Rajasmand lake is a gigantic lake between areas of Kankroli and Rajnagar within the city of Rajasmand. It was built by Maharana Raj Singh, the king of Mewar, and its original name was Rajasamudra lake which literally means “the ocean of Raj Singh”.
The lake is 6.4 km long and 3 km wide, which is really very large, almost the whole Rajasmand city can be fitted within the lake. It is 18 m deep.
Maharana Raj Singh built the lake to relieve the drought stricken people of the region. It was in fact the first water relief project in western India. Raj Singh used the river Gomati, Kelwa and Tali to supply water to the lake. The combined supply of the rivers are still supplying enough water to the lake.
The project was very big and it costed 4 million rupees at that time. Construction work was done between 1672 to 1676 AD. The lake in fact satisfied its need by providing water to farmers suffering due to low rainfall.
Sometimes, in very severe drought, the lake also got almost empty. It was reported that water level of the lake got to alarming low level in year 2000. But it was soon filled during rains in monsoon season.
Besides being very large, the lake has some architectural and historical significance also. Raj Singh has constructed a number of royal pavilions and beautiful stone archs throughout the lake.
When the lake’s construction work completed on 14 th January 1676, Raj Singh celebrated the day by observing fast and doing devotional service to Lord Krishna the previous day and holding a celebration next day.
A royal party was organized at the bank of the lake. It was followed by doing congregational chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna all the night. Raj Singh was a great Vaishnava and by this festival he engaged his family, relatives and royal officers in Bhakti.
The royal pavilions were constructed by Queen Charumati, the wife of Raj Singh. The king married her to save her from Aurangzeb, the Mughal tyrant of Delhi. Charumati wanted to marry no one else than Raj Singh, but Aurangzeb, who was already old, wanted to enjoy the beautiful girl. When she refused to marry sinful Aurangzeb, he threatened that he will make her his maidservant and he will also kill her father, who was a very old king.
When king Raj Singh came to know about this calamity on princess Charumati, he decided to fight against Aurangzeb. In the battle Aurangzeb’s army, which was largest in India at that time, was defeated by brave Rajput army of brave Raj Singh.
Raj Singh married Charumati and captured Aurangzeb. The battle was fought in the narrow valleys of Nathadwara, near Rajasmand, which fell under Raj Singh’s kingdom so he easily defeated the enemy and even captured the Mughal emperor.
Aurangzeb and his queens, who were all taken as prisoners, had to work as servants of Raj Singh and Charumati. It was a perfect punishment for Aurangzeb who destroyed many Vaishnava temples at Vrinadavana and wanted to dishonor princess Charumati, who was now the queen of Mewar.
All Hindu rulers wanted to punish the Muslim tyrant Aurangzeb for destructing the important Vaishnava temples at Vrindavana, and at last Raj Singh did that.
After two months Aurangzeb was released after taking huge penalty and gold equal to his weight, which was all arranged by his sons. In a way Raj Singh sold the emperor just like a slave. This done at Rajasmand lake. No Mughal ruler then ever dared to attack Mewar.
Aurangzeb was selfish tyrant who murdered his own father, brothers, uncles, and other relatives to become the king himself. He often betrayed his loyal generals, ministers and even sons. He destructed many great temples of the Lord. He was ever willing to enjoy women and wine. So he deserved this treatment.
You may see the beautiful temple of Dwarkadheesha, built by Raj Singh, at the bank of the lake. The deity of Dwarkadheesha ( Krishna the king of Dwarka ) was moved from Mathura due to the attack of Aurangzeb on Mathura and Vrinadavana. He wanted to destroy all Vaishnava temples and deities of that region.
Best time to see the lake is during sunset. It can be done as an excursion from the nearby cities of Nathadwara ( 16 km away ) or Udaipur ( 65 km away ), which have better tourist reception.