Mandore Garden, the forgotten capital of Jodhpur

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.

47 Comments

  1. August 1, 2017    

    Nice frames

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you!

  2. Abigail Sinsona Abigail Sinsona
    August 2, 2017    

    Indian architecture is truly impeccable. This is the first time I’ve heard about Mandore Garden. But after seeing your photos, it got me so curious that I would want to go. The level of detail in the architecture is beyond amazing!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you Abigail.

  3. August 2, 2017    

    Wow! Those buildings look incredibly well preserved, and beautiful, of course. I’d never heard of this place before. Love your skirt in the final photograph of you as well!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you so much Kate!

  4. To me, it is a bit surprising that this place is not more known from a tourism (both domestic and international) standpoint. I just can’t get over how beautiful these buildings are and what a divine place this would have been in its hay day. Just gorgeous and I’m so pleased you included so many photos as there was so much detail to appreciate. For such a fabulous place, it is a shame it is not kept up that well. Still worth a visit though, that’s for sure.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      The garden isn’t promoted a lot, so there is less flow of tourists here. I guess sharing details online will attract more people in the coming years.

  5. August 3, 2017    

    This garden is absolutely beautiful, and the fact that it’s also a government building makes me in awe at the beautiful architecture and history! It’s good that you visited a different place from the tourist areas because I would have never known about this place! I am definitely interested in seeing this myself one day!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you for the love Ressa!

  6. August 3, 2017    

    Your post on Mandore is really enlightening. Very few people know about it, specially the story of how itvis named as Mandore that is on the name of Mandodari(Ravan’s wife). I loved those chhatris structure and really this place has worthy sculture and architecture. A hidden treasure.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Indeed it is a hidden gem, not all the visitors to Jodhpur visit this site.

  7. August 3, 2017    

    Some great photos but I have to agree with you in saying it is somewhat disappointing to see places like this losing their charm when they are not properly maintained. Unfortunately for sites so old as this, it is almost inevitable that some parts will not stand the test of time.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Totally agree with you :(.

  8. August 3, 2017    

    Mandore Garden is a hidden Gem in Jodhpur. I visited Jodhpur years ago, if I’d read this article first before going I would have definitely visited. The ancient city of Mandore is so Instagrammable which you have taken advantage of in your pictures!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Oh, thats too bad you missed Mandore Garden, it generally is not promoted anywhere so I guess not many have read about it.

  9. August 3, 2017    

    Absolutely stunning.. just wow. I love visiting different gardens around the world. The arrangements and decorations are always so different depending on what country you are in! I would love to go here.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      You will definitely enjoy the garden at Mandore :).

  10. Abhinav Singh Abhinav Singh
    August 4, 2017    

    Every time some one asks me offbeat thing to see in Jodhpur or Rajasthan, I recommend them Mandore gardens. It’s strange because I have not been here myself. But I local friend from Jodhpur has told me that it’s an amazing place. Your blog validates that. The cultural extravaganza that Jodhpur is I would love to visit again and include Mandore gardens also this time.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Oh you shoul∂ visit the city, it is absolutely stunning!

  11. August 5, 2017    

    Lovely pictures! Rajasthan is on my list for a long time now! Hopefully soon 🙂
    TheWickedSoul
    http://thewickedsoul.com

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you!

  12. August 7, 2017    

    Mandore is so striking! I am always amazed at how intricate and detailed the architecture was so many centuries ago and your photos capture it all so perfectly!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you Aisha! The craftsmanship back in those days truly astonishing.

  13. August 8, 2017    

    Lovely photos of such a stunning place!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you!

  14. August 9, 2017    

    wow Mandore looks amazing! I am surprise that its not a popular tourist destination as its one of the prettiest places I’ve seen in India from blog posts! So beautiful! I would love to visit it one day ! Your photos are stunning!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you for the love Ada :).

  15. August 10, 2017    

    Mandore looks absolutely amazing, those temples are beautiful and your photography looks great. Saved this for later.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you Ania!

  16. August 11, 2017    

    Wow, Mandore is such an incredible place, I’m surprised it’s not very popular among tourists. Backpacking around India is one of dreams, I’ll surely include Mandore in my trip 😉

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Mandore is a must visit if happen to be in Jodhpur during your India trip :).

  17. August 12, 2017    

    That architecture so typical of the region never fails to impress. Such exquisite carving details! Surprising that this is the hometown of Ravan’s wife, Queen Mandodari. Lanka was so far away!

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Hahaha I know!We were surprised when we learnt about it as well.

  18. August 13, 2017    

    I have never heard of Mandore garden before. It seems like an excellent place to visit for travelers like me who love history and architecture. Thanks for sharing.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Your welcome Anita! history buffs will love the place.

  19. August 14, 2017    

    Very interesting architecture. I am amazed at the level of details in the pillars, roofs, etc. Most importantly, it’s actually good that the local government unit decided to preserve the place. It’s really sad to see historical and cultural places like Mandore go to waste because of negligence, pollution, destruction and defamation.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      So true! We were quite upset looking at the state of the garden.

  20. August 14, 2017    

    This Mandore garden post really got me nostalgic. I really had an amazing time discovering it. Those Cenotaphs are just amazing. You have captured those really well.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Thank you Ami!

  21. August 16, 2017    

    Great to read about Mandore Garden.
    Thanks for all pics, Awesome.

    • 2travellingsisters 2travellingsisters
      August 17, 2017    

      Welcome Rupam.

  22. AJ AJ
    August 18, 2017    

    Beautiful Architecture!Detailed information about history.Nice one!

  23. August 19, 2017    

    I missed it on my trip so thank you for the visual treat!

  24. August 20, 2017    

    A colorful post! Brings back memories of the place visited a long time back!

  25. August 20, 2017    

    Beautiful work on the buildings. Sad to know that Mandore Garden is not looked after well.

  26. August 21, 2017    

    Beautiful place. Love to be there.

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