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Nimaj

The reservoir at Nimaj is one of Rajasthan's loveliest and most serene spots; a rarity in such a dry desert region, this abundant body of water attracts wheeling flocks of migratory birds, waders and wildfowl during the winter months – hence its former life as a royal hunting preserve – and there is a charming tented camp actually on top of the dam called Chhatra Sagar. Located two hours east of Jodhpur, where the Aravalli Hills peter out into the arid expanses of the Thar Desert, the reservoir and pretty farmland around it are now owned by one family who are descendants of the area’s former rulers.

This is the ideal place to relax, go for walks and bird-watching treks. There is nothing more peaceful than to look at the mustard fields glowing right on the edge of the desert and the pretty rural villages which are predominantly inhabited by farmers, shepherds and craftsmen who specialise in wonderfully intricate silver jewellery. Visitors can take tea with local villagers or explore the area on jeep excursions, ox-cart rides and boat trips on the lake.

The ancient town of Nimaj was originally under the rule of the Pratihar of Mandore, who built several temples during the 9th century including the Nagar Mandi, which is dedicated to the Goddess Ma Durga. December to March is the ideal time to visit Nimaj due to its minimal rain and pleasant temperatures, but it is worth remembering that nights can still be chilly.

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