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Location: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Attraction: Royal Cenotaphs
Built By: Maharaja Jai Singh II

Only three kms or so north of Jaisalmer, Bada Bagh is a fertile oasis, with a huge old dam on the banks of an artificial lake. The enchantingly scenic backdrop of a dainty lake and the dam in the middle of the plateau, add to the beauty of the place.

Much of the city’s fruit and vegetables are grown here and carried into the town each day by colourfully attired women. Above the gardens, surrounded by dense trees, are royal cenotaphs with beautifully carved ceiling and equestrian statues of former rulers.

The royal cremation grounds are set between the desert and a rain fed lake, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. A wheat crop is planted as the lake dries up each year. Each of the memorial ‘chattris’ has a central column with a bas relief of its owner. Many are followed by figures- one for each wife or consort who committed ‘sati’ on his funeral pyre.

One can see a definite progression of style from the angular shapes of the early Hindu monuments at the back that are over 300 years old, to the round arches of later Moghal influence on architecture. Bada Bagh is an oasis at the bank of a man-made dam. It has greenery all around to provide respite, to the local people, from the unrelenting sun.

In the murky dusk, this is a popular place to watch the setting sun turn Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown land. Situated off the Ramgarh Road, the park is accessible any time, with no entry fee.

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