Sambhar Salt lake Rajasthan

Sambhar Salt lake Rajasthan

Sambhar Salt lake Rajasthan - Sambhar Salt Lake is the largest inland salt lake in India and is located in the state of Rajasthan. 

It covers an area of about 190 square kilometers and is situated about 80 kilometers west of the city of Jaipur. 

This is India's largest saline lake - 190 sq km in extent at full capacity. 

It stretches in length for 22.5 km, its width varying between three and 11 km approximately.

The lake is a major source of salt production and is surrounded by several small villages.

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The lake has a long history of salt production that dates back to ancient times. 

It is believed that the lake was first mentioned in the Mahabharata, one of the ancient Indian epics. 

The lake is fed by several small rivers and streams, but has no outlet, which means that the water is highly saline.

Sambhar quite literally means salt, and salt has been extracted from here for over a thousand years by the various administrators of the area. 

Over time, these have included the Scindhias, Rajputs, Marathas, Moghuls and the rulers of Jaipur and Jodhpur who jointly owned the lake, and who in 1870 leased it to the British who built the solid square Circuit House where we were fortunate enough to stay.

After independence, the lake was taken over by the government and is now managed by Sambhar Salts Limited, a joint venture of Hindustan Salts and the Government of Rajasthan.

The salt production in Sambhar Salt Lake is done using traditional methods that have been used for centuries. 

The vast, roughly elliptically shaped lake has been divided into two sections by a 5 km long stone dam.

The eastern section contains the reservoirs for salt extraction, canals and salt pans. 

Water from the vast shimmering western section is pumped to the other side via sluice gates when it reaches a degree of salinity considered optimal for salt extraction.

The salt is extracted by evaporating the water in shallow pools, which leaves behind a layer of salt. 

The salt is then harvested, cleaned, and packed for distribution.

Apart from its importance as a source of salt production, Sambhar Salt Lake is also an important site for migratory birds. 

The lake is home to several species of birds, including flamingos, storks, and pelicans. 

The lake is a designated Ramsar site, which means that it is recognized as a wetland of international importance.

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Sambhar Salt Lake has a rich history and several stories associated with it. 

  • The origin of Sambhar Salt Lake: According to legend, Sambhar Salt Lake was created when a demon named Brishparva was killed by Lord Krishna.
    The demon's blood mixed with the waters of a nearby river, creating a salty lake.

  • The history of salt production: Salt has been produced at Sambhar Salt Lake for centuries.
    It is believed that the lake was an important source of salt for the Mauryan Empire in ancient times.
    The salt production at the lake is done using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations.

  • The story of the Pink Salt: The salt produced at Sambhar Salt Lake is known for its distinctive pink color.
    This is due to the presence of certain minerals in the lake.
    The Pink Salt of Sambhar is not only used for cooking, but also has medicinal properties.

  • The Battle of Sambhar: In 1804, Sambhar Salt Lake was the site of a battle between the forces of the Maratha Empire and the Rajput rulers of Jaipur.
    The Maratha army, led by Jaswant Rao Holkar, was defeated by the combined forces of the Rajput rulers.
    This battle is known as the Battle of Sambhar.

  • The significance of Sambhar Salt Lake for migratory birds: Sambhar Salt Lake is an important site for migratory birds, including flamingos, storks, and pelicans.
    The lake is a designated Ramsar site and is recognized as a wetland of international importance.
    It is a crucial breeding ground for several species of birds and is a popular destination for birdwatchers.

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Sambhar Salt Lake is a fascinating destination with a rich history and cultural significance. 

Sambhar Salt Lake is an important site for both salt production and wildlife conservation.  

It is a unique and beautiful natural site that has been an important part of the economy and culture of Rajasthan for centuries. 

It is a fascinating destination for those interested in natural history, traditional crafts, and rural life in Rajasthan.

Written By - Ms. Monika Sharma