Centuries-old lakes of Jodhpur full of water even today

Ranisar and Padamsagar are twin lakes near the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. Padamsagar is smaller than Ranisar lake and was constructed in the 15th century by Rani Padmini, the daughter of Rana Sanga of Mewar. It was built to store water for residents of the area and continues to have clean water even today.

Ranisar Lake, Jodhpur

This is a lake on the foothills of Mehrangarh Fort in the old Jodhpur City. It was built in 1459-60 on the orders of Jasmde Hadi, Rao Jodha’s wife, for water conservation. The lake is pristine even today and its catchment area has been converted into a protected private reserve -- the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park. Ranisar is fed by rainwater runoff from the hills surrounding it.

Kaylana Lake

About 5km in length, this lake was constructed in 1872 by Pratap Singh, the then Prime Minister of Jodhpur. It is a perennial lake rising to its full capacity during the rainy season. Apart from Jodhpur, the surrounding towns and villages also depend on Kaylana as a source of drinking water.

Balsamand Lake

A narrow triangular lake in a valley, Balsamand (also Bal Samand) Lake was built in the 13th century by Gurjara-Pratihara ruler Balak Rao Parihar and is named after him. This lake collects rainwater and is also recharged by underground water aquifers.

Gulab Sagar Lake

Covering an area of about 120m x 87m, this lake was built in 1788 by Gulab Rai (also Gulabrai), the concubine of Maharaja Vijay Singh (reigned from 1772 to 1793 AD). This artificial lake is fed with rainwater through a pucca canal, collecting water from the drainage basin of north Jodhpur. A canal flowing from Bal Samand Lake also supplies water to Gulab Sagar.

Takhat Sagar Lake

Takhat Sagar Lake was built in the 14th century by Takhat Singh, a ruler of Jodhpur. It covers an area of 84 acres, and is surrounded by lush green gardens, temples, and palaces. The lake also has several small islands, which are home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers.

Shekhaji Ka Talab

Shekhawat Antarang, the queen of Jaswant Singh, built this lake in Jodhpur about 500 years back. It is famous for its scenic beauty. The Maharaja also built a palace near the lake for his stay during the rainy season. It is the main source of water for the palace even now.

Lakes of Jodhpur

The lakes built hundreds of years ago are testimony to the water wisdom of previous generations without any formal training in engineering or technologies. Following the ancient water harvesting techniques is essential to meet the current water crises.