A tiny yet lively town in sun-drenched sands, Barmer is a
miniature Rajasthan with all its colour, warmth and tradition.
According to historical records, the 13th century founder
of the district, Bahada Rao (popularly known as Bar Rao) gave
the town its name – Barmer, i.e., the hill fort of Bar.Once
called Mallani in 12th century A.D., the present Barmer district,
formed in 1949 upon the merger of Jodhpur state in the United
States of Great Rajasthan, is a cluster of ancient paraganas
– Mallani Shiv, Pachpadra, Siwana and the Chohatan area.
Although a barren land with harsh climate and rough terrain,
Barmer is known for its rich crafts, dances and music. Once
on the ancient camel trade route, the town is now the centre
for wood carving, pottery, carpets, intricate embroidery work,
block printed fabrics and multi-hued traditional costumes.
Especially famous are the geometric ajrak prints in dark shades
of red and blue, idea for protection against the sun.
The most interesting part of a trip to Barmer is the journey
through rural Rajasthan. The small villages with mud-walled
houses decorated with delicate folk motifs and colorfully
attired people on the way offer a fascinating sight.
Every day in March, the desert town is at its colourful best
during the exuberant Barmer festival. The festival is the
best time to plan a visit to Barmer.
What to see around Barmer
Perched on a rocky hill, the town has ruins of an old fort.Of
interest are a temple dedicated to Balark (the Sun) and the
ancient ruins of Juna Barmer.The three Jain temples, an inscription
of 1295 A.D. and a massive pillar in the hall of the largest
temple of Maharaja Kula Sri Samanta Sinha Deva, a ruler of
Bahadmera (now, Barmer) are also worth a visit.
Situated at the foot of a hill near village Hathma in Barmer
tehsil is Kiradu the inscription dating back to 1161 A.D.
reveals that the place was called Kiratkoop and had once been
the capital of Punwars.The ruins of five ancient temples –
one dedicated to Lord Vishnu and other four dedicated to Lord
Shiva are of interest to archaeologists and art lovers, alike.The
biggest of these temples is the Someshwar Temple.
Rao Siha, the founder of the Rathore clan along with his son
(Asthanji) conquered Khed from the Guhil Rajputs and planted
the standard of the Rathores.
An old Vishnu temple of Ranchherji is surrounded by a crumbling
wall and an image of Garuda (the eagle) at the gate guards
Other temples nearby include temples of Brahma, Bhairav, Mahadev
and a Jain temple.
Once a principal state of Mallani, this ancient village has
got its name from the descendants of a Rathore sub-clan.A
Jain temple and a Hindu temple are worth visiting.The Hindu
temple is ornamented with fine sculptures which were brought
from a Jain temple of Lord Mahavir.
Once called Viranipur, this 12th century village lies on the
slope of a hill called Nagar - ki - Bhakarian, 9 km away from
Baletra. The village has three Jain temples. The biggest of
these is the one dedicated to Nakoda Parsvanath. A Vishnu
temple is also worth visiting.
Gardens and Parks
Mahaveer Park is a beautifully laid out park with a tiny museum
housing ancient stone carved statues.
(Sidheswara Mahadev Temple Complex) is a tiny yet pretty garden
near Barmer. Temporary accommodation and cooking facilities
Neemari is another picturesque garden on Chohatan route, 23
km away from Barmer. An old swimming pool is an attraction.
A veritable shopper’s paradise, Barmer is a treasure trove
of vibrantly coloured embroidery with excellent mirror work.
Also famous are beautifully embroidered fabrics and pouches
often patterned with tiny mirrors. Traditional rugs, blankets,
shawls, carpets, ‘Pattius’ Dari in typical Barmer colours
and weave are a specialty of the district. The shopping spots
include the tiny shops along the narrow lanes of the colourful
and lively Sadar Bazar.
Fairs & Melas of Barmer
Tilwara Cattle Fair (March-April)
A major cattle fair lasting a fortnight, held in village Tilwara.
Nakoda Parasvanath (Dec–Jan)
The festival held in Mevanagar village commemorating the birth
anniversary of Parasvanath.
Held at Veeratara (12 km from village Chohatan) the fair venerates
goddess Vakaldevi and is held thrice a year in the month of
Chaitra, Bhadrapada and Magha.
Khed Fair (Aug-Sep)
A big religious fair held on Purnima (full moon ) in village