Rajasthan, the largest state of India, screams regality, charm, history, and traditions. Harboring some breathtaking cities and sites, Rajasthan keeps a steady stream of visitors each year. From Jaipur (the pink city) to Udaipur (the city of lakes) and Barmer (the cultural city), you have a wide variety of options to feast on nature’s vibrant colors.
Barmer is a treasure of historical monuments, temples, culture, and heritage. Besides, it is home to many folk singers and communities with an international reputation. With many secrets still buried under the deserted land of Barmer, it is a beloved site for archaeologists and historians.
If you are scouting for a travel destination that offers a rich history with architectural pleasure, Barmer could exceed your expectations. It is not just a travel destination but an opportunity to know the culture and heritage of the ancient royalties of “Bharat.”
Barmer – History & Best Places to visit in Places
Barmer: A City Worth Exploring
With a total area of 28,387 square kilometers, Barmer is one of Rajasthan’s largest districts. Being in the western part of Rajasthan, it touches the Thar Desert. The area of the district adjacent to the Thar touches Jaiselmer in the north and Jalore in the south.
The temperature in Barmer can be a bit too high for your comfort, touching 51 degrees C during summers and 0 degrees C during winters. Barmer is the only area of the Thar desert where travelers can ride a camel and feel like a local. The sandhills of the desert are breathtaking.
Further exploring Barmer, one reaches Luni; the longest stream of the city. It passes via Jalore and intersects in the muddy place that’s just 500 kilometers from the Rann of Kutch.
History of Barmer
Barmer was once known as Mallinath, after Rao Salkha’s child. The Mallinath is, in fact, a Rajput God who is still revered in the region. According to history, it was back in the 13th century when Bhahada Rao Parmar built the city’s framework and then in the eighteenth century, the British rulers finalized and named it Barmer. The Barmer refers to the slope castle of Bar.
The town formed a part of the Jodhpur state in 1891. The city reflects the planning and layout of a few administrations, such as the Rajputs and the Delhi Sultanate. The city’s line has been extended to several areas in the vicinity, including Kiradu, Khed, Pachpadra, Sheo, Jasol, Malani, Tilwara, and Balotara. Later on, the area in and surrounding the River Luni was given the name Malani, which was derived from the word “Mallinath.” The present-day Barmer has been reframed to feature the Parganas of Mallani Shiv, Pachpadra, Siwana, and Chohan.
Famous Barmer’s Local Handicrafts
Barmer handicrafts are popular for their magnificent designs and intricate workmanship. Plus, they offer a wide selection of options in terms of quality and tradition. These can be obtained in any of the renowned Barmer shops that specialize in Indian rural handicrafts. Embroidered items, hand-knitted woolen rugs, wood sculptures, traditionally dyed fabrics, paintings, and incredible tie-dye things are among the traditional and ethnic products available. Vijay Laxmi Handicrafts is one of the shops to visit if you’re looking for traditional handicrafts.
Exceptional Places in Barmer
Barmer offers many breathtaking sites for some plenary indulgence. It has temples, deserted lands, and a reflection of Indian heritage and folk culture. Here are some of the explicit and magnificent sites in Barmer to experience its true beauty-
1. Temple of Vankal Mata
Temple Vankal Mata holds an intense history. When King Vikramaditya of Ujjain went to Baluchistan for a war, legend has it that he pleaded to Hingalaj Devi, whose holy shrine is located on the Makran seashore in the Lasbela area of Balochistan, Pakistan.
The goddess accepted the king’s petition and agreed to accompany him if he refused to look back at her. After winning the battle, the monarch returned to his homeland with caution. Devi’s illusionary abilities wove a web around him when he got close to Barmer. Unfortunately, the king turned to look about to locate his army, and the goddess vanished.
Devotees then built a temple on the exact spot where this episode happened. The enshrined goddess’s idol is named Vankal Mata due to its tilted neck. Nestled on the hilltop, the temple is a vantage point for some mesmerizing views of the picturesque valleys and hills.
2. Shri Parshwanath Jain Temple
As evidenced by the famed Lord Parshvanath temple in Nakoda Mewanagar village, the city has hosted some of the holiest men at different points in time. It is perched atop a 1,500-foot tall ridge.
According to the Jain community, the shrine is one of Lord Mahavira’s most treasured and dynamic sanctuaries. It is believed that this temple elicits awe and reverence in all hearts, both because of its architecture and the stories related to it.
