Enjoy the beautiful sunset on and around this point. All along this cliff there are nice views. But there is a platform with fence made for the tourists/lovers to be safe, approx. 200 meters from where this photo was taken...
The old Tombs and palaces are spread around an area of approx. 15 km². Some are placed in the centre of town, some along Sagar Talao in beautiful surroundings. The mythical Roomatis pavillion is on the edge of the fort, from where you'll have beautiful views of the plains below.
You can walk, rent a bicycle, drive your car or get a car with driver to the Tombs and palaces farthest away, depends on your time scedule, health and interests. Roopmati pavillion is approx. 6 km from Mandus main bazaar. But it's an easy walk to the nearest buildings like Jama Masjid, Hoshang Shah's Tomb and Jahaz Mahal.
We loved the freedom of driving around ourselves, in our own pace. People was smiling and shouting "bye-bye" as we drove by.
This is the Royal Bath for the Harem of Sultan, believed to be built by Giasuddin Khilji, who is believed to be having thousands of wives and concubines.
Ghiyas-ud-din was a pleasure seeker and devoted himself to women and song. He had a large harem and built the Jahaz Mahal for housing the women, numbering thousands, of his harem. Ghiyas-ud-din was poisoned, aged 80, by Nasir-ud-din, his own son.
It was believed that his spies would inform him about the Hindu village beauties and teenage girls, he would send his force to lift the poor girl and satisfy his lust by raping them. Later they would be given place in the harem as no one would marry them. No one could say anything as he was the Sultan. No wonder , he was poisoned by his own son.
Bawdi means a large water reservoir. Most probably it was used as rain water reservoir for harvesting and taking bath as well. Adjacent to Jahaz Mahal, this large water reservoir is worth visiting. It was built during the time of Raja Bhoj, the king of Malwa.
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 portico ed courts and towers. It served as a template for the construction of Taj Mahal.
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. It is one of a set buildings making up the royal palace complex at Mandu, which consists of the Jahaz Mahal, the Hindola Mahal, the Tawili Mahal, and the Nahar Jharokha. 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.
A large sandstone structure originally built as an army observation post it 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.
Rani Roopmati, was a Hindu Rajput singer of Malwa. Sultan Baz Bahadur and Roopmati fell in love with each other and were married according to muslim and hindu rites.
Adham Khan was prompted to conquer Mandu partly due to Rupmati's beauty. When Adham Khan marched on the fort Baz Bahadur met him with his small force and was defeated, roopmati poisoned herself. Thus ending the magical love story which was steeped in music,poetry ,romance,war and death.
Baz Bahadur, ever so fond of music, was the last independent ruler of Mandu. Once out hunting , Baz Bahadur chanced upon a shepherdess frolicking and singing with her friends. Smitten by both her enchanting beauty and her mellifluous voice, he begged Roopmati to accompany him to his capital. Roopmati agreed to go to Mandu on the condition that she would live in a palace within sight of her beloved and venerated river, Narmada. Thus was built the Rewa Kund at Mandu. Nowadays, their family members' are living in Indore.
Unfortunately, the romance of this Muslim prince and Hindu shepherdess was doomed to failure. The great Mughal Akbar decided to invade Mandu and capture roopmati and baz bahadur. Akbar sent Adham Khan to capture Mandu and Baz bahadur went to challenge him with his small army. No match for the great Mughal army, Mandu was easily defeated fell.
Baz Bahadur fled to Chittorgarh to seek help. As Adham khan came to Mandu, was surprised by the beauty of roopmati and Rani Roopmati stoically poisoned herself to avoid capture. Thus ended this magical love story steeped in music, poetry and beauty. ( History: Courtesy Wikipedia)
Miyan Bayezid Baz Bahadur was the last sultan of Malwa, who reigned from 1555 to 1562. He succeeded his father, Shuja'at Khan. He is known for his romantic liaison with Roopmati, a singer of Rajput birth.
Baz Bahadur as sultan did not bother to look after his kingdom nor did he maintain a strong army, being devoted to the arts and to his paramour. The Mughals defeated him and captured his queen Roopmati, who killed herself at this turn of events.
Mughal forces led by Adham Khan, enter the fort of Baz Bahadur of Malwa, 1561, Akbarnama ca 1590-95.
In 1561, Akbar's army led by Adham Khan and Pir Muhammad Khan attacked Malwa and defeated Baz Bahadur in the battle of Sarangpur on 29 March, 1561. One of the reasons for Adham Khan's attack seems to be his love for Rani Roopmati. Rani Roopmati poisoned herself to death on hearing the news of fall of Mandu. Baz Bahadur fled to Khandesh. Akbar, soon recalled Adham Khan and made over command to Pir Muhammad. Pir Muhammad attacked Khandesh and proceeded up to Burhanpur but he was defeated by a coalition of three powers: Miran Mubarak Shah II of Khandesh, Tufal Khan of Berar and Baz Bahadur. Pir Muhammad died while retreating. The confederate army pursued the Mughals and drove them out of Malwa. Baz Bahadur regained his kingdom for a short period. In 1562, Akbar sent another army led by Abdullah Khan, the Uzbeg, which finally defeated Baz Bahadur. He fled to Chittor. Baz Bahadur remained a fugitive at a number of courts till he surrenedered in November, 1570 to Akbar at Nagaur. He joined Akbar's service.
