Mandu (Mandavgarh) is a beautiful town located around 100 km from Indore, Madhya Pradesh. It is located at an elevation of 2000 meters above the sea level amidst the Vindhya ranges. Founded by the Parmar rulers in the 10th century, it was named a “City Of Happiness” by the Delhi sultan Allauddin Khilji.
The place personifies the love story between Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati that has both beautiful and tragic story to tell. The major attraction is the Mandu’s Fort; one of its kinds being as huge as 82 km in the perimeter that makes it the biggest fort in India. It was the monsoon retreat for Mughal emperors.
The ruins of palaces, ornamented canals, baths, pavilions, is what you can find here. Mandu is truly a place for monuments with as many as 40. They are divided into three categories –The central village group, the royal enclave group, and the Rewa kind group. Famous for its exquisite fort, mosques, palaces and mausoleums, it has much to offer in the name of architecture genius.
Best time to visit Mandu:
Mandu can be visited anytime except the summer. October to February is the best time to visit. Explore the beauty of the monuments and listen to the beautiful love story of Baz Bahadur in the winter or monsoon that is surely going to be a fascinating experience.
You can travel by bus which will take around 3-4 hours from Indore. Locally you have the facility of hiring a taxi, bike or even a bicycle. Also, railway and road transport is available for moving around the city.
There are many places to visit in Mandu, and if you are on a trip to M.P then do take some time to visit Mandu and learn more about the vast history it has in its ruins.
Places to visit:
- The Darwazas: Mandu is protected by 12 gates, the road through which Mandu is reached passes through many of these gates. The other small darwazas are built to protect these 12 darwazas. The most popular of all darwazas is Delhi Darwaza.
- Rewa Kund: It was built by Baz Bahadur for his beloved Rani Roopmati, so that the water supply is always adequate for the queen. The place is regarded as holy and has terraces and courtyard. The kund is below the pavilion, speaks of the architectural marvel. The pavilion was the place from where Rani used to look at the palace of Baz Bahadur, with the quiet Narmada that flows nearby.
- Hathi Mahal: The palace is made up of massive disproportionate pillars to support the dome above and looks like the legs of an elephant. It has arched openings on all sides (Bardari). You can see the decorative tile work in some places in the Mahal.
- Jahaz Mahal: It speaks of the confluence of different architectural work. It is situated between the two beautiful lakes Kapur Talao and Munj Talao. It is a two-storied building having a rectangular structure. The significance of the structure is that it cools the southwest breeze during summer.
- Bagh Caves: These are artificial caves that were cut to form beautifully designed caves. Some of the best mural painting by the painters in ancient India can be found here and one can very well notice the Buddhist influence in their paintings. Today out of the 9 caves only 5 have survived.
- Hindola Mahal: Also called as the Swinging palace, it gets its name because of the highly inclined buttresses, having 77 ° angle. It is a huge place in T shape and has a huge durbar (meeting place). Constructed in an around 15th century, the palace is the most visited sites in Mandu.
- Dilawar Khan’s Mosque: This is an exemplary structure of Hindu-Islamic workmanship built in 14th century in the name of Dilawar Khan, the then leader. It has a prayer room, corridors on three sides, Mehrab on the west, and a central entrance. Ceiling of the prayer hall was built as per Hindu style.
- Nilkanth Mahal: Shah Badgah Khan, Mughal governor built this palace near Nilkanth Shrine this for Akbar’s Hindu wife. Inscriptions can be found on the walls narrating the glorious tales from the past.
- Chhapan Mahal Museum: It is a 16th-century museum situated inside the Chhapan Mahal. Until 1990, it was the property of Puar dynasty but after that it was converted to a museum. You can find fragments of tribal past and rich culture. frescos, architecture of Bagh caves, and stone age relics can be found in Chhappan Mahal Museum. The museum has 4 galleries named Poorvika, Aranyika, Mandapika, and Drishyika.
The birthday of the lord Ganesh is celebrated during September-October months. It is a 10 day affair that takes place with great pomp and show. Plan your visit this time to experience a different mood of Mandu.
Mandu is a place to see the immortal past through the eyes of splendid architectural structures. The beautiful Vindhya ranges, the green landscape, and the crimson sunset will take you to back to a lost era.
Check out for the handicraft items, medicinal herbs, and the lovely Chanderi and Maheshwari saris. And yes, don’t forget to taste the famous Khusrani imli!