Rajasthan tour: Day 2 of 7 days series:
Our day started with beautiful view of sunrise from roof top terrace of Yogi Guest House. We saw few people congregated at Fort entrance to watch sunrise, because of height that was the best place for observing sunrise from Jodhpur.
After sunrise we had our breakfast in full fort view from Yogi’s rooftop restaurant; within next one hour got ourselves ready for the day’s trip.
We had two options, either Bishnoi or Ossian village. After my brief research and suggestions from local auto drivers, shopkeepers and all in all our revered Mr. Yogi, who treated us as his close relatives, we decided to make temple trip to Ossian and on our way back to Mandore. Buses were available in every 15-20 minutes.
Bus tickets: Rs 15 a pop for the 64 km ride. The engine roared to life and, with it, a local song. Through the land route to Ossian from Jodhpur, the landscape was arid. In 2 hours journey we were the sole tourists in the bus.
We crossed few villages with their mud houses topped with thatched roof. That was Diwali time; villagers, mostly married women, were visiting their relatives, may be their parental home, wearing fancy saris and glittering ornaments in pierced nose and ears, bangles covering ill maintained tanned forearms. Disturbing plight of villagers in this western fringe of India was vividly disposed in all of their belongings including their own malnourished physique. We came very close to villagers of Rajasthan in this bus trip.
Ossian was an important trading centre between 8th and 12th centuries. Now this place lures tourists for its ancient temples which are 2000 years old as per legends (3000 years old as per devotees, whom we met at temple ground).
After half an hour lunch break in a local restaurant, we stepped into Sachiya Mata Temple, 150 m from bus stand. A long flight of steps, under fanciful decorated arches, took us to the temple, overlooking vast landscape of Ossian. The smell of incense sticks wafts through the air. Exquisitely designed sandstone statues of various incarnations of Durga, Ganesha and Shiva are installed here.
Just a few minutes walk from Sachiya Mata temple rests the Jain temple. This open air pavilion style mandava with carved pillers has beautiful torana before the temple, decorated with intricate sculpture work. The statue of Mahavira is glistening with piercing eyes. Photography was not allowed in temple premises.
We enjoyed our time under the shadow of trees in front of Mahavira temple. After about one and half hours we started for Mandore.
Mandore is 9 km before Jodhpur. Mandore Garden entrance is 10 minutes walking distance from bus stand. Founded in 4th century, Mandore was capital of Marwar prior to the founding of Jodhpur in 16th century.
We got a warm welcome from numerous numbers of monkeys from all sides of the garden.
We reached there at 5 pm after closing time of Museum and Mandore Fort restricting our visit to the open space outside fort area. The dark-red cenotaphs, which combine Buddhist and Jain elements in architecture, are the main attraction of the garden.
Nearby was the octagonal Ek Thamba Mahal, a soaring pagoda like red sandstone pavilion with filigree jali screens. It was built at the beginning of eighteenth century for royal ladies to watch public events without breaking their purdah.
Returning from Mandore we indulged in shopping from Jodhpur Clock Tower market. We bought wooden Ganesha and bangles in a bargain price.
Our next destination was Jaisalmer. Train departs from Jodhpur at 23:45. Railway station was full of touts, making beeline for tourists traveling to Jaisalmer. They relentlessly try to fob off with their hotel and sand dune deals.
We spent 2 days in Jaisalmer and 1 day in Thar Desert in Sam Sand Dunes.
- Vibrant Rajasthan: Day 1 – Blue City Jodhpur (tralect.wordpress.com)