Are you tired of the same old boring food? Do you want to spice up your life with something exotic and flavorful? Well, look no further than Sambhar! This South Indian dish is the perfect combination of savory and spicy, sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Sambhar is a lentil-based stew that is packed with vegetables and aromatic spices. With its rich, earthy flavor and satisfying texture, it's no wonder that Sambhar is a staple in South Indian cuisine. And the best part? It's incredibly versatile! Whether you're a meat-eater or a vegetarian, Sambhar can be adapted to suit any dietary preference.

But don't just take our word for it – try it for yourself! You won't regret it. Plus, if you're feeling adventurous, why not experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make your own unique version of this classic dish?

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with Sambhar – your taste buds will thank you!

Table of Contents

History and Culture of Sambhar

Sambhar is a small town located in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The town is famous for its salt lake and the Sambhar deer sanctuary. Legend has it that the town was founded by Lord Krishna himself!

The name Sambhar is derived from the Sanskrit word "Shakambhari," which means "one who nurtures all." According to local folklore, Shakambhari Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, once took refuge in this area.

The history of Sambhar dates back to the Mauryan Empire, which ruled India from 322 BCE to 185 BCE. It was an important center for salt production during that time. Later, it became a part of the Mughal Empire and was ruled by various Rajput clans.

The unique culture of Sambhar is reflected in its cuisine, which includes dishes like Kachori, Ghevar, and Dal Bati Churma. The town also has a rich tradition of folk music and dance, with performances like Ghoomar, Kalbeliya, and Bhavai being popular.

One interesting fact about Sambhar is that it was once home to a thriving film industry! In the early 1900s, several silent movies were shot here, including one called "Love in Sambhar."

Today, Sambhar is primarily known for its salt production industry and attracts tourists from all over the world who come to see the beautiful salt lake and wildlife sanctuary. So if you're ever in Rajasthan, don't forget to add this quirky little town to your itinerary!

How to Reach and getting around Sambhar

  1. By Road: Sambhar is well connected to major cities like Jaipur, Ajmer, and Delhi through a network of well-maintained roads. One can opt for private taxis, buses or self-drive cars to reach Sambhar. The nearest bus stand is located in Sambhar town and one can easily book tickets from the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) website or counter.

  2. By Train: Sambhar Lake has its own railway station which is well connected to major cities like Jaipur, Ajmer, and Delhi. The station is located on the Jaipur-Ajmer rail route and is served by several trains including the Shatabdi Express, Rajdhani Express, and Duronto Express. From the railway station, one can take a taxi or auto-rickshaw to reach their destination.

  3. By Air: The nearest airport to Sambhar is the Jaipur International Airport which is located around 70 km away. From there one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Sambhar. There are several airlines that operate flights to Jaipur from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bangalore.

  4. By Bike: Riding a bike to Sambhar is an excellent option for adventure enthusiasts who love exploring new places at their own pace. One can rent a bike from Jaipur or any other nearby city and ride through the scenic countryside roads that lead to Sambhar.

  5. By Foot: For those who love trekking and hiking, there are several trekking routes that lead to Sambhar Lake. Trekking through the Aravalli Hills offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife. However, it's important to carry enough water and food supplies as there are no shops or eateries along the way.

Sambhar Lake is an ideal destination for nature lovers who want to experience the beauty of Rajasthan's landscape in all its glory. With multiple options available for transportation, one can easily plan their trip according to their convenience and budget.

Weather of Sambhar

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Sambhar, a small town in Rajasthan, experiences a semi-arid climate with hot summers and mild winters. The temperature in summer ranges from 30°C to 40°C, while in winter it ranges from 10°C to 22°C.

The monsoon season starts in July and lasts till September, bringing moderate rainfall to the region. The humidity level also increases during this period, making it uncomfortable for tourists. However, the monsoon season is the best time for birdwatchers as migratory birds flock to the Sambhar Lake.

The best time to visit Sambhar is during the winter months of October to March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. During this period, one can explore popular tourist attractions such as the Sambhar Salt Lake, Shakambari Temple, and Devyani Tank.

The winter season also brings various fairs and festivals to Sambhar such as the Shakambari Devi Fair and Kali Mela. Winter sports enthusiasts can indulge in activities like camping, trekking, and horse riding during this time.

In conclusion, Sambhar's weather is hot and dry in summer while mild and pleasant in winter. The ideal time to visit is from October to March when one can enjoy sightseeing, birdwatching, festivals, and adventure sports.

