Monuments at Mandu, Dhar
Mandu or Mandavgarh is located in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. It was said to have been established in the 6th century BC and later came under the reign of the Parmara Kings. The city was fortified by Raja Bhoj in the 10th century but was later captured by the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughals. The monuments contain several Jain temples, mosques and royal palaces that provide a great view of the varied cultural influences in India.
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.”
Parmars considered to have been very intelligent in Malwa history, they ruled here for almost 500 years; hence, in same period they tend to have constructive thinking, as they transformed art & history of this region pretty significantly. At that same time Mandu known to be a central point of art & culture, Parmar kings built here many temples, light-pillars & many sculptures. Parmar dynasties extinct after, king Munj, Bhoj, and last ruler followed by Udayaditya, then Mughals came in power here. Mandu ruined back to back of the attacks of Iltutmish, Balban & Alauddin khilji. Dilavar kha ghori appointed as a General of Malwa region by the then king of Delhi Firoz Tuglaq, Mehmood Tuglaq came in power in Delhi, after Firoz Tuglaq, but when Taimur invaded on Delhi he had to shelter in Malwa, Dilavar kha ghori spent three years on great hospitality of Mehmood Tuglaq, after Taimur dilemma, Mehmood Tuglaq headed toward Delhi, and after the departure of Mehmood Tuglaq from Malwa, Dilavar kha ghori declared himself a free ruler of the region.
Dhar was the capital of Dilavar kha ghori during (1401 – 1405), but he was to be very fond of Mandu, it is said that his son killed him by poison for getting the control over Mandu, and later made it the capital of the region instead Dhar, he was a lover of art & culture, died on 6 July 1435 AD, because of some urinal diseases. After Hosangshah, Muhammad Ghori sat on the throne of Mandu, who was very vicious & Drunkard, Mehmood Kha, who was his brother in law, killed him in 1436 AD, and seized the rein of Malwa, he ruled during 1436 – 1469 AD, with the name Mehmood Khilji-I, He collided with Delhi king Muhammad Shah, and in 1437 AD, and then, invaded against the Rana of Chittore Kumbha, the battle ended without any result, both thought their win, therefore, Rana Kumbha built a winning memorial in Chittore & Khilji made one in Mandu. After 34 years of rule on Mandu, he died in 26 May, 1469 AD, at the Kachwara province. Many Muslim rulars have ruled on Mandu after Mehmood Khilji-I, some of them were, Gayasuddin Khilji (1469 – 1500 AD), Nasiruddin Khilji (1500 1511 AD), Mehmood Khilji-II (1511 – 1531 AD), Bahadurshah Gujrati (1531 – 1534 AD), Mallu Kha (1534 – 1542 AD), Shujayat Kha (1542 – 1554 AD) & Bazbahadur (1555 -1564 AD). Gayasuddin Khilji was very lavish and lecherous, his palace were always filled with some 16, 000 beautiful female slaves and many serfs. While, Nasiruddin Khilji had a key interest in palace construction, as he built, Kaliyadah palace in Ujjain & Bazbahadur palace in Mandu. Mehmood Khilji-II were pretty tyrannical, eventually Bazbahadur killed him, preventing more atrocity on local public. In 1534 AD, Humayun charged on & expelled Bahadurshah toward Somewhere Gujrat. Mallu Kha, ruled on Malwa during 1536-42 AD, Shershah defeated him in 1542 AD, and appointed Shujayat Kha, one of his relative as a General of Malwa. His son was Bazbahadur, who later invaded against Rani Durgawati of Gondwana region, but got defeated all the way.
Bazbahadur had in intense love with Rani Rupmati, she was pretty beautiful & polite, and she had too much interest in writing poetries in Hindi language, able to horse riding, shooting & also can sing well that many big singers of the region could not have competition with her, therefore, Bazbahadur fell in deep love with her, even he forgot to execute well over his rein, seeing this a golden chance, Adam khan, who was an Army chief of Akbar, invaded against Bazbahadur, in which Bazbahadur got defeated very well. Finally Rupmati killed herself as she could not have been able to live without Bazbahadur. Bazbahadur sheltered at Akbar’s place, there he known to be an excellent singer, he died in 1595 AD, and as per his wish, his corpse buried beside Rupmati’s grave in Mandu. Pawars ruled after Mughals on Malwa, and this region is now in western Madhya Pradesh. There is much more within this region to see to learn, even many rulers of Malwa were giving an especial place to education and scholars.
