Sambhar Lake Sambhar Lake Sambhar Lake - India's Largest Salt Water Lake

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Timings : 24 hrs

Time Required : 1 hour

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

Sambhar Lake, Ajmer Overview

Sambhar Lake is the largest inland saltwater lake in India. Located at a distance of 80 kms from Jaipur and 64 kms from Ajmer, Sambhar Lake sprawls over 5700 sq. km. of the catchment area. Boasting of an extremely extensive saline wetland, the lake is divided by a 5.1 kms long dam that also helps in the salt-making process. Besides, the area attracts a lot of migratory birds. That makes it one of the most popular tourist spots in the city. It is frequented by nature lovers, wanderers, birdwatchers, photography enthusiasts and all kinds of tourists.

Sambhar Lake is fed by five rivers namely Medtha, Samaod, Mantha, Rupangarh, Khari and Khandela and is elliptical in shape. The beauty of the landscape is further enhanced by the backdrop of the beautiful Aravalli mountains. In addition to that, the city surrounding the lake is called the Sambhar Lake town and that also has a couple of tourist attractions like the Salt Laboratory and the Salt Museum.

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Sambhar Lake
Sambhar Lake
Sambhar Lake
Sambhar Lake

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Wildlife at Sambhar Lake

  • Sambhar Lake has been lately declared as a Ramsar Site (recognized wetland of international importance) because the wetland has a flourishing avifauna habitat.
  • During the key winter season, thousands of pink flamingos (especially) and several other birds like pochards, shovellers, common teal etc., migrate to the wetland from far off places like Northern Asia and Siberia.
  • The bacteria and algae feeding off in the lake are a perfect feed for these waterfowl birds. In addition to that, they give a beautiful picturesque hue to the water and help in maintaining the ecology.
  • Besides, there are dense woods in the vicinity of the lake which also boast of other wildlife, It is very common to spot nilgais, deer and foxes etc.
Migratory Birds
Source

Things to Do at Sambhar Lake

  1. Birdwatching

    Birdwatching is one of the top activities at Sambhar Lake because of the obvious reasons. Thousands of migratory birds visit the wetland in the winter season and you can find all sorts of domestic and exotic birds resting here, out of which pink flamingos are the largest lot. This activity attracts a lot of birdwatching enthusiasts to come and visit. All you need to carry is a pair of binoculars and maybe a mat to sit on.
    Birdwatching
    Source
  2. Camping

    Camping is another very popular activity at Sambhar Lake. Since the place reverberates with peace and calm, and also provides amazing sunset views, many people come here to camp and watch the clear night skies. Since the lake is surrounded by a lot of highways, it is very easy to find a perfect ground to camp. Just make sure it is dry enough and at a safe distance from the water. You can also register with any of the several camping sites and avail their packages. Or you can just pitch a tent on your own, light a bonfire, cook a meal and you are good to go. But for this you would need to seek permission from the local authorities.
    Camping
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  3. Driving Around

    A lot of people prefer to just drive around the spot since it is so pretty and mesmerising. You can watch the Aravallis in the backdrop and drive on narrow trails. If you are on a bicycle or a motorbike, it is advisable to stay on the wooden tracks. However, if you are driving around in a car, you can venture out further in the woods.
  4. Photography

    Photography is also a popular activity to try at the lake. As the lake provides beautiful panoramic vistas of the mountains and woods, the lake adds to those gorgeous visuals. The place attracts a lot of photography enthusiasts to shoot the landscape, especially during the winter season when the lake is flocked with migratory birds.
  5. Trolley Ride

    If you have enough time, you can also choose to enjoy a trolley ride that is facilitated by Sambhar Salts Limited. The cost is around INR 500 for a few hours. And you can have a sightseeing tour of the entire spot.
  6. Visit Shakhambari Mandir

    Shakhambari Mandir is situated on the southern bank of the lake and it should definitely be there on your itinerary as the temple provides stunning views of the lake and the salt piles from a distance. You can listen to the interesting tales and myths that the priests have to tell you. In addition to that, they might also happen to know some bird colonies and you can go looking for them.

    Temple Aarti
    Source

History of Sambhar Lake

Sambhar Lake holds important historical significance as well. Jodha Bai (or Mariam-uz-Zamani as she was later called) was married to the Mughal emperor Akbar at this Sambhar Lake Town. The Indian epic Mahabharata also has a mention of the Sambhar Lake. It is believed that the lake was part of the emperor of the demon king Vrishparva. This was the exact place where Vrishparva’s daughter Devyani got married. There is even a temple here dedicated to Devyani. 

Very recently in the modern age, in 1884, ancient sculpture art was also discovered here along with terracotta figurines, coins, seals and a clay stupa. Again in 1934, several other excavations were made where a lot of the same stuff was discovered. Some of these pieces can be found in the Albert Hall Museum as of now.

Tips

  1. Carry enough water with you. Since there are no shops or eateries nearby and the water in the lake is obviously salty, finding fresh drinking water can be a huge task here.
  2. Carry food and refreshments with you as well. As there are very few food stalls and small shops that you will find here, if at all you do.
  3. In case you are planning to camp, remember to carry a first aid kit, some torch lights, extra batteries, toiletries and other essentials.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Sambhar is during the winter season i.e. November to March, because of two reasons. First, the temperature is moderately chilly and pleasant, and there are no heat waves to burn your skin and cause discomfort. Secondly, winter is the season of migrating birds. At this time, you can find beautiful birds visiting here from far off lands. On the other hand, summers can be really hot with mercury dropping as low as 45 degrees Celsius.

How to Reach

The best way to reach Sambhar Lake is by road in a bus. You can take any bus bound for Nagaur or Kucha­man, from Jaipur Sindhi Camp Bus Stand. The first stop is Sambhar and here you can get down. The nearest railway station is at Sambhar Salt Lake Station. Most trains do stop at this station, however, it will be better to confirm before booking tickets. The nearest airport is in Jaipur which is around 120 kms from Sambhar Lake.

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