Gadi Sagar Lake, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
A short walk from the Jaisalmer fort will land you on the banks of Gadi Sagar, a popular local hangout. Tourists come by default as part of their preplanned itineraries, and Do-it-Yourself travelers make an appearance following the advice of guidebooks. Built in 1367, this rainwater reservoir was once the only source of water for the desert city in the northern state of Rajasthan. These days it’s the sight of the well-known Gangaur festival. In March or April, depending on the calendar year, single women throw flowers into the lake while praying for a good husband.
Ironically, it was a prostitute that left her mark on Gadi Sagar (Sagar = lake/sea). In 1909, Tilon, a local prostitute known for her wealthy clientele, commissioned the gateway over the ghat leading to the lake. Translated simply as Tilon Gate, a group of local townspeople was not happy with the thought of entering through a gate built by such a person. The local ruler ordered the gate to be torn down after the successful urging of the townspeople. But Tilon, famed for her beauty, also had smarts on her side. She quickly had a statue of Krishna installed on top. The dismantling would now be unheard of due to religious reasons. Lion’s Gate still stands to this day welcoming those that come to see the lake.
Upon arrival, visitors are met with solicitations for guides and/or camel rides to the lake. Given the walk is a direct paved route from the parking lot to Tilon-Ki-Pol there is no need to entertain either offer. A folklore museum is located midway between the parking lot and the lake. Open daily, exhibits include folk art and textiles relevant to this area. It’s more interesting to move directly to the lake.
Steps upward flank both sides of the gate. Take the right side where you’ll find comfort under shade from several old-growth trees as well as loaves of bread for sale and a few small merchant stalls. The bread may seem baffling at first until you peer over the edge above to find locals feeding swarms of giant catfish below. Once through the gate tourists can rent a boat for a relaxing ride around this man-made body of water. Interspersed with ghats and small temples made of sandstone, most of the city’s noise disappears here.
Guides will prompt travelers to the left of the gate where a local Shiva temple exists. Never wanting to miss a chance to fleece tourists, local “artisans” and touts have made this area their office. Easily brushed off, the next disturbance is the younger local population. Jovial heckles and whistles, all meant to gather attention to themselves, come from small groups of men who linger around the lake’s edges. Combined with other tourists, touts, and visiting locals, move beyond this cluster to the opposite side of the lake. A small pathway leads past stadium-like seats hugging the left side of the lake. Eventually, the path narrows to a single dirt trail where cows and dogs lie in the cool mud from the partially dried lake bed. A 180º curve loops toward a small peninsula accessed by a causeway. It may feel like trespassing given there are NO tourists or locals to be seen. Under the restful rustling of leaves, one can quietly move about in peace. Panoramic views of the lake as well as the discovery of the fort behind are well worth the extra 10 minutes of walking.
There is no entry fee to the lake. Visitors should plan a minimum of 30 minutes if you stick to the tourist schedule, 1 hour, or longer if walking to the opposite temple. Bottled water is sold near the entrance as well as other cold beverages. And there is a small cafe located adjacent to the Shiva temple with lakefront views. Tuk’s are plentiful for a quick ride back to the fort area.
Things to do
Gadi Sagar Lake is a popular tourist destination located in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. Here are some things you can do at Gadi Sagar Lake:
- Boating: You can take a boat ride on the serene waters of Gadi Sagar Lake and enjoy the beautiful view of the surrounding area. Boats can be rented from the nearby boating station.
- Sightseeing: Gadi Sagar Lake is surrounded by several heritage sites that are worth visiting. You can visit the Tilon ki Pol, a beautifully crafted gateway that was built by a rich merchant in the 19th century. The lake is also flanked by a number of beautiful temples like the Laxminath Temple and Jain Temples.
- Photography: The beautiful and peaceful surroundings of Gadi Sagar Lake make it a popular spot for photography enthusiasts. You can capture the beautiful reflection of the temples in the water, or the boats floating in the lake against the backdrop of the setting sun.
- Relaxation: You can simply sit by the lake and relax amidst the peaceful surroundings. The lake is surrounded by beautiful trees and is a perfect spot to enjoy some quiet time.
- Cultural events: The lake is a popular venue for cultural events and festivals. The annual Gangaur festival is celebrated here with much fervor and attracts a large number of tourists.
- Street food: The area around Gadi Sagar Lake is famous for its street food. You can enjoy some delicious local snacks like mirchi bada, dal pakwan, and kachori while enjoying the view of the lake.
