Incredible Northern India Garden Tour
March 3rd - March 15th, 2010


March 12th, 2010

We did something fun this morning and not on the itinerary. We all got up at 6:30 and headed out into the country in jeeps. We visited two families homes and saw not only where they live but what they do to make a living for themselves. The first visit was to a family that made pottery. The second visit was to a family that weaved carpets. On the way there and back we drove through small villages where children ran to greet us. Amazing fun and privileged to have met them all.

Back to our rooms to wash the dust off, breakfast, then off to the Mehrangarh Fort. Again not a fort but a huge fortified palace. This fort houses several palaces and more. It is nothing but huge! What it must have been like to see life in these walls! Surrounded by thick sandstone walls, you can see the cannon ball indents that the Jaipurs made fighting the Jodphurs. It sits 400’ above the city and once up there, you will enjoy and incredible view of the blue city. The fort was built on the advice of a pious hermit and overlooks the blue city. The fort houses several palaces, cannons, temple and a museum. Some of the rooms are open and you will see such treasures like the gold ceiling – 80 lbs of gold was used to gild this ceiling. The cradle room houses some of the cradles used for the royal babies and there are a few rooms holding swords, sabres and other fighting instruments including guns.

We met a gentleman here at the gardens who showed us some of what they were doing to keep these gardens looking lush. Dr. M.M. Bhandari, Emeritus Professor of Botany was delighted to see us and show us around. He has a book on the Flora of The Indian Desert, and was a delight to speak with. We were honoured to have him come just to meet us. Since water is so scarce they have huge underground cisterns that collect the water during the monsoons. It is a thriving garden and a welcome respite to the 35C heat we are visiting in.

Our next visit was to Jaswant Thada, a richly carved white marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh ji, which preserves the genealogy of the rulers of Jodhpur along with their life-size portraits. The Jaswant Thada is architectural landmark found in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built by Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of Maharja Jaswant Singh II. The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately
carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when the sun's rays dance across their surface. Within this cenotaph, there are also two more tombs. If you look you can see the firewood that is placed waiting for the next cremation. It was a beautiful and quiet place to visit with a small lake beside it.

We then went back to the hotel for some relaxation time and those that wanted to could also go to Mandore Gardens. In the evening some of us went to Rani Handicrafts to look at architectural treasures as well as fabrics, cushions, mats and home accessories.


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row