ramgarh-heritage-water-walk-taj-hunting-lodge-jaipur

Exploring Ramgarh With A Heritage Water Walk

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. The drive from Jaipur to Ramgarh lake was fabulous during the monsoon with greenery all along.

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 history. It was initally 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 in plenty; more on that sometime later.

Having gained the knowledge of a water walk being conducted by Neeraj Doshi at Ramgarh Lake got me curious. Neeraj has been conducting water walks in Jaipur for the last couple of years starting with Jaigarh Fort Water Walk. His Nahargarh Heritage Water Walk and Amer Fort Heritage Water Walk are popular among people seeking experiences beyond the standard Jaipur tourist itinerary. Neeraj is a graduate from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, and has worked with leading institutions both in the USA and India. Ramgarh Lake Water Walk represents the most recent addition to the list of heritage water walks in Jaipur; it is one of the most exclusive among all.

I attended Ramgarh Water Walk on a balmy winter afternoon. The walk allows one to traverse through its history 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 Governor General of India during the late 1800s. Unfortunately, the dam could not be completed in his term. The difficulties were tied with the geography and politics of the region. It took a long time for things to get rolling for building Ramgarh Dam.

Neeraj explores considerable detail about 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 observation deck is one of the most magnificent places to observe the vast area Ramgarh Lake formerly occupied. The lake enclosed an area close to 16 sq km. This observation deck is reminiscent of the beautiful architecture of the pre-1940s.

The history of 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 Mata as their Kuldevi or ancestral deity; this is similar to Romans worshipping Penates. Here is a picture of 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.

jamwa-mata-temple-ramgarh-jaipur-kacchawa-rajput-history

The walk culminated at the lawns of the beautiful Taj Gateway Ramgarh Lodge. The sunset experience at 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 to 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.

Why do I recommend Ramgarh Water Walk?

Ramgarh water walk is an offbeat excursion trip from Jaipur and allows one to peek into the glorious past of this region. Combined with Taj Ramgarh Lodge, it makes a compelling visit. It is an ideal weekend activity near Jaipur within 50 km.

ramgarh-lake-dam-jaipur-pump-house-observation-deck

Jaipur To Ramgarh Lake Distance

The distance from Jaipur to Ramgargh Lake is approximately 35 km and it takes an hour to reach from the walled city area.

How to book Ramgarh Heritage Water Walk

Ramgarh water walk can be done by booking the same in advance on http://heritagewaterwalks.com/

Ramgarh Water Walk

53 thoughts on “Exploring Ramgarh With A Heritage Water Walk

      1. Things are okay, currently. Situation out here is better than Europe. We have moved out of all kinds of restrictions. I’m sure things will be similar in a couple of months in your part of the world, as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The apprehensions here are that a) the vaccines may not be so effective against mutations, b) the front line workers (like teachers) are not being vaccinated quickly enough, and c) a lot of people may choose not be vaccinated because of conspiracy theory inspired fears about the vaccine.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I agree. I was meant even some of the governments too are cynical, like some Western nations over Sputnik. They have no issues with Pfizer or Astra Zeneca.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you Arv, to take us on this amazing water walk and he lushness of the sprouting green makes it look really beautiful. There is so much hidden history you discover on your field trips, I really enjoy reading about it and your photography is really splendid. Have a great inspiring week , stay safe and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arv, these are some wonderful views. It seems you definitely had an excellent trip. Even I am planning to visit a place near Jaipur soon for a wedding, not sure if I can make out time for a trip to the city and surroundings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly something that you will enjoy, Sarmistha. Good to know you will be touching down in Jaipur. Let me know where are you visiting, may be I can suggest what you can do in the little time you have. Is this in Feb?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much Arv, your suggestions would be of great help. Yes it is in the end of this Feb. I do have a few places in mind, not sure how things will turn out but till then I will keep planning in myself. I am interested to visit the Nahargarh Fort but I guess will not have the time to trek, so is there vehicle connectivity to the top of the hill? I was interested in this fort after reading your blog post on the Nahargarh Fort trek. I would also like to know if there are any boating services in the Man Sagar lake as I have heard it is a good spot for bird watching and also to see the Jal Mahal closely.

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      2. Sarmistha, you can certainly visit Nahargarh Fort in car. A small hike is possible even if you are short of time. I can provide details. Boating in Jal Mahal is not possible, currently. Bird watching? That’s possible. Even though there are better spots for bird watching but I guess you won’t have enough for a seperate trip. You can connect with me via DM on any SM for more inputs. Hope this helped. πŸ™‚

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    1. I’m sure you have some other exciting places that are keeping you busy since you are are an avid traveler. You must experience heritage walks in Jaipur. The water walks are one of its kind in this part of the world; something that I recommend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful photos Arvind! The walk sure sounds interesting. I was trying to picture the view with the lake full. Breathtaking! There is not much water now, is there? Post good monsoon should be good time to visit this place. I had been considering Ramgarh Lodge for a weekend getaway and your post is a sign πŸ™‚ I presume Jamwai mata is a kul devi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will recommend one when you visit Ramgarh Lodge. It is a pretty place to stay. My suggestion would be winter season. Monsoon is nice too. I regret to inform you even in monsoon, Ramgarh Lake doesn’t fill up. You can find a lot more in this walk. I’m sure you have enough reasons to plan a trip now, Monika. πŸ™‚

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