Bada Bagh – Royal Cenotaphs, Garden, and Lake
Bada Bagh literally means large garden and to think of a garden in the middle of Desert is amusing, to say the least. This is not really a garden but a place of royal cenotaphs or Chhatris. Built in the memory of Kings and Queens who ruled this land. From a distance you see some domes jutting out of the sand, dwarfed by the huge windmills all around them. As you go closer, you get a glimpse of the typical Rajasthani architecture with its round tapering pillars and ornate arches.
There are clusters of Cenotaphs all in a similar style – Open pavilions with pillars. When you stand in the arch of one and look at the others, you feel as if the family members may still be looking and talking to each other from their personal rooms. The windmills appeared as if they are providing the much-needed air to those living here.
A white marble plaque inside the cenotaph, below the dome, tells about whom it belongs to and most of them are shown riding on the horse. There are plates outside, maybe put by Rajasthan tourism department to tell which one belongs to whom. The latest one dated sometime in early 20th CE is incomplete. The tradition was stopped after independence. We noticed a water pitcher in front of this Cenotaph – that is usually put in front of the last person to come here and is meant to quench the thirst of the soul.
The cluster on top of the hill has Cenotaphs with tiered pyramidal roofs. But I could not figure out if this indicates something or was just an architectural variation.
There was a garden built here next to a dam and that is how this place got the name. But I could not see any garden. The windmills did look like as if they are sprouting out of a garden.
There was a surreal feeling at the place, even though it was crowded with tourists.
It is about 6 km’s from the city on way to Lodurva Jain Temple and is one of the places to visit in Jaisalmer. Other tourist attractions are the famous Jaisalmer Fort. And abandoned & cursed villages of Kuldhara spread across the city outskirts.
Recommend you to read the following Places to visit in Rajasthan.