Mandu or as the locals call it “Mandav” is a ruined city approximately 100km to the south west of Indore. The road from Indore to Mandu is surrounded by fennel, wheat and cotton fields. It was the first time we had seen these fields up close.
Mandu with its strategic location on a plateau at around 2079 ft above sea level, was the fort capital of the Paramaras around the 10th and 11th Century. In 1305, Allauddin Khilji captured Mandu from the Paramaras and established his own rule. The golden Age of Mandu began with Hoshang Shah who made Mandu the capital of his kingdom. Many feuds and quarrels over Mandu in the 15th and 16th century resulted it being passed around in the hands of Mohammed Khilji, Ghiyas-ud-din, Humayun , Baz-Bahadur and ended up in the hands of Shehenshah Akbar.
Today, the places of interest in Mandu are a cumulative of the efforts of all these rulers establishing kingdom ( although for a short period of time each) in Mandu.
Places To See
The Mandu city is surrounded by a huge wall which encloses a large number of tombs, mosques and Jain temples. The wall has many doors (“darwajah”) at various levels of entrance and a check post (of the old times) near each.
As we reached the top of the plateau the first architectural piece we saw was the Songarh.
Jami Masjid and Hoshang Tomb
The Jami Masjid with its magnificient and huge dome lies in the centre of the present village of Madav. It was aparantly inspired by the great mosque of Damascus. Opposite it is the Hoshang’s Tomb. With its intricate marble lattice work, it served as a template for the Taj Mahal.
The famous “Jahaz Mahal”- the Boat Palace, was contructed in the rule of Ghiyas-ud-din who built it for his large harem. The architecture is exquisite and one of its kind. With lakes surrounding the Palace and a “kund” even inside the palace, the Jahaz Mahal, as its name suggests, appears to be floating in the sea. The imagination of its architect and designer and also the precision with which it is made is applaudable.
The inside of the Jahaz Mahal consists of many fountains and rich gardens. A stroll through the garden and a look at the lake made us wonder how beautifully people lived in the past.
Baz-Bahadur Palace and Rani-Roopmati’s pavilion
Mandu is know for witnessing the love of Baz-Bahadur and Rani-Roopmati. Baz-Bahadur’s Palace is famous for its large courtyards and artificially built ponds and fountains inside the Palace. Exploring the Palace, it seemed to us that the whole Palace was designed keeping the “water” element in mind. There were various ponds and bathing places everywhere seemed that they were the luxurious jacuzis of that time.
Rani-Roopmati’s pavilion was constructed under the rule of Baz-Bahadur. It was built to allow Rani- Roopmati to gaze at both Baz-Bahadur’s Palace on one side and the Narmada river (which the queen revered) on the other. It is beautiful to see the whole valley from this topmost point of Mandu.
Although once rulers fought over this beautiful piece of land, today it is reduced to a small village. People here (especially children) were very kind and happy. The land is blessed by the many lakes and a pleasant weather which allows them to cultivate and survive there.
It was a pleasant visit and the food at both of the hotels we stayed was incredible.
If you are going there in holiday season, then book your rooms in advance because it seems a popular place of visit for honeymooners and the Indore college crowd in general.
If you want to visit the place or have visited, share your experience with me too. 🙂