Rajasthan is as famous for its wildlife sanctuaries as for is forts and palaces. The regal charm as on the one hand enchants you in total bliss on the other hand it also gives you the delight of the nature which has a completely different definition for its ambience. When we talk about the wildlife sanctuaries we are incomplete if we are not discussing the Jaisamand Sanctuary in Rajasthan. It is located at a distance of 51 km south east of Udaipur and spread over an area of 160 square km. Jaisamand Sanctuary came into existence in the year 1957. This sanctuary is the habitat of innumerable species which include sloth bear, leopard, chital, chinkara, wild boar and a large number of the birds that breed here such as darter, open bill stork, pond heron, little cormorant and Indian Shag. The aquatic life ad the amphibians are also found in the lake such as the fish and the crocodiles.
The Jaisamand sanctuary is located besides an artificial lake, which is popularly referred to as Dhevar Lake. Jaisamand Lake, also known as Dhebar, is located 52km south east of Udaipur and was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1685. Legend has it that Rana Jai Singh constructed the Dhebar Lake to provide a perfect backdrop for a summer retreat - "Rubi Rani Ka Mahal". It is the second largest artificial lake in Asia covering an area of 36sqkm. The lake remained the largest artificial lake in the world till the building of the Aswan dam in Egypt. The statistics of the lake is really amazing – 9 miles in breadth, 102 feet deep at its deepest end, a circumference of 30 miles with elegant marble staircases leading to the water and marble Chhatri (cenotaphs) on its bank and a small Shiv temple marks the grace of the lake. On either side are the palaces built for the kings favourite queens. On the dam are six exotic cenotaphs and a Shiva temple in the centre. The northern end of the lake has a palace with a courtyard while its southern end has a pavilion of 12 pillars. The hills to its south have grand palaces that have an excellent view of the lake. Tourists can even enjoy the beauty of the lake by motor boats or simply play with its water by diving and swimming.
Today if one were to visit Dhebar Lake, one is sure to fall in love with this rather beautiful lake. For the adventurous tourists, there are seven islands on this lake and the most colourful tribe of Rajasthan – The Bhil Minas inhabit all. Two bigger islands are known as Babaka Bhagra and a smaller is called Piari. There is a bund on the lake, which has to be mentioned due to its sheer size – 1202 feet long, 116 feet high and 70 feet broad at the base.
The forests around Jaisamand, which once were the hunting grounds of Maharanas of Mewar, have now been converted into a game sanctuary. This sanctuary built in 1957 lies just beside the artificial Jaisamand Lake and has an area of 62sq km. The lake welcomes a wide variety of resident and migratory birds and is also home to the cunning crocodiles. The Jaisamand Wild life sanctuary is a home for different species of animals like 'Panther', 'Wild Boar', ‘Deer from horned 'Antelopes' (a rare species to be seen) 'mongoose' etc. The leopard, hyena, jungle cat, fox and wolf are among the carnivores of the sanctuary. The surrounding forest is infested with leopard, cheetal (spotted deer), chinkara (Indian Gazelle) and wild boar. The Jaisamand Lake is the abode of crocodiles, turtles and a variety of fish. The island resort is worth visiting after an adventurous trek in the wild for a close encounter with the fauna. Jeep rides are the best. A tourist bungalow, a forest rest house and a hotel provide accommodation to the enthusiastic wildlife watchers. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between November and June
Jaisamand Sanctuary of Rajasthan is the perfect resort for the nature lovers and the wildlife explores who want to see the species in their totally natural atmosphere. There is another sanctuary called the game sanctuary which located in the vicinity of Jaisamand sanctuary and stretches over an area of 45 kilometers and has a road through which the motors could be driven. This sanctuary is the home of the wild animals that include panthers, wild bear, spotted dear, sambars and many more.
Location and Transport of Jaisamand Sanctuary in Rajasthan, India
Jaisamand Sanctuary is located at a distance of 51 km south east of Udaipur. Udaipur attract domestic as well as international tourists owing to a number of historical and religious land marks within the city as well as in the vicinity and hence is very well connected to the major cities of India by road, Air and Rail.
Road: Udaipur falls on the Golden Quadrilateral, lying midway between Delhi and Mumbai on National Highway (NH) 8 and is around 650 km from either metro. The roads in this part of the country are really nice, paved in the middle, and fit for self-driving. One can either drive from Jaipur (around 7 hours) or Ahmedabad (4-5 hours), or take a Rajasthan Tourism bus from India Gate in Delhi.
Air: Dabok airport is 24 km from the city centre. Daily flights connect Udaipur with Jodhpur, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai and Delhi. The Airport is going through modernization project and soon going to have a new terminal building with additional 4 stands.
Train: Train connectivity is established between Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad through trains run by Indian Railway. Recently Udaipur got connected with Delhi Kota and Mathura with superfast Mewar express on broad gauge line. Udaipur is now also connected with the Kolkatta, by the train "Ananya Express".
Facts of Jaisamand Sanctuary of Rajasthan in India
Total Area: 52 sq. km
Best time to visit: Round the year
Nearest Town: Udaipur
Species found: Leopard, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Fox, Wolf, Sambar,Chital, Langur, Chinkara.
Accommodation and other facilities:
Fortunately for tourists, accommodation is not a problem in Udaipur. The town (not the park) has a number of guest houses, forest lodges and hotels, including some luxurious heritage properties. Besides the accommodation in the town, there are two forest lodges and two restaurants within the park. The restaurants are however, extremely basic and it’s advisable to bring your own food if you plan to spend the entire day within the park.