FRONTIERS BEYOND BLOG
The heartlands of India, have some gorgeous landscapes and powerful kingdoms which boast lovely architecture and unmatched wildlife experiences; Madhya Pradesh, one of the largest central Indian states can keep you engaged for many days and weeks surprising you with sights that are not easy to forget. But we have a beautiful melancholy city whose romanticism and gloomy vibes make it very attractive. Frontiers Beyond would like you to experience the ancient city of Mandu which brings some fabulous Afghani architecture set in a rural backdrop that will incite you to know more about the place in depth.
The nearest airport to Mandu is an Indore airport and Indore is well connected to all the metro cities of India via flights and train. It is 99 km away and can be reached within 2 hours. The nearest railway station is Ratlam which is around 124 km away. The roads leading to Mandu are in good condition and hiring a taxi or cab can be a comfortable journey.
The ancient fort city is filled with intrigue because of a very tragic yet riveting interfaith love story that is etched beautifully in many of its glorious mansions. The history of the city dates back to the 6th century but the love story of Baz Bahadur, the sultan of Mandu, and the timeless beauty Rani Roopmati. The story goes in this way the emperor heard her enchanting voice during one of his hunting expeditions and proposed marriage to her. She poetically gave him the condition that she will be his queen if only he constructs a palace that overlooks the river, Narmada. Enamored in her love Baz Bahadur constructed the beautiful Rani Roopmati Palace over a high cliff that overlooked the river and the palace named after him, the Baz Bahadur Palace to the south. She married and came to reside with him in his beautiful empire but their good days were numbered. The empire was soon attacked by the army of Mughal king Akbar who defeated Baz Bahadur’s army that was greatly outnumbered. Rani Roopmati poisoned herself to death to prevent herself from being captured by the enemies. And Baz Bahadur fled and fought a few battles in alliance with many kings to finally surrender to Akbar helplessly after a few years.
Frontiers Beyond has many such stories to share if you decide to embark on a journey with us. You can explore Jahaz Mahal which is surrounded by beautiful ponds and gives it a floating feel, hence the name Jahaz which means a ship. Ghiyas Uddin Khilji used this palace for his 15000 and more consorts to house them. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of Afghan, Mughal, Egyptian, and Indian architecture. From the top of the palace, one can see the Munja Talao, or a huge lake that brims with water during the monsoons.
The 15th-century king Hoshang Shah built quite a few legacies to make a mark in Mandu like the Hindola palace whose 77-degree tilted walls give it a very different look. It was believed to have been built for the purpose of serving as an open-air theatre. He also built the Jami masjid. This colossal structure was a pride of the Ghauri dynasty and it served as a prayer zone for many pilgrims during those days.
Mandu amazes us by bringing architecture belonging to various races and cultures. Its Bagh caves are a testimony to its attachment to Buddhism. During the 6th century approximately, the Buddhist Monk Dataka built this cave.
The Muslim rulers who walked over this land had some architectural wonders created for their loved and revered ones from other faith. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple built by Shah Bagh Khan for Akbar’s Hindu wife looks very grand. Similarly, Shree Mandavgarh Tirth was built by Ghiyas Ud-din Khilji which is inside the Mandavgarh Fort.
Apart from these, we can also recommend you Ahsrafi Mahal, the famous Hathi Mahal, Hoshang Shah’s tomb, Rewa Kund, Darya Khan’s tomb, the largest lake in Mandu, the Sagar Talao, Champa Baoli or Rupayan Museum.
While moving around don’t forget to catch some of the delicacies of the land like Poha for some breakfast. It’s spiced with mustard seeds and blends of quintessential masalas to make sure the puffed rice tastes amazing and take care of your ravenous hunger pangs as you move around the region exploring it. The region is also very famous for its large-sized tamarinds which are a pleasure to taste. For your lunch, we highly recommend you the dal bania which is very unique and made from wholesome corn. Soft and puffy and yet very wholesome, you must try this when in Mandu.
Mandu can be planned on a shoestring budget or with lots of breaks. Whatever your choice, we want you to explore this fort holding the hands of Frontiers Beyond to ensure it’s an awe-inspiring experience for you.