Mandu, also known as Mandav, is a ruined city in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated in the Malwa region, just around 84 km south west of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The earliest of references to the city of Mandu can be found in the 555 AD Sanskrit inscription, which tells us that even in 6th century BC, Mandu was a fortified city. This town situated on a rock-strewn protrusion is renowned for its exceptional architecture.
Mandu was originally established by the Parmar rulers in the 10th century. They made Mandu their fort capital. Later in history, it was subjugated by the Sultans of Delhi, who named the place “Shadiabad”, which means “City of Joy”.
Over the course of time, it was ruled by many emperors who built many palaces and structures in Mandu. There are lots of historical monuments in Mandu which are built in a fusion of Indian and Afghan architecture style.
Mandu, being located at a strategic position and equipped with natural defenses, was an important place in history. The place encloses a several palaces, places of worship, pavilions, gateways and other buildings which are of historical importance.
Some of the noteworthy places in Mandu are:
- The 12 Darwazas or Gates
- The Jahaz Mahal or Ship Palace, flanked by two artificial lakes
- Hindola Mahal, which means Swing Palace because of its sloping side walls
- Hoshang Shah’s Tomb – India’s first marble structure
- Roopmati’s Pavilion – Built as an observation post it is a popular tourist attraction
- Jami Masjid – Inspired by the Mosque of Damascus
- Rewa Kund – A reservoir built by Baz Bahadur
- The Tawili Mahal
- The Nahar Jharokha
- Baz Bahadur’s Palace
The gaiety and spirit of Mandu along with the exquisite palaces and mahals, gracefully refines the place to that long gone time of peace and prosperity.