Filling salt into bags and weighing the salt [Sambhar Lake]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of workers bagging and weighing salt at Sambhar Lake in the Jaipur district of Rajasthan, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s, part of the Dunlop Smith Collection: Sir Charles Aitchison Album of Views in India and Burma. Sambhar Lake has been the most important source of salt in this region for hundreds of years. In 1870, the British government took up the commercial production of salt after taking a lease from the rulers of Jodhpur and Jaipur. The extensive saline wetland is an important ecosystem, home to thousands of migratory birds and especially favoured by flamingoes. Although the lake is mostly dry in the hot season, it fills with the monsoons and at its fullest extent is 190 sq kms, being 22.5 kms in length and with its width varying between 3 and 11 kms, but at no point is it deeper than 2 ms.