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:
Before the Mughals, Mandav-fort was known to be one of the finest forts of India. Before to being enter in Mandu, one has to cross many door during the way inside, like – Alamgir, Bhangi darwaza, Dehli darwaza, Kabaani darwaza. Back of Mandu there are two main doors as Songarh darwaza & Tarapur darwaza.
Being similar to world famous Mosque in Damisq, Jaami Mosque is one of big and splendid Building in Mandu. Hosangshah started the construction of this Mosque, which is a finest example of Afgaani architecture, in 1554 AD, Mehmood Khilji completed the work. Overall the architecture of this building is fantastic, which the most wonderful thing to see about it is.
The western colonnade or the prayer hall is the most imposing of all with numerous of arches pillars whish supports the ceiling of the three great domes and the 58 smaller ones. The central niche (mihrab) is the most beautifully designed of all and is further ornamented along its sides with a scroll of interwoven Arabic letters containing quotations from the holy Koran.The Jami Masjid shows how the rulers and builders of Mandu had visualized dignity and grandeur in architecture through simplicity, austerity and massiveness of construction.
Mausoleum of Hoshang-shah
Hosangshah (1405 – 1432 AD) was the renowned king of Mandu, who initiated the construction of this Marble mausoleum but did not complete it; his successor completed it in 1439 AD. Here is one mausoleum which is 100 ft tall, 100 ft broad and topped over 6.50 ft terrace. The main entrance is on the southern side of the mausoleum. The walls of the mausoleum are about 32 ft high, while many star & lotus shaped carvings carved on walls and pillars.
The magnificent white mausoleum can generally be reached from the road that passes both side of it. Visitors entering the ground from the road have to walk around to the door of the tomb, on the other side. The square tomb rising on its plinth is crowned by a large dome with small cupolas at the corners. There is a certain eclectic harmony about this monument. The corridors encircling the grounds have red sand stone pillars with brackets in Hindu architectural style; the artisans were, clearly, given a free hand to carve them in the manner that they were most familiar with. The round Afghan dome, as distinct from the onion-shaped a Mughal dome, is surmounted by a crescent which, according to the Archeological survey of India, is a feature which seems to have been imported to Mandu direct from Mesopotamia or Persia. Hoshang Shah’s tomb lies inside the Mesopotamia along with other tombs believed to be those of his wife, three sons and a daughter. The tomb of the men are identified by a carving of an inkpot and a reed pen; those of the women only have a ink pot.
There is an interesting inscription on the right jamb of the door. It says that the Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan sent four of his architects, led by Ustad Hamid, to visit Hoshang Shah’s tomb in 1659. Shjah Jahan was, at that time, deeply innovated in creating the Taj Mahal in Agra in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Local scholars believe that, till the tomb of Hoshang Shah’s was built, Islamic tombs were made of sandstones. This was the first to be made of marbles.
At the front of Jaami Mosque, there are ruins of Asharfi Palace. Initially it was to be the religious school of Jaami Mosque, but later it devoted to its producer Mehmood Khilji (1435 – 69 AD). There is a winning memorial (1443) at the north-east of the Palace, which Mehmood Khilji built over the win on Rana Kumbha, it’s a seven stories pillar of 150 ft height.Close to Asharfi Palace, there is a Fascinating Ram Temple; which was built by Maharani Sakarwar bai pawar in 1769 AD.
