The township of Barmer belongs to the district of Barmer of Rajasthan. The district of Barmer, which is a part of the Thar Desert, is one of the ancient cities of India. Though Barmer is a barren land with very harsh climate, it is known for its rich handicrafts and traditional art forms.
Barmer district had been a prominent place in the ancient times and many dynasties and clans thrived and perished in its soil. The ancient city of Barmer was comprised of areas like Khed, Kiradu, Pachpadra, Jasol, Tilwara, Sheo, Balotara and Mallani.
The origin of Barmer can be traced back to the medieval age. According to history, Barmer district was founded in the 13th century by Bahada Rao or Bar Rao. The township of Barmer was named after him as ‘Bahada-mer’ (the hill fort of Bar), which over a period a period of time became ‘Barmer’. The camel trade route of the bygone era went through the small town of Barmer.
When the British came to Barmer district in the year 1836, Barmer town came under the rule of the Superintendent. In 1891, Barmer was integrated to the state of Jodhpur. After Independence in 1947, both Barmer and Jodhpur became part of the State of Rajasthan. The Barmer district of today comprises historic places like Mallani Shiv, Pachpadra, Siwana and the Chohatan area.
Though Barmer is a land of tribal folk, it has emerged as the centre for wood carving, pottery, carpets, intricate embroidery work, block printed fabrics and multi-hued traditional costumes which are famous all over the world.
Barmer is well known for folk music and dance also. The folk musicians of Barmer come from different communities of which the most famous are the Bhopas and Dholis. Bhopas are the priest singers who sing about deities and war-heroes. For the Muslim Dholis or the drummers, folk music is a means of livelihood.
A trip to Barmer reveals the rural beauty of Rajasthan as well as its culture and heritage. The historic monuments like Barmer Fort, Siwana Fort, Jain temples, Ranchorrai Mandir, Sun Temple, Someshwara Temple, etc. are some of the popular destinations.
The festivals and fairs of Barmer also attract tourists. The Mallinath Cattle Fair at Tilwara conducted in memory of Rawal Mallinath, Veeratara Mela, Barmer Thar Festival, etc. are some popular occasions.