Mandore Gardens JodhpurSituated just about eight kilometers from North Jodhpur is Mandore. It had earlier been the designated capital of the Marwar principality but was found to be unsuitable. Thus, the area was a abandoned and Jodhpur became the capital. Gradually the fort of Mandore fell to ruin. Currently even in its dilapidated state it is most attractive and draws several history buffs to its various corridors and passages. They may be crying for repairs but these relics of an era not so far bygone leave little to imagination in portraying the regal lifestyle and day to day activities of the royal dwellers of these exquisite buildings. Mandore city is raised on a gradient from which this ancient settlement looks down into the Mandore Gardens.
Architectural Layout of the Mandore GardensThe vast layout of the Mandore gardens is a sacred repository of the mortal remains of the rulers of Jodhpur. These gardens are full of umbrella shaped cenotaphs or ‘dewals’ that are architectural wonders in themselves. There are a number of such cenotaphs laid out across the gardens. Some of them emulate the Rajasthan style of architecture while a few rare ones are constructed along the design and layout of the South Indian ‘gopurams’ that rise several stories high. Some of them are three to four levels high and have elaborate patterns of pillars and spires that make them stand out as compared to the other cenotaphs. A large number of the cenotaphs are built like typical Hindu temples. An interesting features is that all these structures are constructed in red stone.
The beautifully landscaped gardens provide an aesthetic backdrop to the memories cenotaphs spread across them. There are two cenotaphs that a variant from the common theme. The first is the memorial to Maharaja Ajit Singh, which is the most appealing architecturally. The second one is the cenotaph constructed in the memory of his Maharani. Her memorial is constructed a little separately from all the others. It is located on the rocky face jutting out from the highrise mound in one part of the gardens. It is most imposing in this setting.
The fabulous Mandore gardens have two distinctive features, namely ‘Hall of Heroes’ and the ‘Taetis Crore Devi Devta Mandir’ or the Temple of the ‘Three Hundred Million Gods and Goddess’ which form the entire roster of the Hindu pantheon. The hall of Heroes is dedicated to the brave kings, soldiers and stalwarts who have shown feats of valour in the history of the land. The hall of Heroes immortalizes for posterity the valorous deeds of real life heroes who performed acts of bravery that were attributed to making them larger than life. The status and figurines of these stalwarts and their close allies are artistically carved out in rock and painted colourfully in brilliant hues. They are eye catching and provoke the viewer to reflect upon the bravery of these bygone heroes.
The temple of Three Hundred Million Gods and Goddesses has the relief images of all the Hindu deities who are painted in bright colours to appear most imposing and awe-inspiring. The temple attracts a large number of devotes and tourists as it is one of the few and unique places of worship that has the representation of almost all the major and minor gods and goddess of the Hindu belief system. The backdrop of the Madore gardern is the incline after cresting which the tourist comes upon the old city of Mandore, the ruins of which are reminiscent of the erstwhile glory of the city and its centralized palace and the small museum maintained therein.
Thus, a tour of Mandore city and Mandore gardens is like a journey to the past where the centuries come alive as they have continued to live in the strains of the folk music of the land.
The gardens are open from ten in the morning to four in the evening from Saturday through Thursday with Fridays being off days when the gardens remain closed. While there is no entry fee levied to enter and roam around in the Mandore gardens there is a charge of Rs.50 only for entering the museum.