Mandu, is an abandoned city of ruins from India’s Mughal era. Perched along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet is Mandu or Mandavgad. A ruined city in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh , central India. This fortress town on a rocky outcrop about 100 km (62 mi) from Indore with its natural defenses, was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa.
Mandu, due to its strategic position and natural defences, was an important place with a rich and varied history. It was an important military outpost and its military past can be gauged by the circuit of the battlemented wall, which is nearly 37 km (23 mi) and is punctuated by 12 gateways. Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the sway of the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom named it Shadiabad – ‘city of joy’.
Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy, A tribute to the love shared between the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of their euphoric romance. The fort walls encloses a large number of palaces, mosques, Jain temples of 14th century and other buildings. The oldest mosque dates from 1405. Each of Mandu’s structures is an architectural gem; some are outstanding like the massive Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah’s tomb, which provided inspiration to the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries later.
Jahaz Mehal/Ship Palace is situated between two artificial lakes, this two storied architectural marvel is so named as it appears as a ship floating in water. Built by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Khilji, it served as a harem for the sultan.
Hindola Mahal – meaning Swing palace is so named due to its sloping side walls. The Hindola Mahal might have been constructed during the reign of Hushang Shah about 1425 C.E. but may date to the end of the 15th century during the reign of Ghiyas al-Din,The Hindola Mahal may have been used as an audience chamber. There are a number of other, undated structures surrounding the palace – an evidence of the rich and glorious past.
Hoshang Shah’s Tomb is India’s first marble structure, it is one of the most refined examples of Afghan architecture. Its unique features include the beautifully proportioned dome, intricate marble lattice work and porticoed courts and towers. It served as a template for the construction of Taj Mahal
Jami Masjid Inspired by the great mosque of Damascus, this humongous structure is striking in both its simplicity and architectural style-with large courtyards and grand entrances.
A large sandstone structure originally built as an army observation post , is known today as Roopmati’s Pavilion. Rani Roopmati – the love interest of Baaz Bahadur lived here and is said to have gazed at the Baz Bahadur’s Palace – situated below and also at Narmada river, flowing through the Nimar plains far below, a river which the queen revered. The Pavilion is a major tourist attraction and offers many scenic views. Rewa Kund- A reservoir constructed by Baz Bahadur for the purpose of supplying water to Rani Roopmati’s Pavilion. The reservoir is situated below the pavilion and hence is considered an architectural marvel.
Baz Bahadur’s Palace – Built by Baz Bahadur this 16th century structure is famous for its large courtyards encompassed by large halls and high terraces. It is situated below Roopmati’s Pavilion and can be seen from the pavilion.
The mystical beauty of the monuments, amidst the sprawling lush green landscape and the purple sunset sky, paints the live picture of the bygone era. The effect is completed by the rich surroundings of mango, tamarind and banyan trees. The place is also famous for its ‘Khusrani Imli’, tamarind trees which bear fruit only in the rainy season and juicy custard apples
For being an abandoned ancient oasis, Mandu is relatively easy to get to — it’s a couple hours’ bus ride from Indore. But the real bonus of Mandu? There’s “almost a total absence of Western tourists.” And who doesn’t love an undiscovered spot? Contact Road2travel to discover Mandu