This stately tank, southeast of the city walls, was Jaisalmer’s vital water supply until 1965, and because of its importance it is surrounded by many small temples and shrines. The tank was built in 1367 by Maharawal Gadsi Singh, taking advantage of a natural declivity that already retained some water. It’s a waterfowl favourite in winter, but can almost dry up before the monsoon.
The attractive 14th-century Tilon-ki-Pol gateway that straddles the road down to the tank is said to have been built by a famous 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.