The Best Of Mandu Forts To Explore On Your Next Trip To MP

 In Holidays, Madhya Pradesh, Travel

The present-day Mandu City is in the Mandav region in Dhar district. The Mandu Forts lies in the region of Malva and Nimar region of Western Madhya Pradesh. It is located 35 km from the main city of Dhar. Mandu Forts is at an elevation of 633 meters above sea level in the Vindhya Range approximately 60 km from the Southwest Indore.

This architectural wonder has several ancient monuments and ruins that reveal the Indo-Islamic architectural touch with a dash of Afghani patterns in some edifices and monuments. As per UNESCO, there are around 61 monuments in Mandu Forts including a fort wall in Mandu Madhya Pradesh which are declared of national importance.Mandu or Mandavgad Forts in MP are estimated to have been founded in 6 Century CE. Munjadeva founded it and at that time the region was ruled by the Rajput Clan. Mandu in Madhya Pradesh was under Rajupts until the 14th Century when Muslim invaders conquered it followed by Mughals and then Marathas. Not only the huge edifices but also the walls and the mountain ranges tell the history of Mandu Forts.

History Of Mandu Forts


This lost city of Mandu was ruled by many invaders who later became conquerors. Mandu Fort is situated at an elevation of 2079 feet above sea level on the Vindhya Range extending for over 13 km. 

The History of Mandu Forts dates back to the 9th century when it was established under the Paramara Dynasty of Rajputs. Mandu in Madhya Pradesh gained prominence in the 10th and 11th centuries under the rule of the Paramara Dynasty of Rajputs. Later King Jaitugi moved the capital of the Paramara Dynasty to Mandu from Dhara. 

By the 12th century, the Sultan of Delhi Alauddin Khilji conquered Malwa which was later governed by Ayn-Al-Mulk Multani. It was later governed by the Ghuri Dynasty under Hoshang Shah. 

Mandu in Madhya Pradesh was then ruled by the Khailji Dynasty of Malwa established by Mohammed Khalji followed by the Sur Dynasty, the Mughal Dynasty, and lastly by the Maratha Empire. It was re-established under Hindu rule. Mandu Forts are now taken care of by the Government of Madhya Pradesh.

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Architecture Of Mandu Or Mandavgad Forts In MP


The history of Mandu Forts dates back to the 9th century. It was initially ruled by Rajputs until the 12th century when it was further conquered by many Islamic Kingdoms. For over 400 years when it was re-established as a Hindu rule by the Maratha Empire. 

The  Mandu Or Mandavgad Forts in MP are largely influenced by Indo-Islamic architecture because the rule on the land was under the Islamic dynasty for a long time. The battlemented walls circumference of around 37 km which once had Temples with golden shrines, mosques, tombs, lakes, etc. The Mandu Fort has an architectural history of over a millennium now.

In Mandu Forts, the notable work of Jami Masjid Pashtun architecture is a mesmerizing sight. You can also get awestruck by the Afghani architecture at Ashrafi Mahal.

How To Reach Mandu

Source: Justdial

By Road

Mandu in Madhya Pradesh is well linked by road to other cities in Madhya Pradesh. Several state-run buses are directly connected to Mandu. You can also hire a private taxi to reach Mandu Forts.

By Rail

Mandu in Madhya Pradesh doesn’t have a Railway station. The nearest railway station to Mandu Forts is Ratlam. It is 124 km from Mandu in Madhya Pradesh.

By Air

Mandu in Madhya Pradesh doesn’t have an airport. The nearest Airport is in Indore, named Ahilyabai Holkar Airport which is around 99 km from Mandu Forts in Madhya Pradesh. The airport has well-connected flights to other states.

Significant Monuments In Mandu Or Mandavgad Forts In MP

After answering How to Reach Mandu? Let us move to some of the significant monuments in Mandu Forts. There are around 61 monuments among Mandu Forts including the fort wall which are protected and declared of national importance. Therefore there are many places to visit in Mandu Forts. These ancient monuments have architectural importance in the cultural heritage of the nation. The most significant places to visit in Mandu Forts are described below:

1. Lohani Caves


One of the historical Places to visit in Mandu Forts is Lohanii Caves. These caves are the oldest shrine in the city of Mandu. There is no such inscription of the time when these caves were built. However, it is estimated that the caves might have been built in the 11th or 12th centuries during Rajput’s rule. The shell-shaped rooms probably would have been built to serve as a Resident for Shaivism Sages. 

While excavating the debris from the pool in front of the caves the archaeologists found around 80 statues of Hindu gods and goddesses which are now kept in the local museum. To the south of the cave stands a massive pillar which is about 5 meters tall. A waterfall near the cave makes the place beautiful.

2. Dilawar Khan’s Mosque


One of the major monuments among Mandu Forts is the Dilawar Khan’s Mosque was built in 1405 in Mandu or Mandavgad Forts in MP. It has an Indo-Islamic architecture. While the mosque is in ruins now some of the intricate designs and paintings are still visible. 

