Mandu is a historic township in Malwa plateau of Central India. It is also known by the name of Mandav and Shadiabad. Today's Mandu or Mandav lies in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh state in India. It was originally established by Parmara rulers in 10-11th century. In those days, they had control over large area of Central India. It was established as capital of Hoshang Shah kingdom. He shifted the capital from Dhar to Mandu, due to security reasons. Later Mandu came into the hand of Mughals. Under the Mughal rule, Mandu was a pleasure resort, its lakes and palaces the scenes of splendid and extravagant festivities, and the glory of Mandu lives on, in legends and songs, chronicled for posterity. Mandu is the tribute to the love shared between the poet prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort Rani Rupmati. The balladeers of malwa continued to sing of the royal romance, According to legand Rani Rupmati’s lyrical voice can still be heard acroos the Narmada.
A complete nature paradise, surrounded with historical impact, Mandu is situated on 2, 079 feet high of Malwa plateau, 35 km far from Dhar, and a district of western Madhya Pradesh. The separation of this plateau is stretches about five miles east to west, and almost four miles north to south. Famous kings like, Munjdev & Bhoj had lived in Mandu and built amazing fort & amusement places, though, they are in ruined form now, but still there is some kind of magic that spells on visitors, make them realize on how mesmerizing these places are, or what human’s art and craft skills can be, Still here is lots more to roam around to feel around. The great Mughal emperor Jahangir wrote about Mandu’s Natural beauty & greatness that – “ I have never known about any other existing place on earth like Mandu before, which can be so exciting in terms of its adorable climate conditions and that too in rainy seasons.”While Lord Curzon said to get inspired of its incredible-ness that – “The way Mandu has inspired me from the bottom of my heart, regarding its architectural richness & matured nature, no of any Monuments in entire India did have same thing.”
Parmaras considered to have been very intelligent in Malwa history, they ruled here for almost 500 years; hence, in same period they tend to have constructive thinking, as they transformed art & history of this region pretty significantly. At that same time Mandu known to be a central point of art & culture, Parmar kings built here many temples, light-pillars & many sculptures. Parmar dynasties extinct after, king Munj, Bhoj, and last ruler followed by Udayaditya, then Mughals came in power here. Mandu ruined back to back of the attacks of Iltutmish, Balban & Alauddin Khilji. Dilavar Kha Ghori appointed as a General of Malwa region by the then king of Delhi Firoz Tuglaq, Mehmood Tuglaq came in power in Delhi, after Firoz Tuglaq, but when Taimur invaded on Delhi he had to shelter in Malwa, Dilavar kha ghori spent three years on great hospitality of Mehmood Tuglaq, after Taimur dilemma, Mehmood Tuglaq headed toward Delhi, and after the departure of Mehmood Tuglaq from Malwa, Dilavar Kha Ghori declared himself a free ruler of the region.
Dhar was the capital of Dilavar Khan Ghori during (1401 – 1405), but he was to be very fond of Mandu, it is said that his son killed him by poison for getting the control over Mandu, and later made it the capital of the region instead Dhar, he was a lover of art & culture, died on 6 July 1435 AD, because of some urinal diseases. After Hosangshah, Muhammad Ghori sat on the throne of Mandu, who was very vicious & Drunkard, Mehmood Khan, who was his brother in law, killed him in 1436 AD, and seized the rein of Malwa, he ruled during 1436 – 1469 AD, with the name Mehmood Khilji-I, He collided with Delhi king Muhammad Shah, and in 1437 AD, and then, invaded against the Rana of Chittore Kumbha, the battle ended without any result, both thought their win, therefore, Rana Kumbha built a winning memorial in Chittore & Khilji made one in Mandu. After 34 years of rule on Mandu, he died in 26 May, 1469 AD, at the Kachwara province. Many Muslim rulars have ruled on Mandu after Mehmood Khilji-I, some of them were, Gayasuddin Khilji (1469 – 1500 AD), Nasiruddin Khilji (1500 1511 AD), Mehmood Khilji-II (1511 – 1531 AD), Bahadurshah Gujrati (1531 – 1534 AD), Mallu Kha (1534 – 1542 AD), Shujayat Kha (1542 – 1554 AD) & Bazbahadur (1555 -1564 AD). Gayasuddin Khilji was very lavish and lecherous, his palace were always filled with some 16, 000 beautiful female slaves and many serfs. While, Nasiruddin Khilji had a key interest in palace construction, as he built, Kaliyadah palace in Ujjain & Bazbahadur palace in Mandu. Mehmood Khilji-II were pretty tyrannical, eventually Bazbahadur killed him, preventing more atrocity on local public. In 1534 AD, Humayun charged on & expelled Bahadurshah toward Somewhere Gujrat. Mallu Kha, ruled on Malwa during 1536-42 AD, Shershah defeated him in 1542 AD, and appointed Shujayat Kha, one of his relative as a General of Malwa. His son was Bazbahadur, who later invaded against Rani Durgawati of Gondwana region, but got defeated all the way.
