Contact: Vinod Maheshwari

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Perched along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet, Mandu, with its natural defenses, was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the sway of the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom named it Shadiabad - 'city of joy′. And indeed the pervading spirit of Mandu was of gaiety; and its rulers built exquisite palaces like the Jahaz and Hindola Mahals, ornamental canals, baths and pavilions, as graceful and refined as those times of peace and plenty.

Each of Mandu′s structures is an architectural gem; some are outstanding like the massive Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah′s tomb, which provided inspiration to the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries later.

Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy, of the love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of the romance of these royal lovers, and high up on the crest of a hill, Roopmati′s Pavilion still gazes down at Baz Bahadur′s Palace, a magnificent expression of Afghan architecture. Under 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.

Hoshang Shah's Tomb: lndia's first marble edifice is one of the most refined examples of Afghan architecture. Its unique features are the magnificently proportioned dome, marble lattice work of remarkable delicacy and porticoed courts and towers to mark the four corners of the rectangle.

Jami Masjid: Inspired by the great mosque of Damascus, the Jami Masjid, was conceived on a grand scale, with a high plinth and a huge domed porch projecting in the centre, the background dominated by similar imposing domes with the intervening space filled up by innumerable domes.

Ashrafi Mahal: Built by Hoshang Shah's successor, Mahmud Shah Khilji, this 'palace of gold coins', facing the Jami Masjid, was conceived as an academic institution (madarassa) for young boys, and sundry cells still remain in a fair state of preservation.


Hindola Mahal Jahaz Mahal Jami Masjid Mosque
Asharfi Mahal Tomb of Hoshang Shah Roopmati Pavilion


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