- Camel Safari: You can take a camel safari around the lake and experience the desert life in Rajasthan.
In summary, Gadi Sagar Lake offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, heritage, and cultural experiences. It is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
There are many festivals celebrated throughout the world, each with their unique cultural significance and traditions. Here are a few details about some popular festivals:
- Diwali: Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” Diwali is a major Hindu festival celebrated in India and other parts of the world. It is celebrated over five days and is marked by the lighting of diyas (lamps) and candles, the exchange of gifts, and the preparation and sharing of traditional sweets and snacks.
- Christmas: Celebrated by Christians around the world, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated on December 25th and is marked by the exchange of gifts, the decoration of homes and public spaces with lights and ornaments, and the singing of carols.
- Eid al-Fitr: The festival of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. It is celebrated with special prayers and the exchange of gifts and traditional foods.
- Chinese New Year: Also known as Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is celebrated by Chinese communities around the world. It is marked by the use of firecrackers, the exchange of red envelopes containing money, and the eating of traditional foods.
- Holi: A Hindu festival celebrated in India and Nepal, Holi is known as the “Festival of Colors.” It is celebrated with the throwing of colored powder and water on friends and family, the sharing of sweets, and the playing of music and dance.
- Oktoberfest: This festival is a 16-day beer festival held annually in Munich, Germany. It is one of the world’s largest and most famous festivals and is celebrated with the drinking of beer, the wearing of traditional clothing, and the consumption of traditional foods like sausages and pretzels.
These are just a few examples of the many festivals celebrated around the world. Each festival has its unique cultural significance, and they offer a chance to experience and learn about different cultures and traditions.
Where to Stay
The best place to stay depends on the destination you plan to visit. Here are some general tips on where to stay:
- Hotels: Hotels are a popular option for travelers, especially those who are looking for comfort and convenience. They offer a range of amenities, from room service to fitness centers and swimming pools. You can choose from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels, depending on your budget and preference.
- Hostels: Hostels are a good option for budget-conscious travelers who don’t mind sharing a room with others. They are often located in central areas, making it easier to explore the destination. Hostels offer basic amenities like a bed, locker, and communal bathroom facilities.
- Vacation Rentals: Vacation rentals like apartments, villas, and houses are a good option for travelers who want a home away from home. They are fully furnished and often come with a kitchen, making it easier to prepare your meals. Vacation rentals are also a good option for families or groups traveling together.
- Bed and Breakfasts: Bed and Breakfasts are a good option for travelers who want a more personalized experience. They offer a comfortable room and a home-cooked breakfast in the morning. Bed and Breakfasts are often located in quieter areas, making it easier to relax and unwind.
- Camping: Camping is a good option for nature lovers who want to experience the great outdoors. You can choose from different types of camping, from tent camping to glamping. Camping is often a budget-friendly option, but you need to be prepared for the elements.
In summary, where to stay depends on your budget, travel style, and destination. It’s always a good idea to research your options before making a reservation.
How to reach
The best way to reach a destination depends on where you are coming from and where you plan to go. Here are some general tips on how to reach a destination:
- By air: Air travel is the fastest and most convenient way to travel long distances. Most major cities have an airport, and you can find flights to almost anywhere in the world. You can book your tickets online or through a travel agent. Once you arrive at the destination airport, you can take a taxi, shuttle, or public transportation to your final destination.
- By train: Train travel is a good option if you want to enjoy the scenery and don’t mind taking a little longer to reach your destination. Many cities have train stations, and you can book your tickets online or at the station. Train travel is often a good option for traveling between nearby cities or towns.
- By bus: Bus travel is a good option for budget-conscious travelers, especially in areas where there is no train service. You can book your tickets online or at the bus station. Buses are often slower than trains and planes, but they offer a more immersive travel experience.
- By car: Driving to your destination is a good option if you have a car or can rent one. It gives you the flexibility to stop and explore along the way. You can use GPS or a map to navigate, and there are usually plenty of gas stations and rest stops along the way.
- By boat: If you’re traveling to an island or coastal destination, boat travel may be an option. You can take a ferry, cruise ship, or other type of boat. Boat travel can be a relaxing and scenic way to reach your destination.
In summary, the best way to reach a destination depends on your travel preferences, budget, and destination. It’s always a good idea to research your options and book your tickets in advance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.