Drainage System of Rajasthan

RAS/RTS Prelims and Mains Exam Preparation

Rivers of Rajasthan

The rivers of Rajasthan can be divided into three main types based on their drainage pattern; they are rivers that drain into Arabian Sea, rivers that drain into Bay of Bengal and rivers with inland drainage. The most characteristic feature of the drainage system of Rajasthan is that nearly 60.2% of the area of the state has an inland drainage system.

The Aravalli range forms the main watershed for Rajasthan, dividing the drainage into the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The Luni river system that rises from the western slopes of the Aravalli Range (near Ajmer) flows through the semi-arid transitional plains into the Rann of Kutch and Arabian Sea, while the Banas and other streams, rising from the eastern slopes of the Aravallis, join the Chambal. The Chambal, then flows into the Yamuna-Ganga river system which drains into the Bay of Bengal. The main watercourses like the Sabarmati, Banas, etc. and the tributaries of the Luni, are more or less parallel to the Aravalli Range.

Additionally, Rivers of Rajasthan are mostly seasonal with only two river basins (Chambal and Mahi) being perennial.

River Basins of Rajasthan

  • Ancient Rivers of Rajasthan: Saraswati & Drishadwati Rivers

Chambal River

Tributaries:

•     Parbati

•     Kali Sindh

•     Mej (ST: Mangli)

•     Alnia

•     Sep

•     Banas

•     Gambhir or Utangan

•     Brahmani

•     Gunjali

Banas River

Tributaries:-

•     Berach

•     Kothari

•     Khari

•     Dai

•     Mashi

•     Sohadra

•     Morel

•     Kalisil

•     Dheel

Banganga River

Tributaries:

•     Suri

•     Sanwan

•     Palasan

Luni River

Tributaries:

  • Bandi River
  • Sukri River
  • Jawai River
  • Khari River

Sabarmati River

Tributaries:

•     Sei

•     Wakal

•     Harnav

•     Hathmati

•     Watrak

Mahi River

Tributaries:

  • Som (ST: Gomti, Jakham)
  • Anas
  • Panam

Other Important Rivers of Rajasthan

  • Saraswati River
  • Dravyavati River
  • West Banas River
  • Rivers of Inland Drainage
  • Gambhir or Utangan River

Lakes in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is the most arid state of India with average yearly rainfall less that 100 cm. However, Rajasthan has large number lakes mostly artificial as well as historical, signifying a tradition of conserving natural resources and respecting nature. The lakes in Rajasthan can divided into types Saline and Fresh water lakes.

Types of Lakes in Rajasthan:

  • Saline (Salt) Water lakes
  • This are considered as remains of Tethys Sea.
  • Deedwana, Lunkaransar, Sambhar, Pachpadra etc.

 Fresh (Sweet) Water lakes

They have either developed naturally or artificially and get replenished by rainwater.

Pichhola, Rajsamand, Rajsamand, Ana Sagar etc.

A.  Saline (Salt) Water lakes in Rajasthan

  • Sambhar Lake – Sambhar
  • Location: Phulera, Jaipur

    Built by: As per mythology, Scambhari Devi,

    Highlights:

  • Ramsar Wetland
  • Largest in-land salt-lake in India
  • Touches border of Jaipur, Ajmer and Nagaur.
  • Rivers mantha, Rupnagar, khari, Khandela drain their water into this lake.
  • The lake produces 8.7% of Salt produced in India.

 Lake Is managed by Sambhar Salts Limited, a joint venture of Hindustan Salts and the Government of Rajasthan

Pachpadra Lake: Pachpadra

  • Location: Barmer
  • Built by: Natural

Highlights: Its sodium chloride level is marked at 98%

Lunkaransar Lake: Lunkaransar

 Location: Bikaner

 Built by: Natural

Highlights: It is a playa lake formed due to deflation.

Deedwana Lake: Deedwana

  • Location: Nagaur
  • Built by: Natural

 Highlights: Salt produced is non-edible grade because of high fluoride.

Tal Chappar: black-buck

    Location: Churu

Highlights: Tal Chhapar Wild Life Sanctuary

Other Salt lakes:

 Nagaur District: Degana, Kuchaman

  • Jodhpur: Falaudi
  • Sikar: Rewasa
  • Jaisalmer: Kavod

B.  Fresh Water lakes in Rajasthan

Ana Sagar Lake, Ajmer: AnasagarAnasagar Lake is a scenic artificial lake, commissioned and built by Arno raj Chauhan, son of Ajapala Chauhan, between 1135 and 1150 AD. Arno raj was also known as Anaji, which gives the lake its name. Many years later, Mughal Emperor Jahangir added his touch to the lake by laying out the Daulat Bagh Gardens near the lake. Emperor Shah Jahan too, contributed to the expansion by building five pavilions, known as the Baradari, between the garden and the lake.

Lake Foy Sagar, Ajmer: Lake-foy

A beautiful artificial lake that appears flat, Lake Foy Sagar was built by an English engineer, Mr. Foy in 1892 AD. Interestingly, this work was taken up to provide famine relief through wage employment to locals. Lake Foy Sagar offers a beautiful view of the Aravalli range.

Pushkar Lake, Pushkar, Ajmer

Pushkar according to Hindu scriptures, the sacred Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake. Semi-circular in shape and about 8-10 metres deep, Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.

