Location: Ajmer, Rajasthan
Surrounded by the magnificent Aravalli Hills, the city of Ajmer is one of the oldest and the most beautiful cities of Rajasthan. Thousands of tourists from all over the country visit the city for one of the most revered shrines of India: Dargah of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti or “Ajmer Sharif”. But there is one more place that proves to be a feather in the cap for Ajmer. It is the beautiful and picturesque Ana Sagar Lake. This man-made lake has been the crowning beauty of Ajmer ever since 11th Century. Sprawling across 13 km, the Ana Sagar lake was constructed in 1135-1150 AD. The grandfather of Prithviraj Chauhan, King Anaji Chauhan built the lake for the welfare of the city and it is, thus, named after him. The lake was created by raising a dam across the Lavanavri River and the catchments were built with the help of the local population. To add to the beauty of the lake, further constructions were done around the lake by the Mughal emperors. The pavilions near the lake were built by Shahjahan while the famous Daulat Bagh Gardens surrounding the lake were brought up by Jehangir. In the vicinity of the lake, a circuit house can be seen over the hilltop, which served as a British Residency in the later years. Interestingly, the Ana Sagar lake dries up completely during summers. Another major attraction of this lake is the island in the centre, which is accessible by a boat or a water scooter available on each side of the Daulat Bagh Gardens. There are several other attractions near the lake that add to its charm.
Best time to visit: October to March, when the lake looks fuller with remarkable increase in water level. Also the weather at that time is cool and relaxing.
Nearby attractions: Adahi-Din-Ka Jhopra, Taragarh Fort, Nasiyan and Prithviraj Smarak.