» »Mandu, Doorway to History

Mandu, Doorway to History

Written By:

Mandu also known as Mandavgarh or Shadiabad is an ancient ground that has weathered the ravages of time and nature. The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department in order to bekon travelers here organises festivals that would increase the interests of tourists. Also the lip smacking Malwa cusine consisting of traditionally cooked daal-bati and a generous helping of malpua appeals to the gourmet wishes of the tourists.

Tourism in Mandu is owed largely to the doorways to history (Darwazaas), that regularly dot the landscape here. The walls of the town enclose a number of architectural marvels like the darwazas, the masjids and the mahals with each one of them boosting Mandu tourism and keeping history alive.

The Roopmati Pavillion with its association to a timeless love saga is a must see along with the magnificent Darwazas, the gates of the fort that forms the entrance to the land of monuments. Hoshang's tomb, the first marble structure in India, and a resplendent monument that served as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal, is but a humble part of the tourist places in Mandu.

How to Reach Mandu

How to Reach Mandu

By Air: The nearest airport to Mandu is the Indore airport at a distance of 100 km. The airport has regular flights from all major cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Gwalior and Bhopal.

By Train: The railway system in India connects most cities and towns with Mandu being no exception. The nearest railway station is Ratlam situated at a distance of 139 km by road from Mandu.

By Road: The National Highway network and State Highway network in India connect most cities and towns of importance reasonably well. Mandu is well connected to Indore and Bhopal by road. Buses between Mandu and Indore and Bhopal run regularly and are reasonably priced. Cars may also be rented in Indore and Bhopal.

Photo Courtesy:nevil zaveri

Baz Bahadur's Mahal

Baz Bahadur's Mahal

Baz Bahadur's Palace is a 16th century building that encloses huge courtyards, large halls and terraces that offer breathtaking views and has been attracting tourists from all over the world. One of the most visited places in Mandu, Baz Bahadur's palace is visible from Roopmati's Pavilion. The palace offers the other half of the love story between Roopmati and Baz Bahadur. A love story that transcends religion and worldly ties. Although the walls of the palace show the effects of time and nature, walking through the long corridors amidst the numerous pillars and arched entrances, the echoes of a resplendent past are heard throughout the palace. The palace is an exemplary specimen of the art and architecture of the time.

Photo Courtesy:Bernard Gagnon

Jami Masjid

Jami Masjid

The Jami Masjid, built in 1454 by the rulers of the Ghauri Dynasty, has stood a silent spectator to history. A place of worship and historical significance, the pillars and the cobbled pathways offer a place to introspect and regain balance amidst the hectic pace of life. The magnificence of the building is reminiscent of the great mosque of Damascus. The mosque reflects the Pashtun style of architecture and ‘Jami Masjid' literally translates as the 'Great Mosque'. Despite the sheer size, the simplicity of the architecture makes the mosque inviting as against being formidable. The large courtyards, numerous pillars and grand entrances speak to those who pass through just as they did all those many years ago. If religion is not the reason, the magnificence of a structure that has stood the test of time and echoes of grandeur and magnificence must be experienced to be understood.

Photo Courtesy:Bernard Gagnon

Jahaz Mahal

Jahaz Mahal

Jahaz Mahal is a beautiful, well-kept, historically significant tourist attraction in Mandu. The location between two lakes Kapur Talao and Munj Talao and the appearance of a ship gave the palace its name, 'Ship Palace'. With the numerous fountains and the tranquility of flowing water through the canals, it is easy to see why the Sultan thought the location was perfect for his harem consisting of thousands of women! The architecture, with two stories, numerous pillars, arches and details such as tiling over the arches amongst many others make visiting the place worthwhile. The palace offers photo opportunities like no other for enthusiasts. The panoramic view of the lakes, surrounding landscaped gardens and the greenery beyond is breathtaking. The views make even the most philistine person take a step back and appreciate nature in all its glory.

Photo Courtesy:Bernard Gagnon

Bagh Caves

Bagh Caves

The Bagh Caves situated close to Mandu are a group of nine caves which served as Buddhist monasteries. The beautiful ornamentation on the interior walls of the caves has made the caves a must see destination in Mandu. The fact that the cave paintings have survived all the ravages of time and nature alone makes them remarkable. The use of the word ‘cave' to describe the monasteries has been inaccurate as they are not natural, but man-made dwellings, cut into natural perpendicular rock-face of the Vindhyas. The caves are very similar to the ones in Ajanta in their construction. All the caves have similar layouts with quadrangular rooms and a small chamber usually at the very end which serves as a prayer hall. These caves are a place to visit in Mandu even if the visit is solely to see paintings that date back thousands of years.