Places to Visit in Sambhar

  • Sambhar Lake: Sambhar Lake is the largest saltwater lake in India, located in the Sambhar district of Rajasthan. This lake is a birdwatcher's paradise where one can spot various species of migratory birds like flamingoes, pelicans, and cranes.

  • Shakambari Devi Temple: The Shakambari Devi Temple is an ancient temple located near the Sambhar Lake. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Shakambari and is visited by many devotees during Navratri.

  • Naliasar Lake: Naliasar Lake is a beautiful lake located about 18 km from Sambhar town. The lake is surrounded by hills and forests, making it an excellent spot for trekking.

  • Devyani Tank: Devyani Tank is a beautiful water tank located near the Shakambari Devi Temple. It is believed that this tank was built by Lord Krishna for his beloved wife Devyani.

  • Sambhar Salt Works: Sambhar Salt Works is one of the largest salt mines in India and a major industrial site in Rajasthan. This place attracts many tourists who come to see how salt is produced on a large scale.

  • Khandela Haveli Museum: Khandela Haveli Museum is an old haveli converted into a museum that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. The museum displays various artifacts like paintings, sculptures, and furniture from the bygone era.

  • Jhalana Nature Park: Jhalana Nature Park is a wildlife sanctuary located near Jaipur-Sambhar Road in Rajasthan. The park houses various species of animals like leopards, hyenas, and deer.

  • Samode Palace: Samode Palace is an old palace that has now been converted into a heritage hotel for tourists who want to experience royalty and luxury at its best.

  • Bhangarh Fort: Bhangarh Fort is a fort located near Sambhar that has gained notoriety as being one of the most haunted places in India due to its mysterious history and legends associated with it.

  • Jaipur City: Jaipur city, also known as Pink City, lies at a distance of about 80 km from Sambhar town and serves as an ideal day trip destination for tourists who want to explore more about Rajasthan's rich culture and history.

Food Options and Local Cuisine of Sambhar

Sambhar, a small town located in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is known for its vibrant culture and delicious cuisine. The local cuisine in Sambhar is a mix of Rajasthani and Marwadi food that is rich in flavors and spices. One of the most popular dishes in Sambhar is Dal Baati Churma, which consists of lentils, wheat balls, and sweet crumbled bread. Another must-try dish is Ker Sangri, which is made with desert beans and berries. Laal Maas is a spicy meat dish made with red chili paste and yogurt, while Gatte ki Sabzi is a vegetarian dish made with gram flour dumplings cooked in a gravy of curd and spices. The locals also enjoy snacks like Mirchi Bada (stuffed chili fritters) and Pyaz Kachori (onion-stuffed pastries). For dessert, one can try the famous Ghevar, which is a sweet disc-shaped cake made with flour, sugar syrup, and ghee.

About dining options:

Sambhar offers some great dining options to indulge in its flavorful cuisine. Here are three restaurants/cafes to check out:

  1. The Sambhar Heritage Resort: This restaurant offers an extensive menu of traditional Rajasthani food along with continental dishes. The ambiance adds to the experience as it overlooks the beautiful salt lake.

  2. Hotel Rawat: A popular local eatery serving delicious street food like Pyaz Kachori, Samosas & Jalebis. This place has been around for decades, serving affordable yet tasty food.

  3. Lake View Restaurant: Another lakeside restaurant that offers stunning views of the lake along with an array of vegetarian dishes prepared in Rajasthani style. Don't forget to try their Dal Baati Churma!

These dining options provide an authentic culinary experience that one must not miss while visiting Sambhar.

Best areas for accommodation in Sambhar

Sambhar is a beautiful town located in the Jaipur district of Rajasthan, India. It is known for its famous Sambhar Salt Lake and ancient temples. The town offers various options for accommodation that cater to different budgets and preferences. Below are some of the best areas for accommodation in Sambhar:

  • Sambhar Lake: This area is perfect for those looking to stay close to the Sambhar Salt Lake. It is an ideal location for nature lovers and bird watchers.

  • Jaipur-Ajmer Highway: This area offers easy access to major tourist attractions in Sambhar, such as the Shakambari Devi Temple and the Naliasar Lake.

  • Sambhar Road: This area is close to the railway station and offers budget-friendly accommodation options.

Here are some recommended properties for accommodation in Sambhar:

  1. The Sambhar Heritage Resort & Spa: This luxury resort offers a range of amenities such as a spa, swimming pool, and fine-dining restaurant.

