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Sharmishtha Lake

Vadnagar is a small city in Gujarat, which was historically the first capital of the state. The lake was built as a water harvesting system to conserve water by the great Solanki rulers in the 10th century. Till date, the lake supplies water as an additional water body to replenish the daily needs of the city. This enormous lake is built in an oval shape and lies in the north eastern direction. At two sides of the lake lie the grand gates of Arjun – Bari and Amarthol Gates. The lake constantly retains water in almost all conditions because of a water incursion mechanism from the nearby water bodies and it is connected with almost 7 water inlet channels.

The lake has a centrally placed small island which now has become an Amphitheatre. The island is also been developed as garden for visitors. The lake is clean, hygienic and also well maintained. The godly lake has a lot of temples surrounding in the vicinity and has been a part of lot of ancient fables and stories. The most famous being the story of Tana & Riri (two singer sisters).

Vadnagar has been home to some of the greatest rulers and Solanki dynasty has profoundly developed the place in their era whose remnants still can be seen. Construction of this lake is an engineering marvel. It came into existence as a water outlet from the flowing river Kapila through the Aravali hills. Built in red and yellow sandstone the lake has an in built system of protecting the banks from sudden floods or large gushes of water with the help of a kund or water tank. This small tank is situated on the northern side of the lake. The kund, popularly known as Nagdharo secures the feeding channel in emergencies.

Earlier, Sharmishtha Lake was the center of the city. Now, the city has shifted to the outskirts. However, the lake maintains two magnificent structures known as the torans. These were two connected pillars which looked like an entrance or an opening. The torans are yet another example of the skills and carving expertise of Solanki dynasty and their love and fondness towards art and culture. They are beautifully sculpted and are about 10 feet high.
The Sharmishtha Lake has many temples lining its banks. The famous Hatkeshwar Temple at Vadnagar where the Shiv Linga is emerged on its own (swayambhu) is also near the lake.

The Buddhist Connection

Apart from the grandeur of Hindu rulers and the exhibit of their culture, Vadnagar has a history of Buddhism. There have been excavations to show the existence of Buddhist monasteries which belong to the 2nd- 7th century AD.

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Sharmishtha Lake
Sharmishtha Lake
Sharmishtha Lake
Sharmishtha Lake
Sharmishtha Lake
Sharmishtha Lake

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