Memorable Mandore Gardens Jodhpur : If you want to see a great combination of spirituality and architectural splendor, visit Mandore. The ‘Mandore gardens’, with its charming collection of temples and memorials, and its high rock terraces, is another major attraction. This is where you just do not get tired of walking. The greenery of Mandore gardens everytime maintain your freshness and sky-high cenotaphs and temples make your visit interesting.
Mandore is located about 5 miles north of Jodhpur. It was the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar. Later it was abandoned for security concerns regarding the Mehrangarh fort. It was the seat of the Pratiharas of Mandavyapura, who ruled the region in the 6th century CE. Mandore hardly attracts any tourists despite the legend of demon king Ravana of the Ramayana fame associated with it. The wife of Ravana, Mandodari is believed to be from this very town. What this means is that Ravana is son in law of the Mandore town.
History of Mandore
The ancient name of Mandore was ‘Mandavpur. In ancient times it was the capital of Marwar. Assuming Mandore unsafe in terms of security, Rao Jodha built Mehrangarh on “Chidiya Koot” mountain and established a city on his name “Jodhpur” and made it the capital of Marwar. At present there are only the ruins of the Mandore fort, which was built on Buddhist architectural styles.
It was a stronghold of the Parihar kings. Parihar kings ruled over Marwar for hundreds of years. In 1395, Chundaji Rathore married Parihar princess and he got Mandore as dowry. Since that time, Rathore became rulers of the ancient capital of the Parihar kings. Mandore is the ancient capital of Marwar. It is also said that Mandore is the laws town of Ravana.
Beauty of Mandore Gardens
There is a beautiful garden in Mandore in which ‘Ajit pole’, ‘hall of heroes’, temples, Baoli, ‘Janana Mahal’, ‘Ek Thamba Mahal’, canal, lake and monument s of various Maharajas of Jodhpur are made. The park is always crowded with foreign tourists.
The artistic buildings in the gardens were made by Maharaja Ajit Singh and his son Maharaja Abhay Singh of Jodhpur during their reign in 1714-1749 AD. There are many ancient monuments in the ancient capital of Marwar. ‘Hall of heroes’ represents fifteen carved figures of Hindu gods out of the rock wall.
My visit to mandore starts from a ‘dharmshala’ near bus stand of Jodhpur. I arrived here one day before with my father from our home town Sikar. We reached Mandore in early morning. It is about half an hour away from Jodhpur. At entrance of Mandore garden, who welcomed us were monkeys 😀 . I entered in the garden hiding my camera bag from greedy-eyed monkeys. After crossing a short distance in the garden my mouth was opened looking at the sky-high buildings prospered in architecture 😮 . The heights and architectural beauty of the buildings from a building increases respectively.
We continued walking in the extensive grounds, admiring the wonderful treasures that were scattered on the ground in forms of cenotaphs and monuments of kings. Birds came from far flung were looking very beautiful in a pond filled with lotus flowers.
After that we reached ‘Devtaon ki Sal’ and ‘Hall of Heroes’. Hall of Heroes was built by Maharaja Ajeet Singh (1707-24 Cent A.D.) and Devtaon ki Sal was built by Maharaja Abhey Singh (1724-49 Cent A.D.) Giant statues of chamunda, Mahishasurmardini, Gosaiji, Pabuji, Ramdevji, Harbhuji, Mehaji are engraved in the Hall of Heroes and statues of Ganesh, Jalendhar Nath, Shiva-Parwati, Ram, Surya and Brahma are carved in the Devtaon ki Sal.
Nearby there is a temple of Lord Ganesha, where the influx of devotees stays put every time. We did ‘Darshan’ of the lord and moved to ‘Janana Mahal’.
‘Janana-Mahal’ in the garden, has a beautiful museum made by Rajasthan archeology department, where the stone statues, inscriptions, paintings and a variety of artistic content are displayed. Janana Mahal was made during the reign of Maharaja Ajit Singh (1707-1724). It was made for women of royal family to relieve excess heat of Rajasthan. There is a water reservoir in the castle courtyard that is knows as ‘Naga-Ganaga’. A small stream of water flows continuously in this furrow from the mountains.
There is a three-storey sentinel building outside of the palace and garden named ‘Ek Thamba Mahal’. It was also built during the reign of Maharaja Ajit Singh.
Then we decided to visit the ruins of Mandore fort. I saw upside to the fort, there were monkeys everywhere on the walls of fort. I wanted to reconsider the decision to go up. Then I looked back, my father was on the way to the fort. I ran to join him. 🙂
Up there in fortification there were ruins of palaces, temples, pillers, pops etc. all around. Some temples still existed idols of Gods, where a Pujari worship them everyday. The ruins of the fort still testify the glory of that place and its architectural splendor.
It was afternoon, we came down and had lunch. Then we caught the bus to next visit. Wonderful views of Mandore were still circulating in my eyes. Whenever you come to Jodhpur, then do not forget to visit Mandore because the visit to the capital of the Marwar is incomplete without it. After all, it was its first capital. 🙂
How to reach Mandore:-
- Jodhpur is well connected by road and rail to all the major cities in Rajasthan.
- Mandore garden is quite near to Jodhpur. It is 35 Km away from the city.
- First tip, be aware of monkeys 😀 . Keep your food bag or other belongings hidden from them, otherwise they can snatch it from you.
- Wear slippers or other easy wear sandals instead of shoes because you have to take off them before going in every monument or temple.
- There is no guide here in the garden so you have to explore everything on your own.