Once known as the largest fortified city, situated amidst the Vindhya Ranges at a distance of 90 kms from Indore city in Central India (Madhya Pradesh). Mandavgarh (Mandu) makes the cut for the perfect weekend destination. This ‘City of Joy’ was originally founded in tenth century and boasts of fusion of Hindu & Afghan style of architecture. The tales of love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur & Rani Roopmati still adorn the city.
Here are some fascinating legends about this historic place to tickle the travel bug in you!!
- Mandu has a total of 40 monuments & these are categorized as The Royal Enclave, The Central Group, Rewa Kund Group & other monuments. Unfortunately, today most of the monuments stand ruined.
- Mandu houses the first known marble structure of India – Hoshang Shah’s Tomb. Hoshang Shah (originally known as Alp Khan) assumed new name after ascending the throne to Malwa. The architecture of the tomb is so elegant that it is believed that it made Shah Jahan sent his architects to study the tomb before construction of the one of wonders in the world – The Taj Mahal.
- Asharfi Mahal was originally planned as a ‘Madrasa’ (an educational institution) but is in utter ruins today.
- Hindola Mahal, popularly known as the Swinging Palace has an exquisite T-shaped design and art, such peculiar design is pretty rare.
- Rani Roopamati Mahal narrates the famed love story of ‘Rani Rupamati and Prince Baaz Bahadur’. Their love for each other culminated into marriage according to Hindu and Muslim rites. But they were destined for not-so-happy ending. Later, Adam Khan, with an intention to take Rani Roopmati attacked Mandu and defeated Baaz Bahadur. However, Rupamati poisoned herself and gave away her life. There is also a movie on Rani Roopmati, that released in the year 1957.
- Baz Bahadur’s palace has an inscription in Persian over the main entrance assigning its construction to Sultan Nasir Shah in AH 914 (AD 1508-9)
- Lohani caves representing a few rock-cut cells were meant primarily for residence of Shaiva Jogis. On a geographic expedition (while cleaning the junk) around 80 images were found, housed currently in the local museum in the Hoshang Shah’s tomb. The legend also states that the carved fragments representing ruins of Hindu temples (mostly Lord Shiva) were found in and around the caves but these were unsparingly destroyed.
Every monument has a legend or a story preceding it, the truth remains unknown though; however the stories sure are totally enticing and leave you perplexed.