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This blog captures the life experiences of the Enigmatic India team in the beautiful and enigmatic country of India.We capture our experiences through our writings, photos and products that depict the very essence and fabric of India.Through this platform, we invite you to join us in our journey as we explore.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Trip to Mandu(Mandavgad), Madhya Pradesh...Central group of monuments

Jahaz Mahal
Our friends in MP Tourism had been urging us to visit Mandu since a long time, however the flight timings and a lack of conviction, delayed this for a long time. With Indigo Airlines starting a direct flight between Hyderabad and Indore(at a convenient timing), we decided to explore this place known for the love story of Prince Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Mandu probably gets its name from the Prakrit word Mandapa Durga(citation Wikipedia)was ruled by the Parmar of Malwa till about 13th Century and from 1305 onwards the Sultans of Malwa ruled this place.

We flew into Indore and after a short drive of approx 100 Kms checked into Malwa Resort of MP Tourism, which is one of the few resorts available here.

The day started with a trip to the central group of monuments which is encompassed within a 45 kms walled city and it has 12 darwazas(Gates) and the main gate is the Delhi Darwaza. We started our journey with

 1. Jahaz Mahal:  as the name suggests it is a boat shaped two storied palace(around 120 mts), built by Ghias-ud-din Khilji for his harem. The Mahal overlooks two artificial water tanks i.e. Kapur Talao(Camphor) and the Munj Talao. One can notice the magnificence of Afghan architecture and the palace is lined with beautiful balconies, pavilions and terraces.
view from Jahaz Mahal of the Kapur Talao

2. Hindola Mahal: Our next stop was Hindola Mahal and the architecture gives it the name of "Swinging Palace".  The place has beautifully moulded column and magnificent trellis work in sandstone.

Hindola Mahal
 Once inside one can see the numerous arches that dot this place and if you wait for the right timing you can capture a nice picture of sunrays through the arches.
Arches within Hindola Mahal
3. Champa Baoli: Close to Hindola Mahal are a series of structures and the notable one is Champa Baoli, which has a network of water channels to supply both hot and cold water.
Champa Baoli
After this we  moved out of this complex and went to explore other structures and the first one being:

1. Hoshang Shah's Tomb: It is the mausoleum of Hoshang Shah and it is is supposed to be the first marble edifice in India. Afghan architecture at its best with intricate marble lattice work, towers and courts. It seems to have provided inspiration for the building of the Taj Mahal. Once inside you will see a few tombs and interestingly for birdwatchers one can be lucky to see a family of spotted owlets.
Hoshang Shah Tomb
2. Jami Masjid: Our next stop was the massive Jami Masjid which seems to have been inspired by the great mosque at Damascus. Huge & tall arches, pillars, domes are the keystone of this structure.

Jami Masjid Mandu

Jami Masjid view from Victory Tower
3. Ashrafi Mahal: As the name suggest "Ashrafi is gold" hence "palace of gold coins" and it was built by Mahmud Shah Khilji, successor of Hohsang Shah, It was conceived as an academic institution for young boys. Today not much of it remains however in the north-eastern corner there is a seven storey tower constructed by Mahmud Khilji to commemorate his victory over Rana of Mewar, hence its also known as Victory Tower.

Tower of Victory
With this our first day of visiting the central group of monuments ended and the whole visit was enthralling.
In our next blog we will take you through our experience on the Rewa Kund group of monuments and other locations in Mandu.

(contributed by Sandip Mishra, photo copyrights with EnigmaticIndia team)

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