Barmer: Rajasthan through districts
Barmer is the second largest district of the state of Rajasthan. Thar Desert is the distinct identity of Barmer. It is situated in Western Rajasthan. 480 km long Luni River runs through Barmer. It is a Lok Sabha Parliamentary Constituency. Best time to visit Barmer is October to March when the city experiences mild winter.
In the 18th century, British rulers adopted the name Barmer or Balmer. The name Barmer is derived from the name of the earlier 13th century ruler Bahada Rao Parmar (Panwar) or Bar Rao Parmar (Panwar), it was named Bahadamer (“The Hill Fort of Bahada”).
Barmer district is located between 24, 58′ to 26, 32’N Latitudes and 70, 05′ to 72, 52′ E Longitudes. Barmer is located in western Rajasthan, with Jaisalmer to its North, Jalore on its South, Pali and Jodhpur to its East and Pakistan to its West.
According to 2011, Barmer has population of 26, 03,751 with 93.02 percent of population residing in rural areas & 6.98 percent in urban areas. Barmer had an average literacy rate of 56.53%, with 70% of the males and 40% of females being literate.
In 2009, the Barmer district came into the news due to its large Oil basin. The British exploration company Cairn Energy is going to start the production soon in the year 2009 on the large scale. Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwarya is the major oil fields in the district. This is India’s biggest oil discovery in 22 years. Cairn works in partnership with state owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). Cairn holds 70% in the field, while state-run ONGC holds the remaining 30%. In March 2010, Cairn increased oil potential from this field to 6.5 billion barrels of oil – from an earlier estimate of 4 billion barrels.
Historical/Geographical Places of Barmer
1. Siwana Fort
Siwana Fort was constructed in 10th century by Narayan Panwar. In local language its name is Gadh Siwana, after the battle of Giri Summel Rao Maldeo took refuge in this fort from Sher Shah. During 1308-09 under reign of Sataldev, the fort was attacked by Allauddin Khilji which resulted in first Jauhar/Saka. In 1597, Akbar with Motaraja Udai Singh attacked Siwana fort at the time of Kalyanmal which resulted in 2nd Jauhar.
2. Kiradu Temple
Kiradu Temple might have been constructed before the 6th century at the time of “Parmar” Dynasty.
There are five temples in all and most remarkable of them is Someshvara Temple .These temples feature impressive sculpture and a Solanki style of architecture. There are 4-5 Big Temple structure of Golden colour and a Sun Temple. The temple is well entitled as “Khajuraho of Rajasthan”. The design of the temple is identical to the Khajuraho Temple and Sun Temple at Orrisa. The temple is ruin and with lack of images of God and Goddess. The Kiradu was earlier Headquarter of Barmer and it was attacked by Mohammad Gauri in 1140AD who had destroyed the temple structure and its images.
3. Shri Parshwanath Jain Temple
Shri Parshwanath Jain temple was originally a temple of Mahavira. This temple was renovated in the fifteenth century. 120 idols were brought here from Kalidrah and this beautiful and miraculous idol was installed here as Mulnayaka (main idol of the temple) in the year 1429 of the Vikram era (1373 AD).
4. Desert National Park: Most of the desert national park lies in Jaisalmer district. The park is habitat of Rajasthan’s state bird Great Indian Bustard.
5. Pachpadra: Construction of oil refinery of 9mppd has been started in Pachpadra in Barmer.
6. Utarlai: Utarlai, India’s first underground airbase is situated in Barmer.