality has introduced various fun rides for the children and even adults. To enjoy the cherishment of this beautiful scenery there is a famous mini train for kids to have a ride all across the garden.

The Zoo :

The garden also comprises of a small yet pleasant zoo, showcasing a number of animals. The zoo initially was used as an entertainment for the royal people as organized fights between wild boars, Lions, and Tigers. After independence many animals were shifted to this zoo. The Gulab Bagh zoo is now threatened by plans of the Forest Department to shift it to the biological park being built in Sajjangarh and to convert the zoo into an aviary. The team of Gulab Bagh zoo manages the zoo with tenacious dedication and provides them a temporary home in Gulab Bagh thus it is well maintained and protected. CCTV cameras are also installed inside the zoo to keep a keen eye on the activities of the animals.  This small zoo has an array of wildlife including tigers, leopards, Chinkara, gazelle, birds, and many others and has welcomed a variety of new animals including a female leopard and various species of birds. Entry fee to visit the zoo is Rs.5 and camera fee is Rs.15. This is an intact place to visit providing knowledge, fun and pleasure.