The last thing you expect in an arid region is a patch of soothing blue green water . In the middle of everything golden, hot dry air and harsh sun is Gadsisar Lake, Jaisalmer. Its not an oasis nor a mirage but a man made reservoir built in 14th century by Maharaja Gadsi Singh to collect rain water and cater to the area during hot summer.
A short walk from the main road through a paved road, quite close to the famed fort will lead to the lake. I walked leisurely, stopping by to take a look at the hand made colorful puppets and listen to the haunting melody of the Ravanhatta from a street side musician who played “Kesariya Balam….” and a few other tunes.
The gateway is called Tilon ka Pol constructed by a renowned courtesan Tilon in the 19th century. There are small temples dedicated to Vishnu and Krishna on top of the high archway. This was an intelligent move by Tilon to escape the wrath of the Maharaja who felt insulted to walk through it and was contemplating demolition. Standing on the banks of the lake, you can see many temples alongside the lake making it seem like a pilgrimage.
Thankfully, there was no bathing activity going on at 9am in the morning barring few tourists feeding the cat fish who jumped in glee and the odd boatman looking for passengers. I walked along the lake to the view point stretching my lens to get a good look of the migratory birds perched on the pavilion in the middle of the lake. Though the sun was beating down, the air was nice and nippy and perfect time to listen to some folk music played on the Kamaicha and let the world go by.
While in Jaisalmer, Gadsisar Lake is a must visit. Morning time for sunrise and bird watching and evenings for a stroll, boat ride or simply some me time with the setting sun. Walk across the main road and about 10 mins ahead is Desert Boys Dhani for a perfect fort view while you enjoy your meal under the trees.