Kids growing up in Jaipur between the 1950s to 1990s can recall having been to Ramgarh Lake picnics during monsoon season. Ramgarh Dam or Ramgarh Lake was one of the most coveted picnic places in Jaipur located near Jamwa Ramgarh village. The drive from Jaipur to Ramgarh lake was fabulous during the monsoon with greenery all along. This lake is part of the Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
I can recall being stranded mid-way on many occasions due to the rain-fed river crossings swelling up. This caused the traffic to a standstill. People had to wait for a couple of hours until the water levels receded and they could proceed. Ramgarh Lake comprises an integral part of Jaipur’s history. It was initially conceived as an irrigation project. It has supplied water to the city for close to a century. It has ceased being a water source for the last two decades. The reasons are plenty; more on that sometime later.
Ramgarh Dam Lake Heritage Water Walk Guide
The water walk at Ramgarh lake dam is conducted by Neeraj Doshi. There are more heritage water walks in Jaipur – Nahargarh Heritage Water Walk, Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk, and Jaigarh Fort Water Walk. He runs a water consultancy business in Jaipur
I attended Ramgarh Water Walk on a balmy winter afternoon.
History of Ramgarh Lake & Dam
The walk traverses the history of Ramgarh lake spanning a period of 150 years. Ramgarh Lake was an artificial lake built by damming a seasonal river- Baan Ganga. Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II, a strong proponent of this dam encountered immense problems in getting approval from the Governor-General of India during the late 1800s. Unfortunately, the dam could not be completed in his term. The difficulties were tied to the geography and politics of the region. It took a long time for things to get rolling for building Ramgarh Lake Dam. The dam was commissioned in 1897 AD to cover an area of 16 sq km. The water catchment area extends more than 800 sq. kilometers.
Ramgarh Lake Location
Ramgarh Lake is located in Jamwa Ramgarh Tehsil It is around 40-45 km from Jaipur on a road that connects Jaipur with Aandhi.
The walk explores the historic events that took place before and after building Ramgarh Lake. One of the most prestigious events was the rowing competition at Ramgarh Lake in Asiad Games in 1982. The lake is a part of another historic event that influenced the course of World War II. The following building was built by Swinton Samuel Jacob and bears an inscription of an important year.
The observation deck, a part of the pump station is one of the most magnificent places to observe the vast area Ramgarh Lake formerly occupied. This observation deck is reminiscent of the beautiful architecture of the pre-1940s.
The history of the Ramgarh lake region is ancienter than the lake and dam. Ramgarh predates Amer as the capital of Dhundhar, a region administered by the Kacchawa Rajputs. While the history of Amer can be traced to 1000-1100 AD, Ramgarh is definitely older. Formerly, this region was called Manch. The Kachhawas consider Jamwa or Jamuwai Mata as their Kuldevi or ancestral deity; this is similar to Romans worshipping Penates.
Ramgarh Lake Facts
The lake enclosed an area close to 16 sq km. The amount of money spent on its construction was close to Rs 585,000. The water capacity of the Ramgarh dam is 75 million cubic meters. A canal was constructed from the dam to link it with another dam in Kalakho, Dausa not far from Bhangarh Fort. It was close to 34 km long. It took 6 years to complete the project. The dam was completed in 1903 and started supplying water in 1931 under the rule of Sawai Man Singh II. The depth of the dam is approx. 60 feet. The lake dried up completely in 2005.
Jamwa Mata Temple
Here is a picture of the old Jamwa Mata Temple which has been replaced by a new temple.
Even to date, Kachhawa Rajputs visit Jamwa Mata to pay respect to their ancestral deity. It was customary for a king to visit the Jamwa Mata Temple after ascending to the throne. Here is a picture of the new Jamwa Mata Temple.
The walk culminated at the lawns of the beautiful Taj Gateway Ramgarh Lodge.
Taj Ramgarh Lodge
The sunset experience at Taj Ramgarh Lodge is unforgettable.
This building is built in Greco-Roman architecture during the term of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. In many ways, this building reminds one of the British Delhi or Lutyens Delhi. The columns are reminiscent of the ones in Connaught Place, New Delhi.
I always recommend people visit Taj Ramgarh Lodge for a long drive from Jaipur. A sundowner or lunch overlooking the lake remains a must-have experience during the winters following the water walk. Ramgarh Lodge is a historic building managed by the Taj group of hotels.
Among the fringe benefits of attending this walk consist of a close encounter with Rhesus Macaque monkeys. The valley is full of monkeys, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say it is a monkey valley of Jaipur! The monkeys here outnumber the monkeys in Galta Ji Temple which is popularly called Jaipur Monkey Temple. Read A beautiful sunrise in Monkey Valley in Jaipur.
Is Ramgarh Dam Heritage Water Walk worth The Experience?
Ramgarh water walk is an offbeat excursion trip from Jaipur and allows one to peek into the glorious past of this region. It is more of a weekend activity near Jaipur since it is 60-70 km (to & from) the city, depending on the location. One needs more than half a day to undertake this heritage water walk. If you attend this walk do ensure your car is parked safely. The monkeys of this region love chewing the rubber on the windshield wipers. They have a reputation for being the most aggressive among all monkeys found in Jaipur. Also, I recommend not undertaking this heritage water walk at Ramgarh Dam on a clear sunny day during the monsoon or summer season. The walk involves some walking so good walking shoes are recommended. The cost of the Ramgarh water walk is approx. Rs 1500 and can be undertaken when a substantial number of people can enroll.
Which heritage walk is a good alternative to Ramgarh Heritage Water Walk?
A good alternative to the heritage water walk is a heritage walking tour in Jaipur which allows a good insight into the heritage, history, architecture, and culture of the pink city. What weighs in the favor of this walk is there is no extra commute time, cost, and experience. You can read more about this in this post – Heritage walking tour in Jaipur
Jaipur To Ramgarh Lake Distance
The Jaipur to Ramgarh Lake distance is approximately 35 km and it takes an hour to reach the walled city area.
How to book Ramgarh Lake Heritage Water Walk
Ramgarh heritage water walk needs to be booked in advance.
Queries about the walk? firstname.lastname@example.org