Situated only 78 kms south of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Pali, with its ancient history, was once the homeland of the Paliwal brahmins. This hard working tribe, from whom the town got its name soon proved to be remarkably adept at cultivating the land which they leased from the chief of Mandore. Thus, before long, the tribe had acquired vast wealth but it was this wealth which, in the 13th century, drew the attention of Raja Sheoji, the chieftain of Marwar. Needing to strengthen his military machine in preparation for any future battles, Sheoji imposed a “War Tax” on the tribe. They refused to pay on grounds of their religion. Many were imprisoned under orders from the king. The tribe was forced to flee. With all the tribe leaving, it is said that Pali soon became little more than a ghost town.
Today, Pali is once again a thriving town, well known for its highly successful textile industry which supplies large quantities of both cotton and synthetic fabrics. In fact, one or the country’s largest textile mills is located at Pali producing mainly cotton fabrics. Marble processing is also a rapidly growing industry in the region together with various other industries.
While there are many places of interest to visit, for the tourist, Pali today is best known for three magnificent temples.
Ranakpur Jain Temple
The Ranakpur temple complex, built during the 15th century, is not only exquisite, but also a magnificent architectural masterpiece of unimaginable beauty. This Jain temple boasts a total of 1440 intricately carved pillars, each one being uniquely different in that no two pillars share the same delicately crafted design. This, combined with a total of twenty four halls, makes this complex a sight not too be missed.
Located in the Sumerpur Tehsil region of Pali, this impressive dam is one of the biggest, if not the biggest in western Rajasthan. With its daunting holding capacity of more than 6000 cubic feet of water, it serves as the main water supply to both Jodhpur and Pali district as well as numerous other smaller villages.
Proving to be a very interesting and enjoyable outing, visitors can find this museum of historical artifacts at the old bus stand in Pali city itself.
Parshuram Mahadev Temple
This temple is situated approximately 14 kms from Sadari town and is of religious importance to devotees of Lord Shiva. Depending on when you visit the region, you may be able to attend one of the two fairs hosted here each year.
Other unique and interesting places which many visitors frequent are Somnath Mandir, Lakhotia Gardens and Nimbo Ka Nath.