Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy, A tribute to the love shared between the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of their euphoric romance. Architecturally, Mandu represents the best in a provincial Islamic style, restrained and lacking in elaborate external ornamentation. Fine buildings are spread over the naturally defensible plateau with a sheer drop towards the Namar plains to the south and waterfalls flowing into the Kakra Khoh gorge.
You can visit Mandu from Indore on a long day excursion, but it is better to have a peaceful break here for a couple of days.
Leave a footprint! Memoirs of a traveller.
Perched along the Vindhya ranges, Mandu was fortified as early as the sixth century. By 1261, King Jayavaram transferred the Paramara capital from Dhar to Mandu itself. The whole area fell to the Muslims in 1293, though Mandu remained under Hindu rule until 1305, when it came under the Khaljis in Delhi. The first of these Pathan sultans re-named Mandu Shadiabad (City of Joy). Hoshang Shah (1405-1435) made it his capital and as Mandu's strategic importance grew he embellished it with its most important civic buildings. Under his successor, the liberal Mahmud Khalji, a resurgence of art and literature followed, fostering Hindu, Jain as well as Muslim development. Mandu remained a prosperous centre of peace and stability under his son Ghiyasuddin until 1500. Several early Mughal rulers enjoyed visiting Mandu, but by the end of the Mughal period it had effectively been abandoned, and in 1732 it passed into Maratha hands.
Mandu was founded as a fortress retreat by Raja Bhoj in the 10th century. It was conquered by the Muslim rulers of Delhi in 1304. In 1401, when the Mughals captured Delhi, the Afghan Dilawar Khan, governor of Malwa, set up his own little kingdom and the Ghuri dynasty was established. This period was the golden age of this city. His son, Hoshang Shah, shifted the capital from Dhar to Mandu and raised it to its greatest splendor and grandeur. Hoshang's son, Mohammed, the third and last ruler of Ghuri dynasty ruled for just one year and was poisoned by the militaristic Mohammed Khilji. From here the Khilji dynasty was established and Mohammed Khilji ruled over the place for next 33 years. He was succeeded by his son, Ghiyas-ud-din in 1469 and ruled for the next 31 years. Ghiyas-ud-din was a pleasure seeker and devoted himself to luxuries like women and songs. He had a large harem (forbidden place) and built the Jahaz Mahal for housing thousands of women. Ghiyas-ud-din was poisoned by his own son called Nasir-ud-din. Bahadur Shah of Gujarat conquered Mandu after defeating Mahmud II, the sixth Khilji ruler on March 28, 1531. At the same period, Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor, succeeded Babur, who had established the Mughal dynasty. Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and Sher Shah Suri were the two key rivals for Humayun at that time. While Humayun was engaged in a war with Sher Shah Suri, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked him with the help of the Portuguese. Humayun attacked and defeated Bahadur Shah and conquered Mandu in 1534. Humayun lost the kingdom to Mallu Khan, an officer of the Khilji dynasty. These invasions continued in the region for ten years till it came under the hand of Baz Bahadur. By this time Humayun had been defeated by Sher Shah Suri and had fled India. Sher Shah Suri died in 1545 and his son Islam Shah died in 1553. Islam Shah's 12 year old son Feroz Khan became the king but was killed by Adil Shah Suri within 3 days. Adil Shah appointed Hemu, also known as 'Hemu Vikramaditya' as his Chief of Army and Prime Minister. Hemu had a rapid rise during Sur regime. A grain supplier to Sher Shah Suri's army and then Chief of Intelligence or Daroga-i-Chowki (Superintendent of Post) under Islam Shah, he became the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Afghan Army (Sher Shah Suri's army) under the reign of Adil Shah Suri. Adil Shah Suri was an inefficient ruler and many rebellions occurred against his rule. Hemu was sent to subdue these rebellions. During this period Hemu attacked Mandu also. Baz Bahadur ran away from Mandu and Hemu appointed his own Governor here.