The Sambhar Salt Lake, India’s largest inland salt lake, is located 80 km (50 mi) southwest of the city of Jaipur and 64 km (40 mi)northeast of Ajmer,Rajasthan. It surrounds the historical Sambhar Lake Town.
Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s largest saline lake and is the source of most of Rajasthan’s salt production. It produces 196,000 tonnes of clean salt every year, which is around 9% of India’s salt production. Salt is produced by evaporation of brine and is mostly managed by the government-owned company – Sambhar Salts Ltd.(SSL), a joint venture of the Hindustan Salts Ltd. and the state government. SSL owns 3% of the eastern lake. The company is struggling to produce sufficient amount of salt but the private players are producing more than 10 times that of the company due to production from 1000s of illegal borewells, which are also severely harming the ecology of the salt lake. ( see ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS column ) Tourism and commercial activities on Shakambari Jheel which is the major part of Sambhar salt lake are no longer managed by Shambar Salts Ltd.(SSL), who have signed an agreement with a private company (Chandra Events Pvt. Ltd.) in Jaipur. Shambar Salts Ltd. (SSL) has sold all commercial and tourism rights to this company. One can no longer put a private camp, photograph or organise any personal or commercial activity without permission and prepayment of fees to Chandra Events Pvt. Ltd. There are 38 clusters of villages surrounding the lake. Major settlements include Sambhar, Gudha, Jabdinagar, Nawa, Jhak, Korsina, Jhapok, Kanseda, Kuni, Tyoda, Govindi, Nandha, Sinodiya, Arwik ki dhani, Khanadja, Khakharki, Kerwa ki dhani, Rajas, Jalwali ki dhani.