Grand Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan || A man-made lake that is like an oasis in the desert

Water is the most precious commodity in a desert and it must have been even more so in the olden times when there were no modern canals and the only source of water was the meagre rain that would itself be rare and unpredictable. Visionary leaders of the princely states of Rajasthan then built huge lakes to sustain their kingdoms. In those days, the lakes were dependent mostly on rainwater, but now they have canals replenishing their supplies.

Water is the most precious commodity in a desert and it must have been even more so in the olden times when there were no modern canals and the only source of water was the meagre rain that would itself be rare and unpredictable. Visionary leaders of the princely states of Rajasthan then built huge lakes to sustain their kingdoms. In those days, the lakes were dependent mostly on rainwater, but now they have canals replenishing their supplies. 

Gadisar lake was initially built by the founding king of Jaisalmer, Rawal Jaisal in the 12th century. At that point in time, it was known as Jaisalsar. It was later rebuilt by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century and then came to be known as Gadisar or Gadsisar or Gadaria Lake.

Gadisar lake was initially built by the founding king of Jaisalmer, Rawal Jaisal in the 12th century. At that point in time, it was known as Jaisalsar. It was later rebuilt by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century and then came to be known as Gadisar or Gadsisar or Gadaria Lake. 

The lake was actually built as an interconnected system of 9 lakes at different heights. As a result, once the topmost lake filled up, the water would overflow to the lake just beneath it and once that filled up, it would flow to the next lake, and so on.

The lake was actually built as an interconnected system of 9 lakes at different heights. As a result, once the topmost lake filled up, the water would overflow to the lake just beneath it and once that filled up, it would flow to the next lake, and so on.  

How with time or ahead of it your ruler was actually determined the fortunes of your state. We see examples of it today as well. You might turn around and ask "but isn't that obvious?" The fact is that we do not acknowledge this fact enough and don't take this into account while considering who to vote for. When it comes to electing our leaders we do not think about long-term, rather we think about what we would get immediately after the said leader comes to power.  So in today's world, the public needs to be as visionary as the leader in order to ensure that the country stays on the right path.

How with time or ahead of it your ruler was actually determined the fortunes of your state. We see examples of it today as well. You might turn around and ask "but isn't that obvious?" The fact is that we do not acknowledge this fact enough and don't take this into account while considering who to vote for. When it comes to electing our leaders we do not think about long-term, rather we think about what we would get immediately after the said leader comes to power.  So in today's world, the public needs to be as visionary as the leader in order to ensure that the country stays on the right path. 

Anyway, enough about politics of our times, at least in those days, in the cities of Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, it seems that the local rulers were thinking about wellbeing of their people and the prosperity of their states. The results of their endeavors can still be seen in these areas today, centuries later.

Anyway, enough about politics of our times, at least in those days, in the cities of Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, it seems that the local rulers were thinking about wellbeing of their people and the prosperity of their states. The results of their endeavors can still be seen in these areas today, centuries later. 

Apart from the water, there's also a lot of architecture to be found around the lake. The lake is surrounded by several ghats, temples, and chhatris. On pleasant days, one can spend quite a bit of time walking around the lake.

Apart from the water, there's also a lot of architecture to be found around the lake. The lake is surrounded by several ghats, temples, and chhatris. On pleasant days, one can spend quite a bit of time walking around the lake. 

There are several interesting structures inside the water. Built with yellow sandstone, like most of Jaisalmer, these structures add considerable beauty against the blue sky and its reflection in the water. Some of these structures look like platforms that one could boat to and picnic on with family.

There are several interesting structures inside the water. Built with yellow sandstone, like most of Jaisalmer, these structures add considerable beauty against the blue sky and its reflection in the water. Some of these structures look like platforms that one could boat to and picnic on with family. 

And where there's water, there will also be boats. One can enjoy boating too in these serene waters. Around the lake, there are several places to eat. You can enjoy traditional Rajasthani snacks, or coffee and sandwiches, or icecreams. All this sounds quite wonderful. A huge waterbody adds a lot of calm to the general environment, I believe.

And where there's water, there will also be boats. One can enjoy boating too in these serene waters. Around the lake, there are several places to eat. You can enjoy traditional Rajasthani snacks, or coffee and sandwiches, or icecreams. All this sounds quite wonderful. A huge waterbody adds a lot of calm to the general environment, I believe. 

You will find locals as well as tourists spending good time here. You can walk around (obviously), you can feed the million catfish if you so wish, or you can just sit around and enjoy the water and a cool breeze if it is blowing.

You will find locals as well as tourists spending good time here. You can walk around (obviously), you can feed the million catfish if you so wish, or you can just sit around and enjoy the water and a cool breeze if it is blowing. 

