Places to Visit in Mandu

Places to See in Mandu

Hathi Mahal

Hathi Mahal or Elephant Palace is located at Mandu of Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh. The building has got its name because of its massive pillars, mostly disproportionate in size and these pillars supports the dome above. The huge pillars look like the legs of elephant.
Planning of the building resembles 'bardari', having arched openings on every side. Base of the dome has an octagonal shape, which is divided into masonry moulding bands, which gives the dome an unusual height. You can still see the decorative tile work in certain places of this building. Initially, this was built as a pleasure resort. However, after sometime it had been converted to a tomb.

Jahaz Mahal

Jahaz Mahal or Ship Palace is an edifice of architectural brilliance and speaks of the confluence of different architectural styles. There has been a debate among the scholars regarding the exact date of construction. Some say that it was built during 1436-1469, by Mahmud Shah I Khalji. However, most scholars say it was built during 1469-1500 by Ghiyas al-Din. Other historical evidences such as Ghiyas al-Din's living style and unique ways of amusement also point out to the fact that this building was built by him. The name of this palace has been appropriately given as it is situated between Kapur Talao and Munj Talao, two beautiful lakes. It is a two-storied building having a rectangular structure. Beauty of this structure is that it is exposed to cool south west breeze during summer.

Bagh Caves

These are among the key attractions of Mandu. They are popular because of the mural paintings done by some of the great painters of ancient India. These are not natural caves but artificial ones. Bagh Caves are the perfect example of rich Indian architecture, where face of a hill was cut to form beautifully designed caves. Initially, there were nine caves but now only five have survived. The design of these caves speak of Buddhist influence on architecture. All these caves are basically monasteries with prayer hall or 'chaitya'. Cave 4 is also known as Rang Mahal, which is the most significant of all the caves and has beautiful and prominent paintings. To preserve most of these paintings, they were removed from the caves and sent to the Archaeological Museum of Gwalior.

Hindola Mahal

It is also known as Swinging Palace, which has a large 'durbar' or meeting hall. Hindola Mahal has become one of the most visited sites in Mandu. According to available evidences, archaeologists say that it was most probably built during the rule of Hoshang Shah between 1425 and end of 15th century. It is considered as one of the palaces in the royal palace complex. Per available records, this was mainly used as an audience chamber. This place has a T-shape with the main hall being 30 meters in length, 18 meters in breadth, and 12 meters in height. It is because of the highly inclined buttresses, having 77 ° angle, this palace has got such a name. Main hall's big flat roof was supported by 5 large ogee arches. Best part of this architecture is well proportioned boldness and simplicity.

Rewa Kund

Baz Bahadur built a reservoir at Mandu during early sixteenth century, which was meant to supply adequate water for the palace of Roopmati. This particular place is now regarded as a holy spot and has spacious courtyard and high terraces. Rani Roopmati's Pavilion was primarily created as observation post of Army and that is why it was constructed at the hill top. It was the perfect romantic place of retreat for Roopmati. From the pavilion she can look at the palace of his paramour while Narmada flows below quietly. You will find stonework beside the 'Kund' and along the steps till the water level is reached. There are big rooms facing the reservoir in the north western angle. They were the pleasure resorts here. At northern end of Rewa Kund, water lift can be found that was used to supply water to the palace of Baz Bahadur, located nearby.

Baz Bahadur's Palace

Baz Bahadur's Palace is located near Rewa Kund. In fact, water was supplied from the later to the former. While the Rewa Kund is at top of the hill, this palace is on the slope. Baz Bahadur's Palace provides exceptional view to the place. There are numerous halls in the courtyard along with rooms on all four sides.

The rooms were primarily used for amusement, especially as music and dance. On the northern side of this palace you will find a projected octagonal pavilion having arches from which you can view a beautiful garden. In the middle, you will also find a beautiful reservoir. A small court is also present here, which was meant for the attendants of the palace.

Dilawar Khan's Mosque

This is one of the earliest as well as renowned Indo-Islamic structures present in the ancient city of Mandu and was constructed in the year 1405. At that time, Dilawar Khan Ghouri was the leader, and hence the name. Dilawar Khan's Mosque is characterized by a prayer room, corridors on three sides, Mehrab on the west, and a central entrance. Influence of Hindu and Mughal architecture can be found here. Ceiling of the prayer hall was built per Hindu style. In fact, the entire architecture has influence of Hindu workmanship. If you want to reach this mosque, you can do so by taking local transportation and reach Jahaj Mahal via internal road. This is where Dilawar Khan's Mosque is located.

Nilkanth Mahal

Shah Badgah Khan built this palace, who was the Mughal governor during that time. Near Nilkanth Shrine this palace was built for Akbar's, the famous Mughal Emperor, Hindu wife. Inscriptions can be found on the walls narrating the glorious tales from the past.

Chhappan Mahal Museum

This museum is located inside the famous Chhappan Mahal of Mandu. It was built during 16th century. Till the year 1990, the building belonged to the family of Puar Dynasty. After 1990, Chhappan Mahal was converted to a museum. Here, you will find important remnants of the tribal past as well as rich culture. Frescos, architecture of Bagh Caves, Stone Age relics, and articles belonging to the rulers of this area can be found in Chhappan Mahal Museum. The museum has 4 galleries named Poorvika, Aranyika, Mandapika, and Drishyika.

Last Updated on : 12/09/2013