3. Sand Dunes of Mahabar
The Sand dunes of Barmer, Rajasthan, provide the perfect setting for a captivating evening. Observing the sunrise from Mahabar Sand Dunes is an experience in itself. This is also considered the perfect place to experience a camel ride. These Sand dunes are located 5 kilometers from the city center.
4. Rani Bhatiyani Temple
It has a fascinating story associated with its history. Princess Swarup of a small kingdom in Rajasthan gave birth to Rani Bhatiyani who was later wedded to Kalyan Singh, a Rajput prince. According to one folklore surrounding her death, Kalyan Singh fabricated a rumour that she had perished in a fight. His intentions were to dump her and remarry another woman.
To Rani Bhatiyani’s dismay, it was Kalyan Singh’s brother who was killed. Rani Bhatiyani decided to commit Sati, according to the custom of that time. Even after all this, she went ahead and completed her vow by jumping into the funeral pyre of her brother-in-law. Unfortunately, after Rani Bhatiyani’s death, disaster struck Kalyan Singh’s family. Kalyan Singh tried to calm things down by constructing a shrine in Jasol to glorify his ill-fated wife. Her devotees call Rani Bhatiyani Maji-sa.
To reach this temple, one can hire a private cab or board a train. Balotra railway station is roughly 5 kilometers away from the shrine and would be the nearest one.
5. Garh Temple & Barmer Fort
It is said that Rawat Bhima transferred ancient Barmer (now JUNA village in Barmer Dist) to the present city. To this end, he constructed a fort on a hillock in 1552 AD on the outskirts of this town.
The fort’s main entrance is on the north side, while the safety burgs are on the east and west sides. Due to the natural wall protection of the hill, the fort’s boundary wall was built to an average height. This fort is bordered on all sides by pious temples.
The temple of Jogmaya Devi (Garh Mandir) is located at the top of the hill at 1383 feet, while the Nagnechi Mata temple is situated at the height of 500 feet. Both temples are famous among tourists as well as locals and have fairs during Navratri festivals.
6. Kiradu Temples
The Kiradu Temple is a cluster of five temples located 35 kilometers from Barmer in a village in the Thar Desert. This cluster, which is known for the rich Solanki style of architecture, includes exceptional sculptures. Among all the five Lord Shiva temples here, Someshwara Temple is the most famous.
7. Temple of Devka-Sun
The Temple of Devka-sun was built back In the 12th or 13th century. The temple is recognized for its magnificent construction and is located in Devka, a tiny village about 62 km from the city. The shrine is unique, featuring exceptional engineering and style. The trip to the Temple of Devka-sun can give you a sane morning.
8. Jain temple of Shri Nakoda
This temple, which dates back to the third century, has undergone numerous renovations. Centuries later, Alamshah raided and ransacked this holy place but could not remove the precious idol since it was concealed in a nearby hamlet. In the 15th century, the idol was returned, and the temple was refurbished.
9. Vishnu Temple
The Vishnu temple at Khed is one of the Barmer’s most important tourist attractions. Even though the temple is in disrepair, it is nevertheless a work of art with a majestic aura surrounding it. The markets surrounding this temple are well-known shopping spots.
10. Juna Fort and Temple
Juna is the former Barmer. It was once a major city built by Bar Rao, but under the reign of Rawat Bhima, Barmer was relocated to a new location, where it now exists. Juna remains as remnants of previous greatness and old heritage. It is located 25 kilometers south of Barmer and is noted for its stunning Jain temple and historic fort.
According to inscriptions on a stone pillar near the temple, it came into existence between the 12th and 13th centuries. Juna is flanked on all sides by hills and a small lake.
11. Safed Akhara
They also call it the Siddheshwar Mahadev Temple. It’s a holy site with a pleasing garden located on the road to the Mahabar Sand Dunes. Lord Shiva, Krishna and Radha, Lord Hanuman, and other deities have temples within this massive premises.
The gardens are enormous, with peacocks, in all their grandeur and beauty, roaming around. Visitors can stay here for a short time enjoying a pause amidst nature. Away from the disorder of the city, visit the Akhara to relax in the tranquil settings of its garden.
If you want to experience culture and history in perfect proportions, Barmer can be a surreal experience compared to crowded destinations popular for historical attractions. To experience the perfect amalgamation of peace and heritage, visit Barmer’s calm and pious shrines. It’s time that travel enthusiasts appreciate and explore the beauty of this city.
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