Badal Mahal Darwaza is basically a singular structure of a gate that doesn’t lead to any palace or mahal. This historic gate enjoys a central location in Chanderi, near the Jama Masjid. This imposing gate was constructed by Sultan Mehmood Shah Khilji, the King of Malwa, in the 15th century.
It was built to mark a significant victory. Badal Mahal Darwaza has a height of 100 ft. The structure features elaborate carvings and impressive motifs. The top of the gate features an arched design and two tall minarets stand guard on both sides.
The specialty of the structural design is that a gap exists above the arched top of the gate, which is followed by another arch, which brings up the end of the gate. This gate served the purpose of welcoming and honouring the state guests and visiting kings in a grand manner.
Pathani Darwaza is a grand gateway standing proudly in the city of Chanderi. The free standing gateway stands testimony to the magnificent days of a by-gone era. The tapering turrets allow a glimpse into the impressive style of architecture that was prevalent throughout the city in the past.
The ornamental panels of the structure speak a lot about the architectural excellence of the structures. Pathani Darwaza has a height of more than 30 ft. The turrets are joined by stone screens. The beauty of the structure lies in the unique style of construction and design, which is exclusive to Chanderi.
Though the Pathani Darwaza is not in an excellent shape today and requires maintenance to carry on its glorious past. But the grandeur of the heritage structure can be felt in the typically designed rich and ornamental standalone gateway. It is rare to witness such carved beauty outside Chanderi.
Koshak Mahal is an impressive palace standing at a distance of 4 km from Chanderi. The palace was built by the Sultan of Malwa, Mehmood Shah Khilji, in 1445. It was constructed as a monument to mark the victory of Mehmood Shah in the battle at Kalpi over Sultan Mehmood Sharki.
The Koshak Mahal is a square structure with large impressive arched doorways. The palace consists of four mansions of similar size and equally spaced from one another. A network of passages and overhead covered corridors connect them.
The superstructure of the palace does not exist today, but the beauty of the palace can still be felt in the remaining portion standing there. Koshak Mahal was constructed from white local sandstone. All the four mansions of the palace feature identical style of architecture and design. The palace today stands with three complete storeys and an incomplete fourth storey.
Raja Mahal is a seven storied palace standing proudly in the Andar Shehar of Chanderi. It is one of the few remaining palaces that still grace the landscape of Chanderi. Chanderi once had around 260 palaces, of which only 43 have managed to exist till date.
The palace features architectural style of the 15th century. It is a beautiful structure constructed from grey and white sandstones and has elaborate carvings to display. The palace is truly a magnificent structure that has large courtyards, elegant stairways, beautifully carved pillars and open pavilions on the terrace.
The palace has an underground passage connecting it to another palace standing nearby. This smaller palace is known as the Rani Mahal, which is quite different in architecture and style to the Raja Mahal. These two palaces together are known as the Rajmahal. These palaces serve as prominent points of attraction in Chanderi Tourism.
Rani Mahal is one of the two palaces comprising the Rajmahal of Chanderi. The Rani Mahal is the smaller one of the two palaces. It is a four storied structure that is connected to the Raja Mahal through a secret passage. The two palaces, though built in close vicinity, have very different architectural designs and patterns.
The Rani Mahal displays the Bundela style of architecture. The exact period of construction of the palace is not known though it is believed to be prior to the 16th century. The palace is an enclosed structure with a large courtyard surrounding it.The corridors are spacious and display beautiful pillars.
The terrace was built with pavilions that were used as watch towers. The palace displays several intelligent architectural specialities. For instance, the slit windows were built as a defence policy of the palace and not for any kind of aesthetic beauty.
Hath Sal is located between two other famous structures of Chanderi, Bala Kila and Khuni Darwaza. It was built in the earlier part of the fifteenth century. Hath Sal is a reminder of the celebrated market place of Chanderi.
The specialty of the market place was that the shops were built to serve the pedestrians as well as the elephant riders with equal ease. The shops were built on six tiers of projection which made the shops gain height. This facilitated the people riding on elephant backs to purchase things while seated on the elephants.
The structure was built on pillars and came to be known as Hath Sal. Hath Sal means the house of elephants. The structure had impressive architectural qualities like lotus designs and jail work, which were common during that period of time. The uniqueness of Hath Sal impresses people even today.
Purani Adalat refers to the court of justice or Nayalaya that was once functional in Chanderi. The Bundela rulers of Chanderi were responsible for the construction of many important and impressive buildings in and around Chanderi. Purani Adalat is one such structure that was constructed by the Bundela rulers during their reign lasting over two centuries.
The Purani Adalat is a square building having two storeys. This stone structure was built with slits and has a three storied gateway for the purpose of entrance. Projected balconies feature at the end of the building.
The entrance features an impressive embellishment and the ceiling has elaborate carvings of lotus. The front walls are decorated with geometric patterns. The door is decorated with elephant brackets on both sides. The balcony extends ahead of the terrace and a double beam projection supports the structure. The beauty of the building attracts tourists even today.
Singhpur Palace is nestled in the lush green environment of the Vindhyachal range of hills. The palace is situated at a distance of about 4 km from Chanderi. The palace is a three-storeyed building that was built by Devi Singh Bundela in the year 1965. This palace was constructed to serve as a rest house to the king during his frequent hunting trips.
