A few kilometers away from the city of Jodhpur is the abandoned and long forgotten capital city of the rulers of the Jodhpur, Mandore. Although, not a famous destination among the tourists, Mandore Garden piqued our interest after learning about the history of the Rajas of Jodhpur while touring the stunning Umaid Bhavan Palace.
The ancient city of Mandore was a thriving capital during the 6th century and was an integral part of the Marwar dynasty until the year 1459. Mandore was attacked by the rival kingdoms several times and with most of the structures damaged and left in ruins. Considering the imminent threat to the Kingdom, King Rao Jodha, the then ruler of Marwar decided to shift his kingdom to the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, which provided a strong foothold to the dynasty in the years to come and thus abandoning the old city. Historians also claim it to be the hometown of Ravan’s wife, Queen Mandodari and hence the city is named as Mandore.
Presently, Mandore is a heritage site with ancient cenotaphs (Chhatris) of the Jodhpur Royals, temple ruins, and a famous garden. The cenotaphs showcase some of the finest artistic works of the bygone era. The ancient structures are built in red stone and its vivid contrast with the greenery all around is very captivating. As there were not many visitors in the Garden, we were delighted to explore each structure at a leisurely pace, taking our own sweet time to admire the mastery. The larger than life pillars, the exquisite architecture which is unique to every cenotaph enthralled us as we strolled around the garden. The three-storied Watch Tower (entrance prohibited for public) and the Cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh are not to be missed when you are here.
There is also a government museum, which houses various prehistoric artifacts found around the area, ruins of the old fort and palace and a “Hall of heroes” dedicated in the memory of the famous men of the old town. Although we were thrilled to explore the hidden history of the ancient rulers of Jodhpur, we have to say we were quite disappointed to see that the place is not very well maintained. Not much attention is paid towards the up keep of the garden and also it is very difficult to find necessary information about the old town. There are several street vendors selling a variety of things, which we personally felt made the place lose its historic charm and also the public made no effort in keeping the premises clean. Beware of the monkeys flocking all over and make sure to take care of your personal belongings.
But it is not to say we did not entirely enjoy our time exploring these cenotaphs or the palace premises. As this visit was just decided on a hunch and we had no idea on what to expect while we got there, we were happy to just admire these monuments and satisfy our curious minds.
We sisters definitely suggest this as a must visit, especially to all the history buffs visiting the Blue City of Jodhpur.