A celebration in stone!

Mandu is truly "a celebration in stone." The very ambience of this town situated on a plateu at an altitude of 634 msl takes you back in time and makes the dry history books come alive!
The road from Dhar to Mandu takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside dotted with small brick structures that served as outposts for the rulers. As the vehicle winds its way up the plateau you make a triumphant entry to this royal city of yore through its imposing gates and you realise you are about to unlock history!

Alamgir Gate
Bhangi Gate

Delhi Gate
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Baz Bahadur's Palace

Baz Bahadur's Palace is truly an imposing structure

Rewa Kund
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Some more views of Baz Bahadur's Palace

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Rupmati's Pavillion

This grand structure was originally built as a garrison and is right on the edge of the plateau overlooking the Nimar Plains. Rani Rupmati seemed to have a special affinity for this place and hence the name. This is the entrance to the pavillion

The setting sun gives a beautiful view & the reflection in the river below gives the impression of a gold biscuit- after all with its royal connections can the yellow metal be far behind!

Another view of Rupmati's Pavillion

Internal view
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A selection Rani Rupmati's verses

These verses attributed to Rani Rupmati are taken from "The lady of the Lotus" by Ahmad-ul-Umri and translated into English by L. M. Crump

This verse talks about the wisdom of using one's wealth:

Some men good fortune turns to evil ways
Other retain the good of simple days.
Some give and win more than the gift has cost
To others gifts are so much money lost.
some use their wealth for ends both wise and just;
And others only to indulge their lust.
Wealth may thus praises earn beyond all words
Or be less worth than yesterday's stale curds.

And here' s something quite radical for a royal lady of the 15th century!

Some men are liars:
Some men are true:
Some pay their debts:
Some never do:
Some wives wear the dhoti*:
Some husbands skirts wear:
Some twirl their moustaches,
And some never dare.

* the dhoti is a traditional Indian dress worn by males

Royal Enclave

This complex houses some of the most well known monuments of Mandu.

Gada Shah's shop looks like an old departmental store. Move over Walmart & Reliance Fresh of today. Gada Shah was the snazzy retailer of medieval Mandu
Andheri Baodi - place for storing water
The Jahaz Mahal taken from the Taweli Mahal

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Jahaz Mahal

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Hindola Mahal

Hindola Mahal or the Swinging Palace is a marvellous piece of architecture. It is an open air theatre that is supported on either side by strong columns

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Hoshang Shah's tomb

This beautiful mausoleum is considered the first Marble structure in India & besides the tomb of Hoshang Shah contains the mortal remains of numerous ancient worthies. The inscription at the entrance states that one of the architects of the Taj Mahal, Ustad Hamid visited this monument. In comparision to the the very ornate Taj Mahal however, this is a comparatively more simple structure but no less imposing for its sheer beauty.

The next two photographs are taken inside the mausoleum while the last is in the courtyard.

These tombs are outside the marble structure and you can see the colonnade building in the background.
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Ashrafi Mahal

Ashrafi Mahal or Madrassa opposite the Jami Masjid. the first picture shows the entrance while the remaining show the internal structure much of it is in ruins. In its heydays it must have surely been an imposing edific & worthy of a place to house future scholars

these are the cells where would be scholars of yore lived and studied. Care to experience college life here, anyone?Posted by Picasa

Jami Masjid

The construction of the Jami Masjid was started by Hoshang Shah and completed by Mahmud Khilji in A.D. 1454. It is one of the most majestic buidlings in Mandu and apparently the builders had designed it on the lines of the great mosque at Damascus. This external view was taken from the Ashrafi Mahal opposite around 8.30 a.m. on 31-12-07.

Some more views of the internal structure.

Other monuments worth a visit

Posted by Picasa Beautiful Baobab trees dot the countryside. These trees are native of Africa.