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Mandu (Mandavgarh)

Address: Mandu, Mandavgarh, Dhar, MP, India - 454010

Area / Landmark: Mandu

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Category Attraction
Distance From
Railway Station: 85.00 km
Bus Stand: 85.00 km
Airport: 82.00 km

About Attraction

Mandu or Mandavgarh (Māndu or Māndavgarh) - ruined city in Dhar (Dhār) district of Malwa (Mālwā) region in Western Madhya Pradesh, Central India ! Mandu has more history than we can think and maybe has much more interesting facts about its historical significance and strategic importance than we can probably imagine ! It is also said to be known as Mandap Durga in earlier times ! It has also been called as the City of Joy or Shadiabad (Shādiābād) !

Mandu, the fortress town on a rocky terrain, is at a distance of about 35 km from Dhar and about 100 km (62 mi) from Indore - it is celebrated for its fine architecture ! 

Mandu was such an important & embattled place with a very rich and varied history ! It was an important military outpost and its military past can be gauged by the circuit of the battlemented wall, which is nearly 45 km long and is punctuated by 12 gateways ! The wall of the Mandu fort encloses a large number of palaces, mosques, Jain temples of 14th century, remains of Hindu & Jain temples from 10th to 12th century, and other buildings ! The oldest mosque here dates from 1405; the finest is the Jama Masjid or great mosque, a notable example of Pashtun architecture ! The marble domed tomb of this ruler is also magnificent !

Through the ages, emperors, historians and travellers have been overwhelmed by the romance of Mandu, perched on a rocky spur of the Vindyhaa ranges ! Mandu has seen change of reign of so many dynasties in its existence that it may not have been common for other parts of India ! It has been described as the city of joy, a celebration in stone, whose medieval rulers, the Malwa Sultans, built exquisite palaces and mosques, between the 14th and 16th centuries ! Hoshang Shah's Tomb, Jami Masjid, Jahaz Mahal, the picturesque kunds (reservoirs), which fill to the brim during the rains, stand testimony to the grand vision of their patrons, while the songs sung by the balladeers of Malwa pay tribute to the star-crossed love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort, Roopmati !

However, to know about the full & detailed history of this great city, read the paragraphs below:

Persian historian Firishta believed that Mandu was built by some Anand Deo Bias (Rajput) in the fifth century A. D., but there is no historical proof for the same except an image of Jain Tirthankar dated 555 A. D. saying it was installed in a temple in 'Mandap Durga' !

Historians also believe that the old Mandu (Budhi Mandu), at the Westernmost part of the Mandu plateau, had been ruled by Gurjar-Pratihar empire of Kannauj around the 10th century A. D., though not much details can be found ! However, the remains of the 10th to 12th century A. D. Hindu & Jain temples have been found in the Dhar & Mandu region, which were used by Mughal & other rulers while building expansive & beautiful palaces, tombs, and mosques !

The Parmars were the first established rulers of Mandu and Dhar, whose reign has been traced from 800 to 1310 A. D. ! They also made Dhar as their kingdom's capital and have been said to also capture Ujjain (Avanti) once !

After this, the Malwa Sultans founded by Dilawar Khan Ghori, the Governor of Malwa under Mohammad bin Tughlaq ruled in this region, when their capital was also shifted from Dhar to Mandu (1405) ! Malwa Sultans had also minted Gold, Silver, and Copper coins at the Mandu mint, which are now a prized collector's item ! The other important rulers in this dynasty to have ruled from Mandu have been Hoshang Shah, Ghazni Khan, Mahmud Khilji, Ghias-ud-din, Nasir-ud-din, etc. !

Sometime between 1511 and 1531 A. D., Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujarat, had captured Mandu ! This did not go too well with the Mughals, and Humayun, the mughal emperor, attacked Bahadur Shah in 1535 and gained control of Mandu ! Between 1540 and 1554 A. D., Mandu once again saw changes and came under the Sher Shah Suri dynasty ! 

Later, Baz Bahadur, son of Sher Shah Suri's commander Shujaat Khan, also attempted to set up his independent kingdom here, when in 1561, Mughal Emperor Akbar's general Adam Khan Koka drove Baz Bahadur out of Mandu ! Once again, Akbar and the Mughals became the rulers of Mandu and continued to remain so until the 18th century !

It is very interesting to note that Mughals, specially Akbar and Jehangir had special love for this beautiful place ! Akbar has been recorded to have visited Mandu at least 4 times, and during one his visits, he had ordered most of the buildings and the fort to be destroyed in order to prevent enemies to use Mandu as their strategic base !