Although it is called a Ship Palace, it bears as much resemblance to a water craft as a rhinoceros did to the mythical unicorn; through the legendary one-horned horse was inspired by traveler’s tales of the Indian Rhino. But then the Afghans were never known for their sea-faring skills. They probably gave their pleasure palace its fanciful name because ships conjure up images of uninhibited fun away from the prying eyes of the mainlanders, the fact that the Jahaz Mahal had two large lakes on either side of it, added to the Afghan’s illusion that it resembled a ship. It is clear that this palace, in spite of its size, was never meant to be lived in. Its ground floor has three ground floors with corridors in between, and narrow rooms at the far end, from the halls pavilions project over the Munj tank. These halls were lounges and the pavilions were places for people to enjoy the cool breeze that blew of the lake. The narrow rooms at the far end were changing rooms from those who wanted to swim in the pillared pool at the northern end. The terrace above was for the festive parties, with superb view of the lake in front. It, too, had a smaller swimming pool at one end and pavilions for more intimate conversations. In fact, year later, the Mughal Emperor Jehangir describes just such a party hosted by his beautiful wife Noor Jehan at which a great entertainment took place and the drunkards indulged themselves to excess such mass revels were necessary. Ghiyathud-din, the creator of the Jahaz Mahal, had to find ways to keep his dependants occupied. It is said that he had at one time 15,000 women of various classes in his seraglio. Five hundred beautiful and young Turkish females in men’s clothes and an equal number of Abyssinian females, all in uniform and armed, used to stand as guards to his right and left sides respectively.
Baz Bahadur’s Palace
This double-storied palace entrance has tall, slim arches on the left. At the top there once ran a conduit, that carried water which was been lifted by animal powered Persian wheels from Rewa Kund to the pool that is virtually a court yard of the palace. Even if the nobles, their ladies, and their soft-footed servants waving peacocks fans and spraying rose water are not there the courts lined with the arcades serving the airy room makes this monument an graceful and a cool place which was built by the Sultan Nasirud-Din Khalji in 1508-9.in a short pair of 50 year, Mandu changed hands from many times from the Khiljis, rulers of Gujrat, Mughals , Sher Shah Suri and more. In the end with the title of Sultan Baz Bhadur Mlik Bayazid crowned him self as the ruler of Mandu.After been defeated by Rani Durgavati, he devoted himself to music later he also found his soul mate in the gifted and loving princess Roopmati.
This audience hall has sloping walls that resemble the trestles of a swing: ‘hindola’ means swing. For all its massive bulk it is esthetically austere as a monastic shrine with soaring windows filled with stone grilles. The external pillars aligned with the sloping walls are buttresses to counteract the thrust of the arches that once supported the high roof. Only the arches now remain to show where the roof once covered the great hall. In spite of Ghiyathud-Din’s apparent change of lifestyle, he could not abandon the women of his court; they wouldn’t know where to go if he died. The transverse projection to the far end of the hall seems to have been meant to provide safe access to the hall for the king and his women; a flight of sloping stages allowed women to be carried up in palanquins, or to ride up on horses and elephants.
Most of the women have lived with the Sultans, the ruler, in a complex of buildings a little away from the Hindola Mahal. These are now ruins standing on the right back of the lake as seen from the Jahaz Mahal. Visitors should treat with care when exploring these buildings because many of them are subterranean and at lake level. There passages have been ingeniously aligned to trap cool winds blowing off the lake and into a step-well, or baoli. It is called the Champa Baoli because its water was said to have had the fragrance of the Champak, or Magnolia, flower. It seems to have lost its perfume with the decline of Mandu. Such wells, and the labyrinths of rooms and passages leading off them, were designed to provide cool, slightly damp, retreats from the hot, dry winds of summer. There is also a haman, or bath, or bath-house, in this living complex. It has apertures like stars cut into its ceiling.
HOW TO REACH
Mandu City is located in Dhar District in western region of Madhya Pradesh in India. This District is approximately 98 km from Indore and 285 km from Bhopal. Mandu City lies at an elevation on the Malwa Plateau amidst the Vindhya Ranges around 2000 feet above sea-level.Mandu is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Mandu City is easily reachable from all the major cities of India.
By Flight:The nearest airport to Mandu is at Indore, which is 110 km away. Pre-paid taxi services are available fromthe Indore airport to Mandu. Indore airport is well connected with Mumbai & Delhi airports. In addition to them it is also connected by Jabalpur, Gwalior, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Raipur airports.