The beauty of the Singhpur Palace is enhanced by the presence of a pond near the retreat. The pond is historically significant as it was built in 1433 by Malik Haiwat Nizam during the rule of Hoshung Shah Ghori.
There is a small shrine near the palace gate that is dedicated to the family deity called kula-devata of the Rawatas. The beautiful structure of the palace combined with the surrounding environment of green forest and placid lake makes this place a truly alluring get-away.
Chanderi Fort is the most renowned monument of Chanderi. The fort stands proudly at a height of 71 m above the town on a hill. The fort is fortified with a 5 km long wall. This important attraction of Chanderi tourism was built by King Kirti Pal in the 11th century. The fort has witnessed several attacks and has been re-built a number of times.
The fort has three gates for entrance. The uppermost gate is known as Hawa Paur, and the lowermost gate is known as Khooni Darwaza. The southwest side of the fort has an interesting gateway called the Katti-Ghatti.
There are several tourist attractions situated inside the Chanderi fort, like the Khilji Mosque, Naukhanda palace, tomb of Hazrat Abdul Rahman, etc. A rest house situated on the northern ridge of the fort is the main attraction of the monument as it presents a wonderful view of the town below.
Bala Kila is a small but significant fort. It is situated at the footholds of the hill containing Kirti Durg. The fort was named Bala Kila by Cunningham. Bala Kila has a circular mainstay with a dimension of 7 m and is placed at a height of of 70 m. Stone blocks from the fort reach up to Badal Mahal.
The interesting fact is that Bala Kila has no gateway near the Badal Mahal Darwaza. The structural design of the fort is typical of the architecture that was prevalent in Chanderi during the 15th century.
The defense wall of the fort has a hollow corridor running along the inner wall. The Bala Kila walls are built to be of 8 m high. The fort had gateways that opened towards the Kirti Durg and the Purani Adalat or Nyayalaya. The fort has a complex structure, and that is why it holds interest for the tourists.
Deogarh is a beautiful village settled on the river banks of the Betwa. This small village is covered in a blanket of natural beauty and has a rich historical past. It is situated at a distance of 71 km from Chanderi. The village is renowned as a famous religious centre.
Deogarh is abundant with a lot of structures and buildings of archaeological importance. Of the several interesting structures found in the village, the most renowned is the 5th century temple of Dasavatar Vishnu. The temple is a magnificent construction depicting the Gupta period.
The Varaha temple is famous for its distinct sculptures. The hill fort of Kirti Giri built by King Kirtivarman during the 12th century is another interesting structure. Deogarh also has a rich collection of Jain stone sculptures. The Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary holds interest for nature lovers as it has a rich wildlife and diverse flora and fauna.
Parmeshwar Pond or Parmeshwar Tal is a spectacular water body with a serene atmosphere. The water tank is located at a distance of half a mile from the historical city of Chanderi. The beautiful tank was constructed by the Bundela Rajput Kings.
On the banks of the tank is a picturesque temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Laxman. The temple is an impressive piece of architecture with well-carved features. The temple was built by the Bundela King Anirudha Singh in the 18th century and stands witness to the glorious architectural progress of those days.
Several memorials also dot the banks of Parmeshwar Tal. These memorials were built to honour the Rajput kings. The stunning view of the Parmeshwar Tal attracts tourists from all over the country to visit this beautiful and calm place.
Chanderi Archaeological Museum was built to preserve the remains of the heritage and history of Chanderi. Chanderi is a place that is rich in cultural history and archaeological heritage. The place is a standing example of the splendour of forts, palaces, huge gates and a number of monumental wonders.
These structures and monuments were built by the rulers of various dynasties ruling Chanderi at different periods of history. In order to preserve the rich monumental evidence of the creations of these rulers the Chanderi Archaeological Museum was established. The gates of the museum were thrown open for public viewing from 3rd April, 1999 onwards.
The museum sources its collections from the architectural monuments and sculptural items that are abundant in and around Chanderi and from local people and individual collectors. The ruined forts, palaces and temples in and around Chanderi and Buddhi Chanderi are a rich presentation of a by-gone era.
Old Chanderi is situated at a distance of 19 km from the Chanderi city and lies on the bank of river Urvashi. The place is also known as Buddhi Chanderi. It has a lot of historical and Vedic significance attached to it and finds a position in the epics and pages of history. The village of Old Chanderi is famous as an important centre of Jain culture and mainly the Parwar Jain community.
It has several Jain temples belonging to the 9th and 10th century. The place is considered as a pilgrimage by the Jain people, and so, a huge number of Jain visitors come to visit this place from all over the country. The architecture of the sculptures and structures present in Old Chanderi reveal a rich style of construction that is impressive to watch.
Shahzadi ka Rouza is an impressive monument built on a 12 ft high podium. The structure is situated near the Parmeshwar Pond. The outside wall features a tall first storey and a short second storey. The eaves at both these levels are held by uniquely designed serpentine brackets. The inside of the structure comprises of just one storey and has a single room that is square in shape.
The monument originally had 5 domes, but most of them are ruined now. This structure is basically a tomb built in the 15th century by the then Hakim who governed Chanderi. It was constructed in memory of his daughter Mehrunissa.
She was in love with the chief of Hakim’s army. But due to Hakim’s disapproval, the young couple died at the spot where the memorial stands today. The Hakim buried his daughter there and built the structure as her memorial.