Siliserh Lake, Alwar

The water palace of Siliserh with a lake surrounded by low wooded hills is on route to Sariska. It lies 12 Kms. Southwest of Alwar. The tranquil lake is nestled in the hills; the sparkling ripples of the lake cover an area of about sq. Kms, surrounded by thick forest and magnificent cenotaphs on its embankment. A royal hunting lodge /palace were built by Maharaja Vinay Singh for his Queen Shila in 1845. It has been converted into a tourist bungalow and is an attractive sot for a peaceful holiday.

Anand Sagar Lake, Banswara

This artificial lake, also known as Bai Talab was constructed by Lanchi Bai, the Rani of Maharaval Jagmal Singh. Located in the eastern part of Banswara, it is surrounded by holy trees known as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ famous for fulfilling the wishes of visitors. The Chattris or cenotaphs of the rulers of the state are also scattered nearby.

Dailab Lake, Banswara

On the banks of this beautiful lake stands the summer residence of the former rulers. A major part of the lake itself is covered with lotus flowers.

Jait Sagar Lake, Bundi

Located close to the Taragarh Fort, this picturesque lake is surrounded by hills and covered with pretty lotus flowers that bloom during winter and monsoon.

Kanak Sagar Lake, Bundi

About 67 kilometers from the town of Bundi lies this wonderful flat lake. There is also a town named after the lake. One can spot several migratory birds here such as bar headed goose and Demoille cranes all through the year.

Nawal Sagar Lake, Bundi

Nawal Sagar Lake is an artificial lake that is a major tourist attraction and can even be seen from the Taragarh Fort. There is a half-submerged temple dedicated to Lord Varun Dev in its centre. What makes the lake unique is that one can see the reflection of nearby palaces and forts in its waters.

Gaib Sagar Lake, Dungarpur

The lake is famous for the shrine of Shrinathji that rests on its banks. The shrine complex contains numerous exquisitely carved temples and one core temple, the Vijay Rajrajeshwar Temple. This temple of Lord Shiva displays the skilled craftsmanship of the famed sculptors or ‘shilpkars’ of Dungarpur.

Gadsisar Lake, Jaisalmer

Gadsisar Lake was constructed in the 14th century by Maharaval Gadsi Singh to meet the water needs of his arid lands. Considering its importance, many small temples and shrines were constructed around it, transforming it into a pilgrimage centre and a tourist attraction.

Balsamand Lake, Jodhpur

Balsamand Lake is about 5 kilometers from Jodhpur on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road. Built in 1159 AD, it was planned as a water reservoir to cater to Mandore. The Balsamand Lake Palace was built on its shore later as a summer palace. It is surrounded by lush green gardens that house groves of trees such as mango, papaya, pomegranate, guava and plum. Animals and birds like the jackal and peacock also call this place home.

Kailana Lake, Jodhpur

Situated on Jaisalmer road, this small artificial lake is an ideal picnic spot. It is like a canvas with a splash of romantic colours. The beauty of the lake stays with you long after you’ve experienced it.

Kishore Sagar Lake, Kota

Kishore Sagar Lake is one of the lakes in Kota which was built in 1346 by the prince of Bundi named Dher Deh. The Jagmandir Palace was built by one of the queens of Kota between 1743 and 1745, and is situated in the middle of the Kishore Sagar Lake.

Rajsamand Lake, Rajsamand

Maharana Raj Singh an able administrator of the fifth generation of Maharana Pratap constructed Rajsamand Lake in 1662 AD, which is a beautiful example of sculpture and public utility works. The banks known as “Nouchoki” consist of 25 carved stone ‘RAJ PRASHASHTI’ the longest stone inscription in Sanskrit in the world. The stairs, footrest, artistic gates and ‘Mandaps’ are made of beautiful carved marble and the sculpture imparts a new look every time. The whole construction is based on the number 9 which is considered to be the absolute number in Hindu philosophy & mythology. It took 14 years for completion and cost more than 12.5 million rupees at that time. Rajsamand District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India

Doodh Talai, Udaipur

The road that takes visitors to Pichhola Lake has another popular destination – the Doodh Talai Lake. The lake is nestled between several small hillocks which themselves are tourist attractions. The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park and the Manikya Lal Verma Garden are part of the Doodh Talai Lake Garden.

Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur

This delightful lake, bordered by hills and woodlands, lies to the north of Lake Pichhola. This artificial lake is connected to Lake Pichhola by a canal. The lake houses the beautiful Nehru Island as well as an islet on which stands the Udaipur Solar Observatory. It was inaugurated by the Duke of Connaught and was initially called Connaught Bundh.

Jaisamand Lake, Udaipur

Jaisamand Lake is known for being the second largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. It is popular among the locals as a weekend picnic destination. Locals say that the lake was constructed to halt the waters of Ruparel River. This lake boasts of a large island, which is home to various species of birds, at its centre.

Pichhola Lake, Udaipur

Pichhola was the name of a village that was submerged and lent its name to the lake when it was expanded. The islands of Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir as housed in this lake. Along the eastern banks of the lake lies the City Palace. A boat ride in the lake around sunset offers a breathtaking view of the Lake and City Palaces.

Udai Sagar Lake, Udaipur

Udai Sagar Lake is one of the five striking lakes situated in Udaipur. Located about 13 kilometers to the east of Udaipur, the construction of this lake was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh. The lake is actually a result of a dam being built on the river Berach to supply adequate water to the Maharana’s kingdom. Udai Sagar Lake is 4 kms in length, 2.5 kilometers in width and about 9 meters at its deepest.

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