There are also spots here from where you can watch sunrise and sunset. And I would assume that things would be a little more pleasant weather wise in the morning and evening hours. If you have time on your hands you can spend hours here.

There are also spots here from where you can watch sunrise and sunset. And I would assume that things would be a little more pleasant weather wise in the morning and evening hours. If you have time on your hands you can spend hours here.

And in the evening, there's also a light and sound show that narrates the history of Jaisalmer. The light and sound show is free of charge. There are beautiful fountains and display of lights along with interesting storytelling. Just the perfect activity to wrap up your evening with before you head for dinner.

And in the evening, there's also a light and sound show that narrates the history of Jaisalmer. The light and sound show is free of charge. There are beautiful fountains and display of lights along with interesting storytelling. Just the perfect activity to wrap up your evening with before you head for dinner. 

There's also a museum known as the Desert Culture Centre & Museum near the lake. It is managed and preserved by the Jaisalmer Tourism Department. If you are interested in the history of the place or are a museum buff, you can visit this place to look at a variety of different artefacts, historical currency, ancient coins, artillery, armour etc.

There's also a museum known as the Desert Culture Centre & Museum near the lake. It is managed and preserved by the Jaisalmer Tourism Department. If you are interested in the history of the place or are a museum buff, you can visit this place to look at a variety of different artefacts, historical currency, ancient coins, artillery, armour etc.

And if you are in luck, you might even spot some migratory birds here, May blogs on the Internet claim that this is because of the closeness of the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. However, considering that Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is more than 700 kms away from this place. There needs to be more than that that brings migratory birds to this remote part of Rajasthan.

And if you are in luck, you might even spot some migratory birds here, May blogs on the Internet claim that this is because of the closeness of the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. However, considering that Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is more than 700 kms away from this place. There needs to be more than that that brings migratory birds to this remote part of Rajasthan. 

During our drive from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, we saw several waterbodies - some natural and some man made. So it seems that while this is desert region, water is available at regular intervals. And that would be a good motivation for migratory birds to land here.

During our drive from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, we saw several waterbodies - some natural and some man made. So it seems that while this is desert region, water is available at regular intervals. And that would be a good motivation for migratory birds to land here. 

Gadisar lake is also at a convenient distance from most of the other tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. The Golden Fort is only about 2 kilometers from the lake and all the havelis that are famous for their opulence are at walking distance. So you can enjoy your evenings here and then head to the fort for a dinner at one of the rooftop restaurants.

Gadisar lake is also at a convenient distance from most of the other tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. The Golden Fort is only about 2 kilometers from the lake and all the havelis that are famous for their opulence are at walking distance. So you can enjoy your evenings here and then head to the fort for a dinner at one of the rooftop restaurants. 

All along the circumference of the lake are interesting structures that are representative of Rajputana architecture and their religious beliefs. There are several chhatris and also temples dedicated to Hindu deities. There are other interesting structures as well with some interesting stories.

All along the circumference of the lake are interesting structures that are representative of Rajputana architecture and their religious beliefs. There are several chhatris and also temples dedicated to Hindu deities. There are other interesting structures as well with some interesting stories. 

With that we come to an interesting structure that is known as Tilon ki Pol. This 14th-century gateway, which straddles the road down to Gadisar, is said to have been built by a famous courtesan. When she offered to pay to have it constructed, the maharawal refused permission on the grounds that he would have to pass under it to go down to the tank, which would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate anyway, adding a Krishna temple on top so the king could not tear it down.

With that we come to an interesting structure that is known as Tilon ki Pol. This 14th-century gateway, which straddles the road down to Gadisar, is said to have been built by a famous courtesan. When she offered to pay to have it constructed, the maharawal refused permission on the grounds that he would have to pass under it to go down to the tank, which would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate anyway, adding a Krishna temple on top so the king could not tear it down.

The gate not only served as an entrance to the lake premises, it was also used to house travelers on their way to and from Jaisalmer. Today, it stands tall and intact and is a reminder that even in those days, enterprising women managed to make a mark, and at times, even the most powerful kings were helpless against their grit and wit.

The gate not only served as an entrance to the lake premises, it was also used to house travelers on their way to and from Jaisalmer. Today, it stands tall and intact and is a reminder that even in those days, enterprising women managed to make a mark, and at times, even the most powerful kings were helpless against their grit and wit. 

Gaidsar lake was a good choice to begin our trip with. We sat here for some time, relaxing after a long drive from Bikaner with several stops in between. We had neembu paani and refreshed ourselves before heading to our hotel to dump our luggage and then head out for the evening. It turned out to be a good decision.

Gaidsar lake was a good choice to begin our trip with. We sat here for some time, relaxing after a long drive from Bikaner with several stops in between. We had neembu paani and refreshed ourselves before heading to our hotel to dump our luggage and then head out for the evening. It turned out to be a good decision.  


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