Mandu is a historic city in Malwa plateau with large number of historic monuments. In past it is known by the name of Mandavgarh & Shadiabaad. It is a celebration in stone of life and joy called 'the city of joy’ by the muslim rules’s, Between 1401 and 1561 it was the capital of a Muslim state in the north of India.
Under the Mughal rule, Mandu was a pleasure resort, its lakes and palaces the scenes of splendid and extravagant festivities, and the glory of Mandu lives on, in legends and songs, chronicled for posterity. Mandu is the tribute to the love shared between the poet prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort Rani Rupmati. The balladeers of malwa continued to sing of the royal romance, According to legand Rani Rupmati’s lyrical voice can still be heard acroos the Narmada.
A complete nature paradise, surrounded with historical impact, Mandu is situated on 2, 079 feet high of Vindhya plateau, 35 km far from Dhar, and a district of western Madhya Pradesh. The separation of this plateau is stretches about five miles east to west, and almost four miles north to south. Famous kings like, Munjdev & Bhoj had lived in Mandu and built amazing fort & amusement places, though, they are in ruined form now, but still there is some kind of magic that spells on visitors, make them realize on how mesmerizing these places are, or what human’s art and craft skills can be, Still here is lots more to roam around to feel around. The great Mughal emperor Jahangir wrote about Mandu’s Natural beauty & greatness that – “ I have never known about any other existing place on earth like Mandu before, which can be so exciting in terms of its adorable climate conditions and that too in rainy seasons.”While Lord Curzon said to get inspired of its incredible-ness that – “The way Mandu has inspired me from the bottom of my heart, regarding its architectural richness & matured nature, no of any Monuments in entire India did have same thing.”
Although Mandu town encompasses number of historical monuments and scenic natural places where visitors can enjoy the heritage & natural incredible beauty of "City of Joy" but here we are listing some of the prominent tourist attractions of Mandu which tourist must see during their Mandu-trip:
Carved in with the brilliance of craftsmen from Delhi, Jahaz Mahal is a jewel built somewhere around 1436-1439. It is known as "Ship Palace" as the Mahal is standing in the middle of two lakes Munj Talao and Kapur Talao; upon a narrow strip of land. This makes Jahaz Mahal look as if it’s floating.
Jahaz Mahal is a rectangular structure, three feet tall with two floors and thick walls. On the eastern side, the Gothic arch entrance is installed. These arched opening is further secluded by Chajja (awnings) and stands on stone brackets. Inside the fort, there are three huge halls, separated by corridors, having small rooms in the end. Northern end of the terrace leads to a bath with broad steps leading into it. The palace looks even prettier with its fountains and cascades.
Hindola Mahal in Mandu is an ancient construction which was built under the rule of Ghiyas-ud-din's reign. The place is ideal to spot the historic monuments with their wonderful sculpture. The monument is an audience hall and named as swinging palace. The unique innovative construction with the superb technique and sculpture invites thousands of tourists every year. The Hindola Mahal was built with sand stone with beautifully carved columns. To the western front of the Mahal there are few Mahal whose identities are not yet unveiled. Champa Baoli is a construction that stands in the midst of the Mahal depicting the past. There is a provision of hot and cold water that are also connected with the underground rooms.
Baz Bahadur's Palace
On your Tour to Mandu, you will surely be enchanted by the charm of the Monuments in Mandu. The constructions found in this city are essentially Islamic in their architectural details due to the Muslim rule which dominated the place for decades together. Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Mandu is one such building which has, over the years become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Mandu.
Baz Bahadur was the sultan of Mandu from 1555 – 1561 and Mandu reached heights of grandeur during this period but only for a short time. However, he had built the palace long before he ascended the throne. It was in 1509 that the wonderful edifice was erected. It stands on the hill above the holy Rewa Kund, a tank, which supplied water by a water lift.
Exhibiting specimens of Mohammedan as well as Rajput culture in its architectural forms, Baz Bahadur’s Palace initially opens up to a sprawling courtyard and flaunts halls on all four sides. The northern side has an octagonal porch with arches on the fringes. Overlooking this pavilion is a garden. On the southern face of the palace is a terrace on which there are two baradaris - pavilions, which, in turn offer enchanting views of the surroundings. So, when you are in Mandu, do not miss the visit to Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Mandu as it will certainly provide interesting moments, reliving the past through the arches and porches and pavilions.
Amongst the many monuments and palaces that adorn the historical city of Mandu famous for the legendary tragic love story of Prince Baz Bahadur and Roopmati is the Roopmati’s Pavilion, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Mandu. Perched atop a hillock on the southern side of the Baz Bahadur Palace, Rani Roopmati Pavillion is from where the queen would view the palace of her beloved, Baz Bahadur.
Originally built as an army observation post, the structure later on took the shape of symbol of undying love between Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati.