However, Jehangir, who had lived here for more than 7 months, got many of the buildings repaired and new ones built ! Jehangir had also got here Sir Thomas Roe, ambassador from British monarch James I, who has also documented the beauty and difficulty of accessing Mandu !

Mughal Emperor Jehangir, in his famous autobiography Tuzuk-i-Jehangiri (Jahangirnama), had mentioned:

"I know of no other place that is as pleasant in climate and with such attractive scenery as Mandu in the rainy season."


He also mentions about his and his wife, Empress Nur Jahan's experiences in Mandu ! Jehangir had also issued special commemorative coin in 1618, struck at the Mandu mint ! His son, Prince Khurram (who became Shah Jahan) had also lived in Mandu, while in rebellion against his father; and also later, when he became the emperor !

However, this wasn't the end of change of rulers in Mandu ! In a splendid turn of the Wheel of Fortune, the Maratha Ponwars (descendants of Parmars) claimed Mandu back after a long gap of 700 years ! And Mandu had remained with Marathas till India's independence !


Exploring Mandu:

"A solid wall of boulders and rubble runs along a major part of the 45-kilometre perimeter of the hilltop in Mandu ! Within this boundary are scattered several groups of monuments, of which the most significant are: the Royal Enclave, a huge complex of palatial buildings including the magnificent Jahaz Mahal set between two artificial lakes in the North-Western corner of the plateau, the Central Group along the main North-South road at the narrowest part of the plateau, centered around Hoshang Shah's tomb; the large group of monuments around the Sagar Talao mid-way down the plateau; and the enclosure near Rewa Kund, with Baz Bahadur's Palace and Roopmati's Pavillion, the Southern rim of the plateau ! Heading back up towards the West, the plateau is connected, through a narrow strip of land, to Songarh, the emergency citadel of Mandu, rarely, if ever used by the Sultans of Malwa ! This near-inaccessible hill has the ruins of a garhi or fortress, built much later by the Marathas !"


Places to visit:

B
āodi
Echo Point
Rewā Kund

Munj Talao (Lake)

Saat Kothdi
Jāmi Masjid
Sarāy Kothdi

Kothdi Sarāy
Vijay Stambh
Sopi Tank & Masjid
Rupāyan Art Gallery
Daryā Khān monuments
Nilkanth Mahādev temple


Lāl Mahal
Jāli Mahal
Jahāz Mahal

Ashrafi Mahal
Hāthi Pagā Mahal
Mālik Mughi Mahal
Bāz Bahādur Mahal
Rāni Rupmati Mahal

Gādi Darwāzā

Bhangi Darwāzā
Kamāni Darwāzā
Alam Gir Darwāzā
Bhagwāniā Darwāzā
Jahāngirpur Darwāzā




Places to Dine:
Gurukripā restaurant
Hotel Rupmati & Restaurant 

Relax point restaurant & grocery
Malw
ā Retreat & Restaurant/café
Shivāni restaurant for pure vegetarian Indian (Punjabi, Gujarati, and Jain) food



Accommodation:
Jhira Bagh Palace
Hotel Royal Palace
MP Govt. Guest house
Malwā Resort  (MP Tourism)
Malwā Retreat (MP Tourism)
Shwetamber Jain Mandir & Dharmshālā


(Besides our own extensive research/study, the information and photos furnished here have been compiled from a variety of sources including historians, locals, travel guides, MP Tourism, and publications including Luard, C. E., Dhar & Mandu - A Sketch for the Sight-seer, 1916; and Mitra, S, Mandu Travel Guide, 2009, Eicher GoodEarth)

Check out more on IndoreRocks.com for Indore's best restaurants, food festivals, offers, hotels, events, cinemas, movies, attractions, places to visit, and much more !!

Location & Other Details

Distance From :
Railway Station: 85.00 km
Bus Stand: 85.00 km
Airport: 82.00 km

User Rating & Reviews

Convenience
join
treasure
Vinay Agrawal April 28, 2017
 "Mandu"
nteresting old town with a few great monuments, especially the mosque (being repaired now) and Hoshang's Tomb, but the really special place os outside of town, near the Malwa Retreat. It's the ancient caravansary, quite huge, with the remains of a central tank. The stone work is beautiful and at twilight the place is so evocative of the ancient days...
Akash Jain April 27, 2017
 "Top hilstation"
Very cool place I have visited Mandy with my fend GRP it was a very nice experience Ban bahadur ka mahal, jahaj mahal, GRP dance on dhol.
Anay A February 06, 2014
 "ohh WOW ! What a beautiful historical place !"
Mandu is so full of history !!!! It is amazing to read what this website has detailed about this awesome place......never knew so much. 

It is phenomenal in monsoons !