Originally a conservation lake to collect rain water, Gadisar Lake (also called Gadsisar Lake) was built in 1367 by Maharawal Gadsi Singh to meet the water requirements of Jaisalmer.
The tank remained Jaisalmer’s vital water supply until 1965, and due to its importance to the city over the six centuries many small temples and shrines were constructed along its banks.
Now the lake is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, although close to monsoon time the lake is almost dry. The local people sell bread to feed the hungry catfish in the lake, and you can also hire boats or just come here and hang out for a while.
A local also told me that in winter the lake hosts many migratory birds that come from the nearby Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
I only stayed in Jaisalmer for one night, so got up early to catch sunrise at the lake. Conditions were not brilliant, but I’m glad I made the effort. The lake is less than 1km south east of Jaisalmer fort walls.
The 14th-century Tilok Ki Pol gateway that straddles the road down to Gadisar Lake is said to have been built by a prostitute. When she offered to pay to have it constructed, the maharawal refused permission on the grounds that he would have to pass under it to go down to the tank, which would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate anyway, adding a Krishna temple on top so the king could not tear it down.
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