Lying to the south of Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Roopmati’s Pavilion was then a low and large hall with two rooms on each side and a thick sloping base. Later, the building was extended on the western side along the plinth and the most interesting additions were the square pavilions housing hemispherical domes. The corridors in the basement of the Roopmati's Pavillion have a number of arched openings across their width. The western ledge contains a large reservoir in which rain water was collected during the monsoon through a channel running from the roof of the structure to the tank below. Also the sensational view of river Narmada flowing 305 meters below is a sight to behold. Rani Roopmati’s Pavilion bears witness to the love story between Queen Roopmati and Baz Bahadur. It was on one of his hunting excursions that Baz Bahadur got attracted to the mellifluous tunes of Roopmati, then a simple Hindu peasant girl. Love blossomed among them and she was brought to Mandu by the sultan on the condition that she would stay in such a place as to be able to view her paramour’s palace as well as the flowing Narmada. Thus began the love story between the two, though it ended tragically due to the intrusion of Adham Khan, a general of Mughal Emperor Akbar, who was attracted by the beauty of Roopmati. However, the queen died a self inflicted slow poisoned death, unable to bear such mental trauma.
Mandu is an important tourist destination as the place is ideal for the exploring history and the true culture of India. You can begin your search from here as the first tomb shows the involvement of Afgan culture in the art and sculpture of ancient India.
Hoshang Shah's Tomb is regarded as India's first marble tomb that was the tomb of Hoshang Shah. The tomb is a marble construction in honor of Hoshang Shah who holds a significant position in the history of India. It is noted that the tomb was constructed in the 15th century. The tomb was so beautiful that it impressed Shah Jehan and so he sent four of his architect before construction of Taj Mahal. It has been said that Ustad Hamid had a great association with the team who constructed Taj Mahal.
Description of Hoshang Shah's Tomb : The Hoshang Shah's tomb, Mandu is a wonderful example of Afgan art and architecture. The monument bears well-balanced dome with convoluted marble work. The uniqueness and the wonderful decoration on the southern doorway portray the lotus and the blue enamel stars. The tomb is influenced by Hindu style of architecture.
Darya Khans Tomb and Hathi Mahal Mandu
Darya Khan’s Tomb and Hathi Mahal, Mandu are two of the more important tourist attractions in Mandu.
Darya Khan ruled Mandu from 1510 A.D to 1526 A.D. The tomb built by himself before his death stored his body after he passed away and is a grand specimen of Muslim art and architecture. Located between the Hosai village and the Rewa Kund, it is square in shape and is supported by enormous arches. The four corners house four little domes with the main tomb in the central part of the room. The walls of the tomb once exhibited fine and intricate arrangement of beautiful tiles. Hathi Mahal, another of the notable structures in the tiny city of Mandu, is also called by the name, Elephant Palace. It so gets its name from the gigantic pillars which resemble the legs on an elephant.
The Jain Temple, Mandu is the sole non-Muslim specimen of art and architecture amongst the several mosques and dargahs which clutter the town. Dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras, the temples house idols made of gold, silver, marble. The eyes of some of the idols are adorned with shining jade eyes. At the rear of the Jain Temple lies a Jain museum, styled in lines of a theme park, has a walk-on replica of the Palitana. There is also a mural of Jain homilies and stories with moral endings.
Jami Masjid Mandu
Jami Masjid is located on the plateau of the Mandu and hold a prosperous history of the place and of the Islam in the by gone days. The Masjid was built by the rulers of Ghauri dynasty. The intricate marble work and its huge size will definitely give you the scope to unveil the mysterious past.
Description of Jami Masjid :The mosque remains quiet and tranquil as the mosque is not a historical monument only. The mosque was once a place for thousands of worshipers is now nothing but bears the history. The gigantic area depicts the capacity of accommodating an ample amount of worshipers. There are small chambers which were used for various reasons. The domes that are place are the trademark of Afghan architecture. There are two main entrances that invites tourist to explore the wonderful creation which stands high in prestige and honor of Ghauri dynasty.
Ashrafi Mahal or Madarsa:
The buildings here belong to two different stages of construction. The earlier representing a college or Madrasa, attached to the Jami Masjid, is a great quadrangle enclosed on all sides by a number of small cells for students. At the four corners of the quadrangle were round towers, three of which are still extant. Amongst these the north-eastern tower was later raised seven storeys high by Mahmud Khalji to commemorate his victory over the Rana of Mewar in Rajasthan. The basement of this tower is 9.8 m high. Here the tomb of Mahmud Khalji was erectod on the western projection of the quadrangle. The interior of this tomb is 19.9 sq.m. It was repaired during the time of the Mughal emperor Akbar.
This monument was constructed to be used as a haven for the Mughal emperors during their regime. It is located to the south of the Jahaz Mahal and is now a gallery of Archaeological Survey of India and houses various archaeological findings.