Photograph of labourers 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. This view shows labourers carrying baskets of salt to a top of a large pile. In the foreground workers are gathered round smaller mounds of salt whose height is being measured. Sambhar Lake has been the most important source of salt in this region for hundreds of years and was leased to the British authorities for salt extraction in 1870. 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.