The tiny hilltop fort of Mandu, embraced by the majestic Vindhya mountainous ranges of Madhya Pradesh, is a parable of many historical legends. Perched atop a height of 2000 ft, the picturesque place seems like a scene straight out of a fairy tale, especially with its pastel colored monuments studded in the emerald green landscape. Its rich historical saga that still looms over its architectural gems, bestows Mandavgarh with an enigmatic appeal. A place that celebrates the various aspects of joy, love and beauty, this sleepy town still chimes with a regal charm of the bygone era.
Mandu was originally the capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa.
However, towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the regime
of the Sultans of Malwa. During this period, the place came to be known
as 'Shadiabad', which means 'City of Joy'. In fact, Mandu saw the
naissance and culmination of many ruling clans, who made it a beautiful
montage of architectural specimens. It was also a monsoon retreat of the
Mughals, whose lavishness and love for extravagance led to the
fabrication of many pleasure palaces and lakes. The Jahaz Mahal and the
Hindola Mahal are a few of the many examples.
Apart from its architectural grandeur, Mandu also has many historical
tales to trade with its tourists. Till date, Mandu resonates with the
eternal love story of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful wife
Rani Roopmati. The balladeers and minstrels still sing about these
legendary lovers whose romance has adorned the pages of history. The
intriguing monuments, in the form of the Baz Bahadur's Palace and the
Rupmati's Pavilion, makes these royal lovers come alive from the eon to
the present. Thus, the place becomes ideal for couples who escape to
hills to rekindle the candles of their romantic life.
During monsoons, when drizzle kisses Mandu with a new vigor, it blooms
with a renewed freshness. The furrowed greenery & majestic monuments
conspire to transport tourists to a dreamland that is not known in any
other place. Especially the water bodies, comprising of lakes, streams,
torrents, rivulets, baolis and talaos, bustle and get enliven with the
showers. Thus, the grandiose monuments that are gently encased in the
generosity of nature make the place a celebrated holidaying destination.
The beauty of Mandu can be succinctly explicated in the following lines
by Jehangir "I know of no other place that is as pleasant in
climate and with such attractive scenery as Mandu in the rainy season."