Photo Courtesy:Nikhil2789

Roopmati Pavilion

Roopmati Pavilion

Roopmati Pavilion states that a love saga evokes a sigh from the hardest of hearts regardless of the era. This Pavilion still stands today as a testimony to Rani Roopmati and Baz Bahadur's love story. Their love saga has seen numerous re-telling sessions, so many times over that nobody can today claim to know the truth! Although the original structure was built as an army observation point, the western additions to the structure enabled the queen to gaze on her lover's palace and her beloved Narmada River. Today the scenic views from the palace whisk travelers into another dimension where love conquers all. Echo point is another famous tourist attraction situated very close to the place. The sunset views from the palace over the Narmada River make a mark on all those who witness the sight.

Photo Courtesy:Bernard Gagnon

Dai Ka Mahal

Dai Ka Mahal

Dai Ka Mahal is an important tourist place in Mandu. ‘Dai' literally translates into wet nurse. A wet nurse was frequently employed by royalty across cultures around the world for various reasons. The wet nurses were entrusted to care for, and nourish young infants while the members of royalty went about their duties and also in cases where the biological mother was for some reason unable to breast-feed the child. Other than the Dai Ka Mahal, the Dai Ki Chotti Behen Ki Mahal seems to reinforce the social strata of power that wet nurses enjoyed in Mandu.

Photo Courtesy:Zishaan

Darya Khan’s Tomb

Darya Khan’s Tomb

Darya Khan's Tomb is an important artifact of Mandu. Visiting this tomb is equivalent to visiting another era, the artwork and intricate carvings on the monument are astounding to behold. The tomb as suggested by the name is the final resting place of Darya Khan. The architecture of the tomb is reminiscent of the Taj Mahal and the tomb of Hoshang Shah with the four domes marking the corners of the tomb. Furthermore, the tomb is on an elevated platform and is a square structure with high arches on all four sides supporting the dome. The arches on the interior walls set in blue tiles bring colour into the otherwise sober interior. The lattice work in stone is an ingenious way to let light and air in while acknowledging the art and archeological practices of the era.

Photo Courtesy:Varun Shiv Kapur

Hindola Mahal

Hindola Mahal

The Hindola Mahal was one of the many buildings that made up the royal palace at Mandu. Believed to be constructed during Hoshang Shah's reign, the Mahal was probably used as a 'Durbar' or meeting hall where the King addressed his citizens. The Hindola Mahal, literally 'The Swinging Place' in English is resplendent and a reminder of the magnificence of the kingdoms of yesteryear. There is a replica of this palace in the Warangal Fort, possibly constructed under the direction of the architect responsible for the Hindola Mahal. A sample of the Malwa style of architecture, the outer walls or the buttresses are sloping walls inclined at an impressive 77 degrees, giving the palace its name. The Hindola Mahal is an important marker of history and architecture enthusiasts will find the mahal a portal to travel and experience the echoes of a durbar long buried in the sands of time.

Photo Courtesy:Bernard Gagnon

Hoshang's Tomb

Hoshang's Tomb

Hoshang Shah's tomb is India's first marble structure and one of the finest examples of Afghan architecture. The incredible dome, the arches and the lattice work served as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. The blue enamel stars and the lotus on the southern doorway are an inspired touch of colour to an otherwise white structure. If the Taj Mahal is an intriguing monument to love and history, Hoshang's tomb is a monument that somehow personifies the Taj Mahal and makes it more approachable. Hoshang Shah is credited in history for more reasons than just being the first Islamic King of the Malwa region.

Photo Courtesy:Bernard Gagnon

Rewa Kund

Rewa Kund

Rewa Kund is another monument dedicated to Baz Bahadur and Roopmati's legendary love story. Rewa Kund is an artificial lake that Baz Bahadur built in order to ensure water supply to Roopmati's Pavilion. The other claim to fame that the lake has earned is of a religious nature. Like many other lakes in the area, the lake's survival to the present day is owed to the pious Hindus who have through time protected the lake from oblivion. The area surrounding the lake has seen the construction over time. The North-Western side of the lake has a pavilion that has been expanded over time, displaying varying styles of pillars and arches, providing a resting area for pilgrims and pleasure seekers alike. The Northern end of the lake has a unique contraption called a water lift that provides water supply to Baz Bahadur's Palace. A visit to the Rewa Kund is usually a part of itineraries that cover the palaces in Mandu.

Photo Courtesy:Bernard Gagnon

Read more about: madhya pradesh, travel, nature
Please Wait while comments are loading...