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A place of historical significance, Mandu is a tribute to the romance between the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his queen Roopmati. Mandu is an ancient town located along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet. Mandu is also known as Shadibad meaning 'city of joy'. Mandu was the fort capital and the defense capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa. The structures built at Mandu are intricate Islamic architectural monuments. The Hindola Mahal, Jahaz Mahal, ornamental canals, Jami Masjid, Hoshang Shah's tomb are but a few outstanding architectural marvels seen here.

Mandavgarh or Mandu is situated in the Dhar district, Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh state. It is located 90 kilometers from Indore. Mandavgarh is famous for its Fort; this fort being one of the largest in India. This fort was once the monsoon retreat for the Mughals. There are over 40 monuments that are divided into three categories, the Rewa Kund group, Royal Enclave group and Central Village group.

Mandu sightseeing

Hindola Mahal: The Swinging Palace or the Hindola Mahal has sloping walls. The architecture and the sculptures are of particular interest. Hindola Mahal is a T-shaped building. The Hindola Mahal boasts of intricate carvings. Within its premises, you will find the Champa Baoli - an elaborate well with underground vaulted rooms.

Jahaz Mahal: Jahaz Mahal or the ship palace is built in between two artificial lakes. The open terrace, pavilions, balconies are worth a visit. It is one of the most beautiful forts of Mandu. The architecture reflects the glorious days of Mandu.

Rani Rupmati Mahal: This Mahal is dedicated to Rani Rupmati who was a Hindu singer. Prince Baaz Bahadur who was a Muslim fell in love with her and they got married as per the Hindu and the Muslim rites. Rani Rupmati consumed poison when she learnt that Adam Khan had defeated her consort to attain her. This Mahal is symbolic of the love between Rani Rupmati and Baaz Bahadur.

Baaz Bahadur Palace: This palace offers a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside.

Hoshang's Shah Tomb: It is situated on a hilltop and showcases traditional Afghan art and architecture. This tomb inspired Ustad Hamid to design the tombs of Taj Mahal. The tomb is a square well-proportioned structure with arches that support a marble dome. Influences of Hindu architecture are also noticed here.

Jami Masjid: The Jami Masjid was constructed based on inspiration drawn from the great mosque of Damascus. The arches, pillars and bays are noteworthy pieces of architecture. Note the jali screens in the spacious hall inside the mosque. Its high plinth and domed porch indicate the grand scale on which it was planned. It is a unique blend of mammoth proportions and simplicity in style.

Rewa Kund: It is a reservoir built by Baaz Bahadur to supply water to Rani Rupmati's palace. With its arched openings and stonework masonry, the Reva Kund is worth a visit.

Rupmati's Pavilion: It was originally built as an army observational post. This sandstone structure with two pavilions provides a picturesque view of the gently flowing Narmada.

Other interesting places of visit include Hathi Mahal, Taveli Mahal, Neelkanth Mahal, Asharfi Mahal, sunset point, Dai ki Chhotti and Bahan ka Mahal.

Travel to Mandu

Mandu is well connected by road to Indore, Ranchi, Delhi and Ratlam. Mandu is about 100 km from Indore, 285 km from Bhopal and 157 km from Ujjain. The nearest highway is NH3. Indore is the nearest airport. The best time to visit Mandu is from July to September. Check out the local handloom clothes, local handicrafts, gold and silver jewelry. Chanderi, Zari and Maheshwari saris are famous. Do not miss to sample the local kebabs, mawa-bati, bhutte ki kees and malpua. Mandu is famous for its custard apple and tamarind that bears fruit only in the monsoon season.

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