“Someone needs to tell those tales and go to an era that you never got to see.
Where people would take walks to the very tops of hills
And can see the water rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.”
Weekends are special, for a reason: one, you are totally detached from the materialistic world, and two, you are free to explore, look for adventure, discover new places and to get lost. Travelling to new places is always a beautiful experience but taking the road to unearth the forgotten history, is an altogether different experience because without looking back you do not find what you left behind.
Around 32 kms from Jaipur is one famous destination, The Jamwa Ramgarh Dam. Many of us, must be aware and have been to this place for a long drive at least once in their lifetime. So, we at Jaipur Beat thought to explore this old glory of our city.
There is no dearth of heritage places to visit and explore in Jaipur but of all these there are ample spots that are drifted somewhere in the pages of history. One such lost gem was The Ramgarh Reservoir.
The Jamwa Ramgarh reservoir was one of the oldest man made lakes, the reservoir has been constructed by damming the river Banganga which originates in the midst of the Aravalli ranges. The Lake, which once overflowed in abundance, now has a story to tell about its decay.
Those who were born before 1980s would still remember Ramgarh as an ideal picnic spot during monsoon. Back then people used to hop on their scooters/bikes and zoom off just to check out the water level while passing through numerous anicuts, waterfalls and lush green forest patches.
The Ramgarh reservoir shot to international fame in 1982, when the world witnessed rowing events of the Asian Games here. The same year the Government of India declared it as a Wildlife Sanctuary. Unfortunately, the romantic picture once painted is gone forever. Today this man made lake that once hosted the water sports has dried up beyond recognition leaving no trace of water and what you see now is the vast land of agricultural fields, dense forests, some odd concrete structures, few ancient temples (a temple of Jamwai Mata, which is temple of ‘kuldevi’ (Goddess of Clan) of ex-Kacchawa rajput rulers of Jaipur), temple of Bhairon Baba and some relics. The row of structures made during Asian Games today can only be recognized with the mention of भारतीय खेल प्राधिकरण , नौकायन सेण्टर, रामगढ झील etched in faded blue colour.
No doubt, this will make you instantly depressed as not every time you can romanticize the past. The place, which was once full of life, is now filled with silence.
The once lifeline Ramgarh Lake was an artificial lake commissioned by Jaipur king Madho Singh II as an embankment on the forested hills and got completed in 1903, situated near Jamwa Ramgarh in Rajasthan, India. Unlike today when Bisalpur Dam is the major water supply point, at one point of time it was The Ramgarh lake which was the main source of water supply to Jaipur city. The last time the lake-received water was 1999 and it has been dry since.
Excluding the wild green growth on the bed and a few odd concrete structures, the century-old lake is mourning its glory.
When the lake was filled to brim, many tourists facilities were also developed around this area, including these hotels –
RTDC Tourist Village Resort- Jheel, a hotel with beautiful hut shaped accommodation is still functional here but is slowly on the verge of dying. Not many years ago, tourists and locales cherished it due to it’s location on the hill. Today, it’s more haunted with monkey crowd. The boat lying at the entrance takes you back to the days of glory when the Rowing event was held and boating was the regular feature.
The Gateway Hotel Ramgarh Lodge- The Gateway Hotel Ramgarh Lodge, designed by Sir Swinton Jacob was once the favourite getaway for Maharaja Man Singh and Maharani Gayatri Devi. It is still favoured by tourists those who want to relive the glorious kingly life that once was lived by the Maharaja’s of Jaipur.
If you’re a nature or history lover this is one place to explore. Endless rolling green hills, the Aravali view, and the old Dam construction beside the floating monsoon clouds that still dramatizes the entire panorama will leave you thinking about the sad state; destruction & decay of our heritage, architecture and history.
If not for the dam, remember it for its amazing number of monkey/langoor population.