Next day after having had a hearty breakfast we headed for Mandore town located approximately 9 km north of Jodhpur. It’s an ancient town with remnants of a ruined fort, which once must have been a fine piece of architecture. We could see a ruined temple in the fort. It must be pretty huge sometime down the history and on the outer walls of the temple we could still see the finely carved images of birds, animals and planets. We had a good walk in the Mandore gardens. There are some old and beautiful temples in this garden, but I wish the place was maintained better. Though looking at the cenotaphs was very interesting and the museum was also good but with so many monkeys around we couldn’t hang there for much time.
Later we were taken to the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum. This palace is huge, elegant and well preserved. The major portion of the palace is used by the Maharaj Gajsingh and is not open to the public and a significant part of the palace is a luxury hotel. A part of the palace houses a museum with a fairly good collection on display. The Maharaj’s vintage car collection was awesome. After having spent around two hours in the palace we had tea and snacks and left for Osian another ancient town. Though it was around one and half hour drive away but as we had heard a lot about it from the locals we decided to go and have a quick look. Anybody who is interested in archaeology would love to come here. The place is surrounded by golden sand dunes and small hamlets. There were in all sixteen brilliantly carved and planned temples. I liked Sun Temple the most. The guide told us that it was constructed somewhere in the 10th century. There were many sculptures inside the temple and a statue of sun God. Such old heritage must be preserved well, but one could see the damages due to sheer neglect. We also had a fun camel ride.
Instead of having dinner in the hotel we had a stop at a local restaurant and there we enjoyed the Jodhpur cuisine. We had ‘kachori’, ‘ladoos’ and ‘buttermilk’. It’s like a tradition out here to have something sweet first followed by the main course. Must say it was great fun. We had a long day, as we were to go to Udaipur next day; we headed back to the hotel. Whichever place I visit, it just gets under my skin and leaving it makes me sad. But anyways, Udaipur wait for me….HERE I COME!