Mandu Afghan palace ruins. Left shows water passageway into rooftop
swimming pool. Photos: Elena
is definitely in the middle of nowhere, in the sense of not being
near anywhere one would ever be likely to be, while traveling
in India! It is a popular place for Indians to visit during the
monsoon season, when it's lovely and cool. Mandu occupies an entire
hilltop that was once a fort. The only way to get here is by a
long, 6 hour + tedious bus ride from the city of Indore. Or hire
a driver and car from Indore.
Long before the Afghans overran India, Mandu was built by Hindu
princes. Completion of the hilltop fort involved a century of
moving large rocks from many miles away. When the Afghans conquered
Mandu they rebuilt with the already existing buildings serving
as their stone supply. Little that was Hindu architecture is left.
Presently there are Afghan and Mogul ruins.
pool on the palace roof . Photo: Elena
palace above is believed to have been for women. A swimming pool
on the roof has unusual design details for the water inlet. There
are also some fascinating steam rooms/ sauna buildings. Mandu
is in ruins, it is very lovely to visit and there are some reasonably
nice places to stay, especially lower end guest houses.
the Afghans left the Moguls also rebuilt Mandu, once again, leaving
a few of the Afghan buildings intact. There are some interesting
examples of Mogul architecture in Mandu. One lovely and intricately
carved (less ancient) Hindu marble temple is in town and is still
tribes live on the Mandu hilltop plateau. Photos below.
Gypsies. Photo: Elena
" 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
for the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries
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 its
palaces and mosques, in legends and songs chronicled
'How to get to Mandu'
The Royal Enclave Jahaz Mahal
" This 120 mt long "ship palace" built
between the two artificial lakes, Munj Talao and Kapur
Talao is an elegant two story palace. Probably
it was built by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Khilji for his
large harem. With its open pavilions, balconies overhanging
the water and open terrace, Jahaz Mahal is an imaginative
recreation in stone of a royal pleasure craft."
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