If you have been to Delhi, Mumbai, Agra and Kolkata, you are close to seeing the best that India has to offer. These are all amazing cities and destinations of interest. Those who have been to Mandore, however, will be quick to tell you to include this ancient town to your list of top places to see in South Asia.
Your first stop should be the city of Jodhpur, the second most important city in the state of Rajasthan. You can take the plane, train or bus from the major cities of Delhi, Mumbai or Jaipur, which is the capital of Rajasthan. From Jodhpur, Mandore is only 9 km away to the north, about 45 minutes by rail.
There are many things to see and be at awe when in this ancient Rajasthani town. The first and most important attraction in the area is the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, which you will pass by on your way to Mandore. Since this is one of the oldest, largest and most magnificent forts in all of India, stopping over is certainly a good idea.
In 1459, construction of the fort began on top of a hill called Bhaurcheeria, which means “mountain of birds”. It is looking over the city so that sentinels can see enemy approaching. Mehrangarh Fort successfully defended the ancient city of Jodhpur from any invading forces, which was an easy feat since it has seven walls that are 36 meters high and 21 meters wide.
Inside the fort are beautiful palaces that have been preserved through the centuries. Be amazed just gazing at the Flower Palace (“Phool Mahal”), Pearl Palace (“Moti Mahal”), Mirror Palace (“Sheesha Mahal”), and two other palaces called “Sileh Khana” and “Daulat Khana”. You can also see ancient halls and a museum that houses priceless artifacts such as musical instruments, traditional costumes, miniatures and other pieces of furniture.
Passing through the Fort, you will soon reach Mandore and see what this ancient town is widely known for. The most famous attractions here is the vast garden park and the four-storey cenotaphs that were built in honor of Jodhpur’s past rulers. The cenotaphs (empty tombs) are shaped like Hindu temples, as against traditional cchatri-shaped Rajasthani cenotaphs.
You will notice the cenotaphs’ beautiful columns and spires that are made of red sandstone. The next thing to see here is an ancient hall near the cenotaphs. It is called the Hall of Heroes.
Along the hall you will wonder at the statues that are carved out of rocks. They are brightly colored statues of deities and heroes. Local townsfolk and residents, including park security guards, who may be in the area are eager to tell you who the statues represent and what their stories are.
The next things to see are ancient ruins that are located beyond the garden and a plateau. Included in the ruins are portions of the Mandore Fort, old statues, stone etchings, and the remains of what seem to be the walls of an old temple. On the walls are carved figures of birds, animals, plants and what seems to be a planetary system.
Mandore is a haven for historians, scholars, cultural enthusiasts, students, “time travelers”, and tourists. Many have found their way here and definitely not regret the experience. The park, garden, palaces, ruins and museum are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.