His capital was Mandu (now in Madhya Pradesh). Mandu was an important city for the Mughal emperors too. Akbar, Jehangir and Noor Jahan have visited Mandu. The Jahaj Mahal is in Mandu.
History: Courtesy Wikipedia
We visited the place on 9th October'1993. That time Munu was not born. I was posted at Raipur, Madhya Pradesh ( Now Chattisgarh). We made a 7/8 days trip to Bhopal, Indore and Mandu. We stayed at Indore and Mandu for two nights. It was a memorable trip. The tips are being written after 18 years of our travel to Mandu, with the help of scanned pictures!!! Wow! I just loved the place.
Jahaz Mehal/Ship Palace Situated between two artificial lakes, this two storied architectural marvel is so named as it appears as a ship floating in water. Originally it was built by Raja Bhoj the last Hindu ruler of Malwa, now Indore, whose capital was Dhar. He built it as his resting palace.
Mandu was captured by Ghiya-ud-din-Khilji. This palace was re built by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Khilji, in 1469 ,it served as a harem for the sultan. It is a major tourist attraction and many Bollywood movies were shot here. Actor Jeetendra & Hema Malini shot their famous movie Kinara here for many days.
literally means a "swinging palace". this name is because of peculiarly shaped sloping side walls whch gives it a swaying appearance.the other reason being the ladies of the palace used to have swings attached to the overhanging beams and used to play swings when the month of monsoons arrived (sawan ke zhule=monsoon time swings which was an old tradition in india. in these monsoon months the peacocks come out and show their finery and dance to attract peahens so its an amazing time.
it is a very different type of building in mandu.
the building ahs undergone many changes and additions.the plan is T shaped with the transverse projection being added later.on both sides of the hall there are six arched openings above which there are windows with tracery work to admit light insidete massive vaulted roof has disappeared but the arches are intact.
architecturally the building is assigned to ghiyasuddins reign at the end of 15th century.
the T part has criss cross pasaages and "hathi chadhao" or elephant path wherein the king could go to upper storeys on an elephant.
in this building one can see use of iron bars to support the structure a modern equivalent of use of steel in construction.the thickness of side walls is 2.7m
the jharokhas on the outside of the T part of buiolding exhibit a hindu style of architecture.
it is situated near the rewa kund. once a waterlift used to take up water from rewa kund and supply to the baaz bahadurs palace and its water network.
there is an inscription in persian over the main entrance which assigns its construction to sultan nasir shah in 1508-09.
the main gateway is approached by 40 broad steps with landings at intervals.
passage through the gateway is zigzag so as to not expose the courtyard to outside viewers.the gateway has rooms for guards and has a vaulted ceiling. passage further leads to outer court with main doorway in front.
main portion consists of spacious open court with halls and rooms on all sides with xcellent acoustic qualities and a beautiful cistern in the centre.
the colonnade on northern side has ana octagonal pavilion in centre with arched openings overlooking depth below in which there was once a beautifully laid out garden.the eastern and western sides have similar plan with square rooms at ends with entrance on western side and eastern side being open.the southern side consists of a hall with rooms on both sides and openings at backside into another hall which affords access to another court in the south.this court is much smaller and may have been for the attendants. between the courts leading to the terrace is a flight of stairs.the view from the terrace which ahs two baradaris or umbrellas from where an enchanting view of the palace cisterns below the pastoral contryside surrounding it and the pavilions of rupmati hanging on the hilltop are just amazing.
one of the most majestic buildings at mandu is the jami masjid.it was designed after the great mosque of dimashq(damascus).it has a long period of construction.it was commenced during the reign of hoshang shahand completed by mahmud khalji in 1454.the plan elevation and design of the bilding was conceived on a grand scale.the whole construction stands on a plinth 4.6m above ground level.the plan is 97.4m. the huge domes porch projects 16.8m. a flight of nearly 30 steps.on both sides below the porch athe facade of the plinth has been arranged into a verandah 1.8m deep with arched openings for a number of cellsmeant for visitors/staff of the mosque.
beat place to watch the jami masjid is from the ashrafi mahal which stans in front of it.seen are the 3 beautiful domes with innumerable smaller domes inbetween them.
the point to note is the hugeness of the proportions and simplicity of the decoration a mark of mandu architecture.
the doorway made of marble and exquisite ornamentation again reminds of hindu edifices.the interior hall 13.7m has beautiful jali screens on the sides above which are seen blue enamel tiles set as stars or lozenges.beyond the westrn door of the porch is the great courtyard of the moaque enclosed on all sides by colonnades with a rich and pleasing variety in arrangement of arches pillars and number of bays and in the rows of domes above.
