Also Known as Sayaji Sarovar, It is an earthen dam that was built early 20th century by the then ruler of Vadodara, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. Its main aim was to provide water to the residents of Vadodara. Although the population of Baroda at that time was 100,000 it was the ruler’s vision to build the reservoir 3 times larger. This reservoir has the ability to attend to the water requirements of about 300,000 people residing in the eastern parts of the city. Its construction was started in 1885 & completed in 1890.
On 8 January 1885, the Construction work of the Sayaji Sarovar at Ajwa began, which later supplied drinking water to Vadodara (Baroda). The ceremony was performed by Lady Watson, wife of Resident Watson.
The dam is about 5 km long. It can store water to the height of 211 feet above the sea level (its overflow level). The floor of the reservoir is at around 196 feet. It is connected to the Vishwamitri river which flows through the city of Baroda, so that excess water in event of floods is dispatched to this river. The reservoir has 64 gates.
The engineer of the dam was Jagannath Sadashiva Hate, also known as Shri Jagannath Sadashivji. When the reservoir is full, it is supposed to have a catchment area of something close to 195 square kilometers.
Adjacent to the dam are the famous Ajwa gardens also called as Vrindavan Garden, which are an adaptation of the famous Vrindavan gardens located in Mysore. It is very famous especially in the evenings for its coloured fountains and a musical fountain.
There has been proposals to move the animals of zoo in Baroda to this garden, to provide them a more healty and pollution free environment to live in, since the zoo in Vadodara is located almost at the heart of the city.