Mandore:This former capital of Marwar,
lies 9 kms north of Jodhpur. The gardens of Mandore also house the royal cenotaphs or
'dewals' of the Maharajas, including Maharaja Jaswant Singh and, largest and finest of
all, the impressive temple-shaped memorial to Maharaja Ajit Singh.
The Hall of Heroes
contains 15 figures carved out of a rock wall. The vividly painted figures represent Hindu
deities or local heroes on horseback. The Shrine of 33 crore Gods, is painted with figures
of gods, spirits and divinities. Regular buses run to Mandore from Jodhpur.
Osian:Rajasthan's largest group of early Jain and Hindu temples lies on the
outskirts of the small town of Osian, 55 km from Jodhpur. Once a great trading centre,
today, the town is a desert oasis, home to numerous peacocks. The largest of the 16 Jain
and Brahmanical temples is dedicated to Mahavira, the last of the Jain tirthankars. In the
same area the Surya temple has fascinating images of Durga, Surya and Ganesh.
The sculptural intricacy of the Osian temples rival that of any of the famous temples
of the country, be it the Sun Temple of Konark, or the Hoysala temples of Karnataka.
Built in 1812, this is a small walled town, clustered around a 100-pillared Shiva
Balsamund Lake & Palace
Built in 1159, this lake and garden complex lies about 7 kms from Jodhpur. A palace
constructed in 1936, looms over the lake. The lake has, now, been converted into a public
park and bird sanctuary. This area has turned out to be a popular excursion spot.
These are immaculately - kept settlements of the Bishnoi community - staunch believers
in the sanctity of plant and animal life.