the western colonnade or prayer hall is most imposing with rows of arches and pillars which support the 58 domes and the 3 big domes.
the stern simplicity of interior is offers a effective contrast to the 17 niches along the western wall which bear beautiful sculptured crenallation along their heads and have their jambs worked out in polished black stone with hindu design carvings.the central niche is most beautifull designedand is ornamented along its sides with a scroll of interwoven arabic letters containing quotations from the holy quran
near it is a raised pulpit with its elegant marble dome supported on 4 arches the brackets and balustrades bear resemblance to hindu architecture.at extreme ends of this colonnade are uper paratments meant for ladies and visitors.
the northern and southern colonnades have 11 arched openings with carved brackets supporting chajja above them.along northern side of building are 2 entrances one for court and other for the prayer hall the latter with a domes domes porch outside being menat for the king.
jahaz mahal or ship palace is so called because it is built on a narrow strip of land between the munj and kapur lakes (talao) when the tanks are full especially during the rains esp jul-sep the palace appears to float on the waters also when standing on upper decks one gets a feeling of a cruise ship.jahaz mahal is best viewed from taveli mahals uppermost terrace.the effect is amgnificent on a fullmoon night.jehangirs queen nurjehan stayed at this very palace where grand functions were held.
GROUNDFLOOR SWIMMING POOL:it is turtle shaped and lined on 3 sides by collonades.it receieves its water supply from the other end of the palace from the water tank.this pool it is believed was used by women of the harem of ghiyasudding khalji.rumored to contain bleaching properties to bleach the skin and hair of women from the harem of ghiyasuddin khalji who apparently liked blondes.it has a landing below the top margin for those not knowing to swim.
UPPERDECK SWIMMING POOL:similar to the lower deck pool has a water channel carrying water to the pool but also hasits own water conservation system for water overflow.the water channel on upperdeck also runs along hollow pillars(aqueduct) to supply and recirculate water to the tanks.
the staircase at the southern end is believed to have been built by shahjahan when he visited mandu.unlike other structures at mandu the jahaz mahal is heavily plastered.
the domes of jahaz mahal are domical pyramidal and conical offereing interesting and striking contrast contributing to its artistic effect
champa is a flower and champa baodi is the name of the well which is so named after the champak flower beacuse the taste of the water in well was similar to the aroma of the champak flower.
this may have been possible as the champa baodi is located at the lower underground cisterns of therroayal enclave and may have acted as a fragrant airconditioning system in olden days. due to the water channels running in the lower cisterns these were the places the royalty preferred during the harsh summer days.the subterranean chambers were known as "tahkhanas"
the royal enclave and champa baodi are located at the northern end of the royal enclave which were once the pleasure retreats of the sultans of malwa.
the area is now in a state of confused ruins.
the oldest strcture was built by allaudin khilji in the 13th century the ruins and the scale of construction show how magnificent the royal enclave must have been. successive earthquakes also have contributed to many a destruction of the oldest buildings in mandu while the newer buildings have somehow managed to survive extensive damage.
CHAMPA BAODI a subterranean passage runs to the the base of the well and further connects itself to a labyrinth of rooms known as tahkhanas. the takkhanas are at the same water level as that of munj talao.with which it is connected. from the tahkhana steps descend down to the well.the top is from where you gaze down at the champa baodi is kept open.
during worst parts of summer rooms were kept cool by breeze flowing in thro the pavilion to the rooms thro gallery and finally passing out thro the open top of teh well.
the midwifes palace is what dai ka mahal means.however it is a mausoleum so it really is a gumbad.actually it appears to be in series of communication towers which are seen at regular distance all the way to dhar which was once the capital of malwa.
this prticular structure is however more large than te usual communication towers and seems to have been bestowed partially as a residence to the midwife most probably during akbars visit to mandu where a royal prince may have been born.
just adjacent to this structure is another similar structure smaller in size known as dai ki choti bahen ka mahal(midwifes younger sisters palace)
the residence seems to have been converted into a mausoleum upon the midwifes death as was the practice in those days.
the the mausoleum stands on a lofty basement with arched openings for rooms on western side.
there are traces of towers at northeast and sotheast corners.there must have been pavilions on level with the tomb.in the middle of the terrace is the tomb and along the western side are remins of a beautiful mosque.the mosque has double hall with vaulted ceilings with traces of tile decoration.
the windows projecting from southern and northern wallsshow influence of hindu design in balustrades and the elephant tusk brackets supporting them. another enigmatic presentation of a fusion of two styles possibly use of material from pillaged hindu temples or structures.
the tomb is square in plan with arched openings in walls the upper portion bears arches. most noteworthy feature is the elongated octagonalneck of the dome enclosed by an ornamental parapet with tiny kiosks on corners of the parapet, this is a common decorative device of the domes of deccan and not mandu.
so overall this structure is a fusion of mant styles and beliefs