Mandu City is embellished with spell-binding Afghan architecture surrounded by African baobab trees. The grand palaces are still alive with royal romance while the gateways (darwazas) tell of an imperial conquest background. A walk through Mandu will leave you amazed, the way you used to hear grandparent stories. Here are the few must visit places in Mandu.
Jahaz Mahal’s magnificent architecture takes on an expense in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandu district. Completed during Mandu Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji’s reign, it is estimated to have as many as 15,000 women as his consorts. In the second half of the 15th century Jahaz Mahal was constructed to accommodate the women belonging to the royal consortium.
Jahaz Mahal captures Mundu’s medieval history at its best. Jahaz’ here refers to a ship and’ Mahal ‘ refers to a palace, a representation of the building itself. Surrounded by water from a pond, it seems to float gently above the water’s surface.
Unless history is to be believed this building was built because Baz Bahadur’s attention was allegedly drawn by Rani Rupmati, a very beautiful Hindu singer.
Baz Bahadur has designed this magnificent piece of architecture using all his influence and riches to highlight his love for her. It is built on the banks of the river Narmada because Rani Rupmati is believed to have been so much in awe of the river that she would not even drink water until she saw the river Narmada. This place as in the earlier times is still squeaky clean.
The huge, unsuitable dome and the thick pillars give the spectators an illusion of a standing Elephant. Originally built as a pleasure resort, today Hathi Mahal looks like an abandoned landmark in Madhya Pradesh where traces of decorative tile-work and planned external architectural nuances still leave an impressive mark on the visitors ‘ mind.
Bagh Caves derived its name from the seasonal Baghani lake, which runs through these Buddhist sculptures. Bagh Caves have a collection of sculptures and carvings and are one of the finest caves in Buddhism amongst others. Located in the Dhar district’s Bagh town, you can spot them on the Vindhya Ranges southern slopes.
The Buddhist monk Dataka is said to have established a set of nine rock-cut monuments between the late 4th and 6th centuries A.D. The walls are covered in brown dense mud plaster, decorated with antique mural paintings. It is one of the spectacular and commanding sites to see in Mandu and it is one of the best places in Madhya Pradesh for caving experience.
Another witness to Roopmati and Baz Bahadur’s legendary love story which is located near Jami Masjid. This artificial lake was designed to ensure that the Roopmati Pavilion provided regular water supply.
Roopmati, who was a renowned classical singer, is also said to have regularly come to worship at this Kund. It is fringed with beautiful design and style Pillars and Arches under the shadow of which visitors and pilgrims can relax and admire the timeless beauty of this reservoir.
Munja Talao is situated west of Jahaz Mahal, and is the largest of the nearby two water bodies. Bordered by a jumble of ruins, the monsoons in Mandu are generously brimmed to it. The famous Jahaz Mahal is one of the monuments surrounding the pool, and one gets an uninterrupted view of the Talao from the Palace.
Completed in 1405 this mosque has an amalgamation of Islamic and Hindu architecture. Looking for a dilapidated balcony called Tiger’s Balcony or Nahar Jharokha though you admire the intricacy and design of the carvings and the building. It has a very interesting story associated with it, which dates back to years of construction.
Such rock-cut cells are said to be Shaiva Yogis ‘ primitive residence. The locals aren’t aware of these caves ‘ past, but they do say it’s been contested. Such caves are completely void of inscriptions and carvings, just a collection of sharply cut rocks that seem to have been populated by humans since the pre-Muslim times, more specifically the Yogis, like cells.
These excavations are part of the Shaivism tradition of the 11th and 12th centuries, and are quite unique archeological sites. Several temple ruins have been found here along with Hindu gods and goddess’s sculptures such as Shiva and Parvati, some of which can be seen in the Chhappan Mahal Museum.
Caravan Sarai is an old tavern in front of Jama Masjid. It houses a very spacious central open court, and adjacently situated twin halls with vaulted ceilings on each side of the courtyard. A dilapidated collection of similar caverns and windows is situated further down to the Malik Mughis Mosque. It was an ancient inn where tourists would rest and rewind to Mandu on their journey.
This renowned temple is dedicated to Lord Shri Suparshawnath Bhagwan, and inside the temple which sits in a padmasana posture a white stone is carved into his idol. The temple is situated at Fort Mandavgarh, and the idol is 3 feet tall. This temple is a secret gem and one of the must-visit tourist places in Mandu, particularly for the devotees and seekers of peace.
Nestled in the fort’s vast campus, which sits atop the Vindhya Parvat, it offers a dramatic backdrop. Near the temple are the Bhojanshalas and Dharamshala’s.