Bada Bagh, also called Barabagh (literally Big Garden) is a garden complex about 6 km north of Jaisalmer on the way to Ramgarh, in the state of Rajasthan in India. Overlooking a mango grove sits a set of royal cenotaphs, or chhatris, of Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, starting with Jai Singh II (d. 1743).
Bada Bagh is situated on a small hill. The entry to Bada Bagh is from the bottom of the hill. The first row has a few cenotaphs. There are many more cenotaphs, which are accessible by climbing the hills. The cenotaphs are of different sizes and carved of sandstone. There are cenotaphs for rulers, queens, princes and other royal family members. Each ruler’s cenotaphs has a marble slab, with inscriptions about the ruler and an image of a man on a horse.
A descendant of Maharawal Jaisal Singh, the founder of the state and Maharaja of Jaisalmer State, Jai Singh II (1688–1743), commissioned a dam to create a water tank during his reign in the 16th century. This made the desert green in this area.
After his death on September 21, 1743, his son Lunkaran built a beautiful garden next to the lake and a chhatri (Hindi for cenotaph) for his father on a hill next to the lake. Later on, many more cenotaphs were constructed here for Lunkaran and other Bhattis. The last chhatri, meant for maharaja Jawahar Singh, dates from the 20th century and remains unfinished after Indian independence.
The site has three different things to watch, a garden, a tank and a dam. In the vicinity itself you will find Govardhan Stambh (pillar). This pillar was constructed to commemorate the construction of the Dam and the tank. In the local dialect the Dam and the tank are known as Jait Bandh and the Jait Sar respectively. It is believed that these are based on the name of the man who constructed them. The Jait Bandh is a dominating structure. It is about 1,200 feet in length and 350 feet in width. If you observe it closely you will notice that this has been built out of solid blocks of stone. The same material has been used for the construction of well as well as the tank.
Other interesting monuments in the vicinity are the Cenotaphs. These cenotaphs also known as chattris and were constructed by the various Bhatti rulers. One cenotaph has been erected for each ruler. The oldest among them is the cenotaphs of Maharawal Jait Singh who reigned from 1470-1506. This tradition was discontinued when in 1947, one of the prince died of a mysterious disease. This was taken as a bad omen and thus this tradition came to its end.
6 Km off the Jaisalmer city on Ramgarh Road
HOW TO REACH
Take a cab or hire a Rickshaw