Mandu is the epitome of architectural excellence that our ancestors seemed to have achieved. This city is testament to the unconditional love between Prince Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Mandu also boasts of the oldest erected monument of India.
The remnants of the ancient city of Mandu is a beautiful place which is rich in history and heritage. The beauty of Mandu is visible in its palaces, monuments and widespread lawns. The beautiful palaces take you back to the era of the kings and the queens. The old palaces are preserved in all their ancient glory, so Mandu seems to jump straight out of an age-old fairytale.
Places to Visit
The splendid architecture of Jahaz Mahal occupies an expense in the Mandu region of Madhya Pradesh. It was built during the reign of Mandu Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji, who is believed to have as many as 15,000 women as his consorts. To accommodate the women belonging to the royal consortium, Jahaz Mahal was built in the second half of the 15th century. Jahaz Mahal best captures the medieval history of Mundu. Here ‘Jahaz’ refers to a ship and ‘Mahal’ refers to a palace, which is a reflection of the edifice itself. Surrounded by pond water, it seems to be floating gently above the surface of the water.
The architecture and structure of Jahaz Mahal are both awe-inspiring and marvellous in terms of its engineering. Emulating the appearance of a mighty ship, the palace is an amalgam of Afghan, Mughal, Hindu and Mesopotamian architecture styles. It was built with a meticulous precision that followed acoustic water supply patterns, subtly reflecting the pond that lies overlooking the palace. The balconies are constructed in a way that amplifies sound such that reverberates through the entire body of Jahaz Mahal. The intricate carvings, precise engineering design and pristine beauty along with its close proximity to other tourist attractions such as Roopmati’s Pavilion, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Hindola Mahal, Jain Temple, and Jami Masjid make it one of the most important tourist spots in the city.
Rani Rupmati’s Pavilion
If history is to be believed, this building was erected because Rani Rupmati, a very beautiful Hindu singer, had supposedly caught the interest of Baz Bahadur.
So, Baz Bahadur using all his clout and wealth built this magnificent piece of architecture to showcase his love for her. It is constructed on the banks of river Narmada because it is believed that Rani Rupmati was so much in awe of the river that she would not even drink water unless she saw the Narmada river. This place is still squeaky clean as the earlier times.
Baz Bahadur’s Palace
Legend has it that this splendid architectural wonder was constructed for the last independent leader of Mandu, Baz Bahadur much before he came into power in the year 1509.
Surprisingly, the edifice does not only display Islamic architectural styles but it also boasts of designs inspired from Rajasthani trends.
This giant red-stone mosque is visible even from a few kilometers away, thanks to the dominating architectural techniques used by Hoshang Shah who has sought encouragement to build this monument from the ‘Omayyed Mosque’ in Damascus, Syria.
Unfortunately, Hoshang Shah could not see the monument before its completion as it lasted a long 49 years and was completed under Mohammed Khilji. Despite its simplicity, it is considered to be the finest and largest examples of Afghan architecture in India.
Hindola Mahal in Mandu is a very popular tourist attraction which means Swinging Palace as per its English translation. The grandeur of the Durbar halls can be seen in the opulent palace which served as a royal court to Ghiyas-al-Din Sultan during his reign. It perfectly portrays the Malwa-Sultanate architecture. The innovative structure of the sculpture combined with the superb technique attracts thousands of tourists to pay a visit every year. The Mahal was constructed from sandstone with exquisitely carved columns with the provision of hot and cold water connected with the rooms situated underground.
Hindol Mahal is now a T-shaped building which is being used as an audience hall or an open-air theatre. It is believed to have been constructed in 1425 under the reign of Hoshang Shah but was later modified to what it currently is under the rule of Ghiyasuddin Khilji in the 15th century. The simplicity of its architecture is what separated it from the rest of the monuments. Munj Talao which is a collection of ruined monuments covers the Hindola Mahal in the north and provides a fantastic tour to people who are interested in archives. It is a truly perfect place for someone who loves history and royal architecture. The exquisite beauty and the scenic beauty of the place is worth visiting.
Champa Baaoli & Hammam
An extensively constructed step well that was very much inspired from the styles of the Turkish bath, this place was named Champa Baoli because the aroma of the waters was believed to resemble that of the Champa flower.
This construction is the epitome of architecture during the Mughal times. The vaulted rooms known as Taikhanas were so well connected with the baoli that even during atrociously hot temperatures, these rooms were constantly kept cool. This place is a must visit for tourists because it is such architectural marvels that remind us of our exemplary historical roots.
Initially built with the idea of promoting education, this edifice was a school before its builder Mahmud Shah Khilji decided to extend it and make it his very own empire.
Due to incompetent architectural designs, this building could not withstand for long and soon collapsed. It hasn’t been rehabilitated since then and it now stands amidst ruins. The complicated carvings can still be seen on the top of the stairway.
Amidst ancient architectural marvels inspired by Islamic methods, stands this one building totally different from all of them, the Jain Temple. It is a modern day architectural structure boasting of silver, gold and marble statues of Jain Tirthankaras.
It also has a theme park-esque Jain museum which is inspired by Shatrunjaya, the hilltop temple complex at Palitana in Gujarat.
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.
Shopping In Mandu
Home decor, gift items, wall pieces and showpieces can be purchased from Mandu. Colorful textiles and fabrics are an essential buy because one just cannot miss that while leaving from Madhya Pradesh.
Must Try Food in Mandav
1. Rewa Restaurant
2. Sanwariya Bhojnalaya
3. Bsnl Mandav Resort
4. Mohini Restaurant
5. Shri Dadaji Restaurant
6. Thakur Restaurant
7. Ma Narmada Restaurant
8. Bharat Dhaba
9. Mama Ka Dhaba
10. Tirupati Midway Restaurant
How To Get Here
Mandu has no airport or railway station of its own. The nearest airport is Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport at Indore. Ratlam Junction is the nearest railway station to Mandu. Mandu has well-built roads and is connected with some of the major cities of Madhya Pradesh. It makes Mandu reachable through different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Nearest aerodrome is the Indore Airport which is 2 hours away from the city. Indore is connected to all major cities via air and it wouldn’t be a problem to reach Mandu from Indore as the cabs are available in plenty.
Nearest Airport: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (IDR) – 59 kms from Mandu
Mandu has well-maintained roads which are connected with some of the major cities of Madhya Pradesh. Frequent buses go to Mandu from Indore, Bhopal and Ratlam. You can also hire a taxi to travel locally in Madhya Pradesh.
The nearest railway station is Indore which is 97 km away. Indore is well connected by rail to almost all the major cities of India. Mandu is easily traversable through the road from there on.