Mandore Ganesh Temple: Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with a Rajasthani flair

Praying to Ravana and Ganesh in the same temple

Culture

August 31, 2022

/ By / Mandore

Mandore Ganesh Temple: Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with a Rajasthani flair

A large temple complex , beautifully constructed. There is a Ganesha Temple as well. (Photo: Anmol Deep Bengaluru, India/ TripAdvisor)

As India celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi, most tourists keen to get a glimpse of the festivities may choose Maharashtra or Karnataka. But there are other parts of India which offer a unique experience of celebrating this festival and who have a strong and direct connection with the Elephant-headed God. Mandore in Rajasthan is one such place that can serve as an offbeat destination during Ganesh Chaturthi.

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For those looking to experience Ganesh Chaturthi with a different flair, Mandore in Rajasthan is an ideal destination. Situated about 350 km west of Rajasthan capital Jaipur, Mandore is best known for its connection with the demon King Ravana who is said to have married a celestial beauty called Mandodari, believed to have been born here.

And to honour the most famous son-in-law of Mandore, a Ravana temple, with a large statue of the King of Sri Lanka, has been built here. The same temple complex is also home to a unique Ganesh temple, which is said to have the oldest and largest statue of Ganesh built from a single stone.

The temple was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh, who was the ruler of Jodhpur from 1707 to 1724. The temple was built in a garden complex called Mandore Garden, about 17 km north of Jodhpur. Besides the idol of Ravana, another unique aspect of the temple is that the idol of Ganesh, that is placed in the centre, is chained to two other idols — Kala Bheruji and Gora Bheruji, two local deities. Devotees from across the country visit the temple seeking blessings.

Ganesh Chaturthi Festivities

As part of the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities, the temple sees a flower festival, which is actually celebrated twice a year, on the new moon day of Bhadrapad, currently ongoing and Paush that falls in mid-December. During the Bhadrapad, the vendors of Jodhpur participate in the flower decoration of the troupes on the 27th of August. It is an alternate version of Mahashivratri, where Lord Ganesh is offered flowers, honey and other sweet offerings!

Mewari architectural wonders

The Mandore Garden Complex as well as the rest of the city boasts of several architectural wonders that display the beauty of Mewari architecture. Starting with the temple itself which has a marvel. A single rock has been used to carve figures of 16 Hindu deities! The garden also has several cenotaphs honouring various personalities, including rulers of Jodhpur. Outside the garden, the wonders include the Royal Cenotaph, Ek Thamba Mahal, the now ruined Mandore Fort as well as Chhatris (cenotaphs) of the rulers of Jodhpur. The Garden also houses a public museum known as the “Hall of Heroes” that commemorates famous folk heroes of the region.

Fairs and Festivals

As with most Indian towns, fairs and festivals play a major part in Mandore’s folk culture. Some notably fairs include:

Rao Festival: During the festival, the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort rumbles with the musical notes filled with ecstasy, joy and euphoria. Rao Festival’s history can be traced back to the 15th century when the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodha Rathore set up the city as his capital in 1459. Eventually, he married the sister of a local prince who helped him set up an empire in the region. The festival is celebrated to mark the occasion.

Hariyali Amavasya: The Shravan month, in mid-July, marks the beginning of a plethora of festivals for Hindus. It also marks the beginning of the Monsoon season. As the name suggests, the Hariyali Amavasya marks the celebration of greenery, a genuine prayer to Lord Shiva to get plentiful monsoons for a good harvest.

Veerpuri Mela: This festival is celebrated in the Ganesh temple on the second last Monday of the Shravana month every year in honour of heroes of Rajasthan. Cash, coconuts and sweets are offered before the deities Ganesh, Bhairon, Chamunda and Kankali.

Bhogishail Parikrama

The Bhogishail Parikrama is a circumambulation of Bhogshail Hills in Jodhpur. The 105-km long is a seven-day ritual which is celebrated every third year according to the Hindu calendar, on the occasion of Purshottam month. More than 100,000 devotees participate in this circumambulation to wash away their sins. The journey of faith is organised under “Hindu Seva Mandal” and is full of obstacles: rocky terrain, inaccessible hill cuts and other roadblocks. More than 50 voluntary religious organisations and all the departments of district administration collaborate to make the event possible.

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