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Mandu: A Gem in the Heartland
Posted on by Kirti Patwari
A paradise for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike, Mandu is a small town in Madhya Pradesh, not explored by many. Brimming with rich Afghani architecture, this is one place to appreciate the beauty of ancient buildings. Taking you back in time in the most pleasant manner, Mandu is somewhere you can go with both family and friends, or even alone! The resorts and hotels offer a comfortable stay along with a range of exciting activities. Read on to gather all that you must about this quaint town.
Places to Visit
- Hathi Mahal
Tucked amidst the Vindhyas is this huge domed structure with a vivid reminiscence to ancient Islamic architecture. The entire construction resembles the figure of an elephant, and so goes the name. An absolutely brilliant building, it is made out of stone and exhibits extraordinary artistic excellence. It is open for visitation 24×7 and makes one of the most popular tourist spots in Madhya Pradesh. The beauty of the palace advances manifold during sunrise and sunset. It has now been established as a mausoleum for Darya Khan whose tomb has become prominent in this palace.
- Jahaz Mahal
A perfect blend of Mughal, Afghan, Mesopotamian and Hindu architectural styles, the Jahaz Mahal of Mandu is a magnificent structure built in the midst of water. Floating as it seems to be, the palace appears to be like a huge ship on voyage. According to the preserved tale, the palace was constructed by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji as a harem for his 15,000 consorts.
The delicate carvings and on-point engineering of this building makes the visitors wonder of the skill that craftsmen executed without modern machines. The waters of the Munj and the Kapur Talao add to the serenity of the palace.
- Baz Bahadur’s Palace
Akbar and Jodha’s is not the only Rajput-Mughal love story that our history has seen. The tragic story of Sultan Baz Bahadur and Roopmati is equally stirring and has become a folk tale to be narrated all over Madhya Pradesh. And Mandu is where it originates. The beautiful Baz Bahadur Palace is figuration to it with Mughal and Rajasthani architecture complementing each other delightfully. This edifice, settled on a hill slope, offers a refreshing view of the green landscape that surrounds it along with the Roopmati pavilion that was constructed nearby. The detailed carvings at the gateway, the wide steps, multiple arches, the centre court with a rustic fountain, the pillars and the expansive rooms are all specimens of wonderful craftsmanship.
- Rani Roopmati’s Pavilion
A must-visit in Mandu, Rani Roopmati’s Pavilion is another monumental building that reminds visitors of the moving tale of love mentioned above. The construction is one of a kind with artistic value paralleling that of the immensely talented queen. Consisting of beautifully built watch-towers and courtyards, it is a treat to the eyes. Besides, the view of the tranquil Narmada from the terrace here is simply astounding.
- Jami Masjid
Experience divinity dwelling in the seam of unparalleled Afghan art at Jami Masjid of Mandu. Its location at the top of a plateau and the sober and airy space makes it a peaceful visit. The most attractive of all the meticulous constructions here is the vast pavilion with parallel arches. Artfully concealed with marble and stone, the mosque is a construction of high praise. The ASI confirms that its construction was started by Hoshang Shah and completed by Mahmud Khalji in A.D. 1454.
- Rewa Kund
Sitting by the Rewa Kund at Mandu is one of the most soothing experiences you’ll ever have. And listening to its fascinating back-story makes it even better. The kund was constructed by Baz Bahadur to ensure regular water to Rani Roopmati’s Pavilion. The Kund is fenced with pillars and arches of elegant design and style under the shadow of which tourists and pilgrims can rest.
- Water Sports
For the adventure seekers out there, there is the captivating island of Hanumantiya, less than 100 kms from Mandu. There is a range of exciting water sports that you can indulge in here. These include speed boating, rafting, jet skiing, and parasailing over the calm waters of the Indira Sagar dam. Hanumantiya is a must-add to your trip to Mandu. It’ll add a refreshing dash of nature to the historical vibe of your vacay.
How to Reach?
The nearest airport is at Indore, 99 km away. Regular flights connect Indore with Delhi, Mumbai, Gwalior and Bhopal.
Ratlam is the nearest railhead (124 km) on the Delhi-Mumbai main line. Ratlam is a major station and almost all trains stop at the station.
Mandu is connected with other cities by a good road network. Regular bus services connect Mandu with Dhar (35 km), Indore, Ratlam, Ujjain (154 km) and Bhopal (285 km via Indore).
Tips for Smart Travel
- Check visitor’s timings for forts and palaces
- Carry sufficient ID proof
- Do not disrespect the history and culture of the place in any manner
- Try visiting in cooler months