As beautiful as it looks on any given day, it beholds a different sight at evenings. When the dusky sun plays cruel tricks on its otherwise placid surface, it reflects a story lesser known—for a lake to be this majestic is surreal at times, especially when its neighbours are the famous dunes, the royal state of Rajasthan is known for.
As the sun fades out, making way for a rather gloomy evening, it leaves a mark on the water, and on the mountain ranges that surround the beautiful Siliserh Lake in the Alwar district. At times, it feels surreal, and there are moments when it becomes the lake of memories, reflecting on the days bygone. That’s what Siliserh is all about. It’s not just another weekend tourist destination; it is more like finding yourself in the serene land.
Situated in the north eastern part of the state, Siliserh is a man-made lake at just 165 km away from the national capital. It has a fort (which is now transformed into a luxury hotel, run by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation). Spread across seven sq kms, the lake was built by Maharaja Vinay Singh in 1845, and was gifted to his wife Sheela. Two earthen dams were constructed to collect the waters of a small tributary of the river Ruparel in the lake, and over the years, it has turned into a quick holiday destination.
So, if the idea is to enjoy a quality day, watching the lake and the mountain ranges of Aravali, it is better to start early. If you are driving down from Delhi, first reach the historical city of Alwar, gorge into some steam hot kachori, pakoda and famous Kalakand (local sweetmeat) and then drive down further 20 kms through the Alwar-Sariska Road.
As you drive past the rusty roads and the uneven terrains, the first thing that would strike you is the serenity. With hardly any residential areas around, one can enjoy the change of scene. Even though the road leading to the lake-fort is not that smooth, that, however, wouldn’t matter much. With the Aravali range on both the sides, one is bound to enjoy the natural beauty.
After driving for good half an hour, once you reach the lake fort, be sure to be blown away by the picturesque location. Surrounded by the majestic mountains, the lake would not only make you fall in love with it, but would also help the traveller feel at home.
Walk up to the rooftop of the palace to experience an aerial view of the area. In winters, the lake fort is an abode for migratory birds and some endangered species, and if you are lucky, you might just end up seeing the Bar-headed geese. That’s not all. As you enjoy your coffee and snacks, you can even spot peacocks taking low flights near the lakeside.
Those are the scenes that would make your outing the one to remember. Even though there’s staying options in the luxury palace hotel, if you are not in a mood to stay over, visit the sprawling gardens around the fort. For the last few years, the state’s tourism department, in collaboration with a private enterprise, has started motorboat services in the lake, which is popular among the tourists. To attract more tourists, water sport activities have also been introduced.
But if you are not willing to go for a boat ride, just sit quietly on the roof top, and you wouldn’t even realise how time would fly. Not just the beauty of the place, visit the fort restaurant to taste some Rajasthani delicacies like Dal Baati Churma, Bajre ki Roti and Laal Maash.
After enjoying a lavish meal at a surprisingly low price, you may travel down to Sariska National Park, which is just 20 km away. While driving back to Delhi, many people stop over at Bhangarh, to see the haunted fort, which is pretty close by. But if you don’t want all that, just sit back and enjoy the old world charm of Siliserh.
After all, it’s not every day that one sets up a date with history!