Around 9 kilometres from the incredible Rajasthani city of Jodhpur, is the town of Mandore. I hadn’t heard of this town before heading to India this year, and I probably would have missed it all together if I hadn’t felt like doing something on what I had sort of planned as a ‘rest day’ whilst in Jodhpur. Instead I decided to do something on that day, and that thing I decided to do was visit the Mandore Gardens.
I hopped online looking through Trip Advisor and googling places near Jodhpur, and suddenly I saw these incredible pictures of what looked like an ancient city in the jungle. In fact, the ‘jungle’ was the gardens around a bunch of temples and remnants of Ancient Mandore, aside the Mandore fort, which used to be the seat of power for the area, predating the building of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
From the sixth century through until the 15th or 16th century this was the seat of power for the region it seems. Today though, the temples are still standing and tended for in the green garden, a rare sight in Rajasthan indeed.
And it is kind of magical, even if there is quite a bit of rubbish everywhere (despite plenty of rubbish bins) and many people hanging out there. And why wouldn’t you, as the weather gets warm and the park offers shade? It’s not the world’s most manicured garden by any means, there are many monkeys to look out for too, but it is really a pleasant way to spend a few hours.
The gardens seem to start at the centre of town, where I was dropped off after a 25-minute auto-rickshaw ride, and end at the fort. There are a number of temples in there, and they are pretty large. A small entrance fee is charged as well, for foreigners at least. Groups of friends meet, there was a female group singing at one point, and you’ll see many a person coming to the temples for praying, and indeed, for photography and visiting.
I spent an hour and a half here, possibly a little longer, and took a leisurely stroll around the park, visiting many of the temples as I did, and I have to say – it’s pretty special. And as a half-day excursion from Jodhpur, it was great. And easy to get to on a tuk-tuk and probably by bus too (which would be much cheaper obviously).
Again, the photos talk better than my words!
Thanks for reading – and May the Journey Never End!