  2. Hotel Samode Bagh: This budget-friendly hotel offers comfortable rooms with basic amenities such as air conditioning and room service.

  3. The Hosteller Sambhar Lake: This hostel provides a unique experience with its rustic decor and outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking. It is perfect for backpackers and solo travelers looking to connect with fellow travelers.

Overall, there are plenty of options available when it comes to accommodation in Sambhar, catering to every budget and preference. Whether you're looking for luxury or budget-friendly options, you're sure to find something that suits your needs.

Shopping in Sambhar

Sambhar is a small town located in the state of Rajasthan, known for its famous salt lake - Sambhar Lake. Apart from the beautiful landscapes, the town is also known for its vibrant markets that offer a range of traditional Rajasthani items.

Things to buy

  1. Bandhani sarees: These are colorful sarees with intricate tie-and-dye designs that are unique to Rajasthan.
  2. Jewelry: The markets in Sambhar offer a variety of traditional Rajasthani jewelry, including silver and gold pieces set with precious stones.
  3. Leather goods: Sambhar is known for its high-quality leather goods, such as bags, belts, and shoes.
  4. Handicrafts: The town has an array of handicrafts made by skilled artisans, including pottery, wooden toys, and hand-painted textiles.

Markets to visit

  1. Khadi Gramodyog Emporium: This government-run emporium offers a wide range of handloom products and handicrafts.
  2. Sambhar Haat Bazaar: This weekly market takes place every Saturday and is a great place to buy fresh produce, spices, and other local items.
  3. Bhagirath Market: This market has several shops selling traditional Rajasthani jewelry and handicrafts.

What to avoid

  1. Artificial goods: Be cautious when buying items such as jewelry or textiles that claim to be made from precious metals or natural fibers. Some vendors may try to sell fake or low-quality goods.
  2. Street food from unhygienic stalls: While street food can be tempting, it's important to choose vendors carefully. Avoid stalls that look unclean or have poor hygiene practices.
  3. Overpriced souvenirs: Do some research before making purchases to ensure you're not overcharged for souvenirs or other items.
  4. Buying without bargaining: Bargaining is expected at most markets in India. Don't be afraid to negotiate prices with vendors.

Nightlife in Sambhar

Sambhar is a small town located in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is known for its vast salt lake and historical significance. Although Sambhar is not known for its nightlife, there are still a few places where one can spend the night and have a good time.

One of the popular places to visit in Sambhar is the Sambhar Salt Lake, which is famous for its beautiful sunset views. The lake also offers activities such as bird watching, camel safaris, and hot air balloon rides.

Another place to visit in Sambhar is the Harshad Mata Temple. It's an ancient temple dedicated to Harshad Mata. It is said that the temple was built by King Harsha in the 7th century AD. The temple features intricate carvings and architecture that are sure to leave visitors mesmerized.

Lastly, one can visit Pachkodia Lake for a peaceful and serene experience. The lake offers scenic views and boating facilities. Visitors can also go on a nature walk around the lake.

In conclusion, while nightlife options in Sambhar may be limited, there are still places where one can spend their night and enjoy themselves. These three places provide visitors with various activities to explore during their stay in Sambhar.

Outdoor Activities in Sambhar

Sambhar, a small town located in the state of Rajasthan, is not only known for its beautiful salt lake but also offers a range of outdoor activities. The town is surrounded by hills and offers great opportunities for trekking and hiking. The wildlife sanctuary located near the salt lake is another popular spot for adventure enthusiasts. Visitors can go on jeep safaris or take a nature walk to explore the flora and fauna of the region.

Some of the popular outdoor activities in Sambhar are:

  1. Trekking and Hiking: The hills surrounding Sambhar offer great trekking and hiking opportunities for adventure lovers. The trails provide stunning views of the town and its surroundings.

  2. Jeep Safari: A jeep safari in the Sambhar Wildlife Sanctuary is an exhilarating experience. Visitors can spot various species of animals including deer, antelopes, wild boars, and more.

  3. Nature Walks: Taking a leisurely walk around the salt lake or in the nearby villages is a great way to explore the region's natural beauty. Visitors can also interact with locals and learn about their culture and traditions.