The courtyard in the centre is encompassed by arcades and rows of columns on the upper ceiling. The ceiling, gates, and the column of the prayer hall of the mosque are inspired by Hindu architecture. 

There is a balcony called Nahar Jharokha or the Tiger Balcony at the southern end of the mosque.

3. Jami Masjid


One of the most important mosques in Mandu or Mandavgad Forts in MP is Jami Masjid. This Mughal-style mosque is believed to have been built during the reign of Hoshang Shah and was Completed during the reign of Mahmud Khilji. 

The masjid has three major domes with 54 smaller domes, a courtyard, and a colonnade of pillared halls. The entire mosque is around 7,725 square meters. This building is inspired by Afghani architecture.  The prayer hall is full of arches and the central altar is decorated with the verses of the Quran. It is one of the famous monuments in Mandu Forts. 

4. Hindola Mahal


Among other Mandu Forts Hindola Mahal also known as Swinging Palace was built in Mandu or Mandavgad Forts in MP. It was constructed during the reign of Hoshing Shah in 1425 C.E. but might date back to the end of the 15th century. It is one among Mandu Forts  

Hindola Mahal is a T-shaped building that was an audience hall or an open theatre.

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5. Jahaz Mahal


One of the Mandu Forts included Jahaz Mahal in Mandu or Mandavgad Forts in MP. It is named since its reflection was visible in a nearby reservoir. This rectangular building is seen in a ‘U’ Shape. The palace has carved chhatris. A small mosque is also located within the palace. Jahaz Mahal is one of the Mandu Forts famous for sightseeing among tourists.

There are two estimated reasons why Jahaz Mahal was built. One reason was to provide tourists from Afghanistan, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, etc accommodation services in the form of an inn. 

The second estimation is that it was built as a retreat for the emperors and their families as during summer months Delhi’s heat was unbearable. 

6. Baz-Bahadur Palace


At a distance of 5 km from Mandu Bus Stand Baz-Bahadur Palace is one of the ancient palaces among Mandu Forts. It was built in 1508 by Nasir-Ud-Din. The Baz-Bahadur Palace is built on the hill slope to the east of Rewa Kund. 

This marvellous architecture is a blend of Rajput and Mughal style architecture. The main entrance gateway has around 40 broad steps. This two-story palace consists of a courtyard and rooms on all four sides.

7. Rupmati’s Pavilion


One of the places to visit in Mandu Forts is Rupmati’s Pavilion. This building was erected for Rani Rupmati a beautiful Hindu singer who caught the attention of Baz-Bahadur. Baz-Bahadur built this palace to show his love for Rani Rupmati. 

It was constructed on the bank of River Narmada because Rupmati never used to drink water unless she took the darshan of River Narmada. The Kund was made near the pavilion with Narmada water. It was also known as Rewa Kund.

Rupmati used to come near the Rewa Kund every morning to worship the Narmada River. Among other Mandu Forts Rupmati’s Pavilion is the famous and historical romance between Rani Rupmati and Sultan Baz-Bahadur. 

Best Time To Visit Mandu

The best time to visit Mandu is from October to March when the weather is not harsh. The summer is quite harsh just like the other part of Madhya Pradesh. Hence, it is recommended to visit Mandu Fort from October to March which is the best time to visit Mandu. 

Monsoon can also be one of the best times to visit Mandu with occasional rainfall which keeps the climate cool compared to summer.

Restaurants In Mandu

Source: Tripadvisor

There are many options for restaurants in Mandu. Following are some of the options near Mandu Forts

  1. Hotel Fun N Food
  2. Shivani Restaurant
  3. Malwa Resort
  4. Gurukripa Restaurant
  5. Jahaz Mahal Canteen
  6. Shri Dadaji Restaurant
  7. Hotel Rajnandini

Suggest Read: Sarafa Bazaar: A Foodie’s Delight And Shopper’s Paradise

Hotels In Mandu

Source: Tripadvisor

There are availabilities of many hotels in Mandu. It is very important to book the hotels In Mandu in advance as on-the-spot without research booking might break your bank. 

Following are some of the hotels in Mandu

  1. MPT Malwa Resort
  2. Malwa Retreat Mandu
  3. Mandav Heritage Resort
  4. Hotel Fun n Food
  5. Dino Adventure Park & Resort
  6. TGI Jahaj Mahal Resort
  7. Mandav Hill Resort & Film City
  8. Hotel VirasatRobin Hood Camp
  9. Jahaj Mahal Hotel

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the other name of Mandu?

Mandu was also known as Mandavgad in ancient times. Present-day it is known as Mandav.

Is Mandu worth a visit?

Yes. If you are an architecture enthusiast or a History connoisseur then Mandu Forts is a must-visit place for you.

What is Mandu City famous for?

The Mandu city is famous for Mandu Forts. This ancient city has many architectural marvels in the region.

How many forts are there in Mandu?

There are a total of twelve gateways in Mandu Citadel and sixty-one monuments.

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