Bazbahadur had in intense love with Rani Rupmati, she was pretty beautiful & polite, and she had too much interest in writing poetries in Hindi language, able to horse riding, shooting & also can sing well that many big singers of the region could not have competition with her, therefore, Bazbahadur fell in deep love with her, even he forgot to execute well over his rein, seeing this a golden chance, Adam khan, who was an Army chief of Akbar, invaded against Bazbahadur, in which Bazbahadur got defeated very well. Finally Rupmati killed herself as she could not have been able to live without Bazbahadur. Bazbahadur sheltered at Akbar’s place, there he known to be an excellent singer, he died in 1595 AD, and as per his wish, his corpse buried beside Rupmati’s grave in Mandu. Pawars ruled after Mughals on Malwa, and this region is now in western Madhya Pradesh. There is much more within this region to see to learn, even many rulers of Malwa were giving an especial place to education and scholars.
Before the Mughals, Mandav-fort was known to be one of the finest forts of India. Before to being enter in Mandu, one has to cross many door during the way inside, like – Alamgir, Bhangi darwaza, Dehli darwaza, Kabaani darwaza. Back of Mandu there are two main doors as Songarh darwaza & Tarapur darwaza.
Being similar to world famous Mosque in Damisq, Jaami Mosque is one of big and splendid Building in Mandu. Hoshang Shah started the construction of this Mosque, which is a finest example of Afgaani architecture, in 1554 AD, Mehmood Khilji completed the work. Overall the architecture of this building is fantastic, which the most wonderful thing to see about it is.
The western colonnade or the prayer hall is the most imposing of all with numerous of arches pillars whish supports the ceiling of the three great domes and the 58 smaller ones. The central niche (mihrab) is the most beautifully designed of all and is further ornamented along its sides with a scroll of interwoven Arabic letters containing quotations from the holy Koran.The Jami Masjid shows how the rulers and builders of Mandu had visualized dignity and grandeur in architecture through simplicity, austerity and massiveness of construction.
Hoshang Shah (1405 – 1432 AD) was the renowned king of Mandu, who initiated the construction of this Marble mausoleum but did not complete it; his successor completed it in 1439 AD. Here is one mausoleum which is 100 ft tall, 100 ft broad and topped over 6.50 ft terrace. The main entrance is on the southern side of the mausoleum. The walls of the mausoleum are about 32 ft high, while many star & lotus shaped carvings carved on walls and pillars.
The magnificent white mausoleum can generally be reached from the road that passes both side of it. Visitors entering the ground from the road have to walk around to the door of the tomb, on the other side. The square tomb rising on its plinth is crowned by a large dome with small cupolas at the corners. There is a certain eclectic harmony about this monument. The corridors encircling the grounds have red sand stone pillars with brackets in Hindu architectural style; the artisans were, clearly, given a free hand to carve them in the manner that they were most familiar with. The round Afghan dome, as distinct from the onion-shaped a Mughal dome, is surmounted by a crescent which, according to the Archeological survey of India, is a feature which seems to have been imported to Mandu direct from Mesopotamia or Persia. Hoshang Shah’s tomb lies inside the Mesopotamia along with other tombs believed to be those of his wife, three sons and a daughter. The tomb of the men are identified by a carving of an inkpot and a reed pen; those of the women only have a ink pot.
There is an interesting inscription on the right jamb of the door. It says that the Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan sent four of his architects, led by Ustad Hamid, to visit Hoshang Shah’s tomb in 1659. Shjah Jahan was, at that time, deeply innovated in creating the Taj Mahal in Agra in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Local scholars believe that, till the tomb of Hoshang Shah’s was built, Islamic tombs were made of sandstones. This was the first to be made of marbles.
Most of the women have lived with the Sultans, the ruler, in a complex of buildings a little away from the Hindola Mahal. These are now ruins standing on the right back of the lake as seen from the Jahaz Mahal. Visitors should treat with care when exploring these buildings because many of them are subterranean and at lake level. There passages have been ingeniously aligned to trap cool winds blowing off the lake and into a step-well, or baoli. It is called the Champa Baoli because its water was said to have had the fragrance of the Champak, or Magnolia, flower. It seems to have lost its perfume with the decline of Mandu. Such wells, and the labyrinths of rooms and passages leading off them, were designed to provide cool, slightly damp, retreats from the hot, dry winds of summer. There is also a haman, or bath, or bath-house, in this living complex. It has apertures like stars cut into its ceiling.
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