Overall, Sambhar offers an ideal destination for those seeking adventure in Rajasthan. With its scenic landscape, diverse flora and fauna, and range of outdoor activities, it promises an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Festivals and Events in Sambhar

Sambhar is not just a land of natural beauty and outdoor activities, it also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. These events allow visitors to experience the rich cultural heritage of the region and witness the local traditions and customs. Some of the major festivals and events celebrated in Sambhar are:

  1. Sambhar Mahotsav (February/March): This grand cultural festival is organized by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) every year. It celebrates the vibrant culture of Rajasthan with folk music, dance performances, camel races, puppet shows, food stalls, and much more. Tourists from all over the world come to witness this festival.

  2. Teej Festival (July/August): Celebrated in honor of Goddess Parvati, Teej is a women-centric festival that symbolizes love and devotion between husband and wife. Women dress up in colorful traditional attire and participate in various cultural activities like folk songs, dances, swings, etc.

  3. Diwali (October/November): The festival of lights is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Sambhar as well. People decorate their homes with diyas (lamps), light fireworks, exchange sweets and gifts, and offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity.

  4. Pushkar Fair (November): Although not technically in Sambhar, Pushkar Fair is a major event that takes place nearby. It is one of the largest cattle fairs in India where traders from all over Rajasthan gather to buy and sell camels, horses, cows, etc. The fair also includes various cultural activities like folk dances, music concerts, hot air balloon rides, etc.

Apart from these major festivals/events, there are also several local fairs held throughout the year that showcase Rajasthani handicrafts like pottery, jewelry making, leatherwork etc. Overall these festivals provide an insight into the local culture which adds another dimension to tourism in Sambhar making it a culturally rich destination.

Tips for Travelers while travelling to Sambhar

  1. Plan your visit around the Sambhar Lake Festival: If you want to experience the best of Sambhar, plan your visit around the Sambhar Lake Festival, which usually takes place in February or March. You'll get to witness a range of cultural activities and taste some traditional Rajasthani cuisine.
  2. Pack appropriately for the climate: Rajasthan is known for its desert climate, so make sure you pack comfortable, breathable clothing that covers your arms and legs. Don't forget to bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the intense sun.
  3. Stay hydrated: Due to its arid climate, it's important to stay hydrated while exploring Sambhar. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. You can also try refreshing drinks like chaas (buttermilk) or nimbu pani (lemonade).
  4. Respect local customs and traditions: Rajasthan is known for its rich culture and traditions, so it's important to respect local customs while visiting Sambhar. Dress modestly when visiting temples or other religious sites, and avoid taking photographs of people without their permission.
  5. Explore beyond the lake: While Sambhar Lake is undoubtedly a must-visit destination in Sambhar, there are plenty of other attractions worth exploring as well. Check out the ancient ruins of Naliasar or take a trip to nearby Ajmer to visit the famous Ajmer Sharif Dargah.


What is Sambhar?

Sambhar is a popular vegetarian dish from South India, particularly from the region of Tamil Nadu. It is a spicy and tangy lentil-based vegetable stew made with a combination of vegetables like drumstick, pumpkin, brinjal, carrot, and beans.

Is Sambhar healthy?

Sambhar is a healthy dish as it is made with lentils and vegetables that are rich in fiber and essential nutrients. It is also low in fat and calories, making it an ideal dish for weight watchers. The spices used in the preparation of sambhar have anti-inflammatory properties that aid digestion.

What are the ingredients used in Sambhar?

The main ingredients used in sambhar are split pigeon peas or toor dal, tamarind pulp, mixed vegetables, spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, red chillies or chilli powder, turmeric powder.

How to make Sambhar?

To make sambhar at home, first cook the toor dal until soft. Next sauté the vegetables in oil along with spices. Add water and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add tamarind pulp and cooked dal to the vegetable mixture. Simmer for a few minutes before serving hot.

What are the variations of Sambhar?

There are many variations of sambhar depending on the region it comes from. For instance, some add coconut milk to make it creamier while others use sambar powder instead of individual spices. Some also add jaggery or sugar to balance out the tartness of tamarind.

Can I store leftover Sambhar?

Yes! You can store leftover sambhar in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Before reheating it on low flame stove add little water if needed as it thickens over time.

What dishes go well with Sambhar?

Sambhar pairs well with rice along with papadums or chips as an accompaniment. It can also be had with dosa(crepes), Idli (steamed rice cakes) or Uttapam (pancake-like dish). It’s also common to serve sambhar alongside other South Indian dishes like coconut chutney and potato curry (aloo masala).

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