01:04 • the current village
03:06 • the former capital
04:51 • Darya Khan's mosque
06:03 • Somvati Kund
06:42 • Baz-Mahal palace
07:57 • the Roopmati pavilion
09:38 • Jaz-Mahal ship palace
11:09 • Hindola Mahal
16:09 • Jami Mashid
16:51 • Mausoleum of Hashang Shah
20:09 • Delhi Darwaza
21:38 • the caravanserail
23:24 • the Jain temple
25:48 • Mandu, the current village
What strikes the visitor when arriving in Mandu, a small town located about a hundred kilometers from Indore in Madhya Pradesh in India, is first of all the presence of baobabs. The baobab is not native to India, their presence is intriguing.
If Mandu has nowadays become a big village or a small town with many abandoned monuments, this has not always been the case. Mandu is mentioned in inscriptions dating back to the 6th century, thus attesting that the city was already prosperous at that time.
But it was in the 10th and 11th centuries that the city really took off. The Paramaras dynasty made it its capital because of its strategic position on a height overlooking the entire Malwa plateau.
Times were troubled and neighborhood wars were rife at this time. The territory of Malwa was attacked by the Sultan of Delhi in the north and in the west by the rulers of Gujarat.
The Sultan of Delhi took the region of Malwa and ordered the assassination of King Mahalakadeva in 1305. The opposition between Delhi and the Malwa had taken on the characteristics of a religious war.
But Mandu would relive moments of glory after the conquest of Delhi in 1401 by Tamerlan (Timur), Mongol emperor. The governor of Malwa created his own kingdom and established the Ghuri dynasty. The governor's son, Hoshang Shah made Mandu his capital. The Hoshang Shah Mausoleum is one of Mandu's remarkable monuments.
The dynasties succeeded each other at the rate of internal conflicts. The Khalji took over from the Ghuri before giving way to the Mughals.
Mandu and the baobabs
It is probably from this time that the planting of the first baobabs of Mandu dates. Economic and friendly ties with the caliphs of Egypt were forged and gifts exchanged. Mandu offered talking parrots to the caliph, and the caliph sent baobab seeds in return. These are much more under the climate of Mandu and prospered. There are more than a hundred in and around Mandu.
But the incessant wars between the Mughals and their neighbors in Gujarat continued and Mandu was attacked by Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, helped by the Portuguese. But the Mughal Emperor Humayun crushed this rebellion and massacred all the prisoners. Humayun lost the kingdom of Malwa to Mallu Khan and after ten years of quarrels and invasions, Baz Bahadur came to power. His palace can still be seen in Mandu.
History would repeat itself in the centuries that followed and relentless wars continued. Power wars with a focus on religion. Hindus against Muslims ...
The fall of Mandu dates back to the middle of the 18th century, when the city lost its status as capital to Dhar and the reestablishment of the Hindu regime.
Among the remains of this ancient capital, there are palaces, mosques and mausoleums.
Darya Khan Mosque
Darya Khan was a powerful minister at the court of Mahmud Khalji II. The Darya Khan Complee includes the Darya Khan Mausoleum, a mosque, a pond and an inn. The Elephant Leg Palace is located near this complex. This palace bears this name because of the voluminous pillars which resemble elephant legs.
the Baz Mahadur palace
The palace was built in the 16th century by Baz Mahadur, the king who imposed himself after a long period of unrest after the Mughal invasion.
the Roopmati pavilion
Roopmati was the woman Baz Mahadur was in love with. This building, which was originally a military observation post, was offered by the king to the chosen one of his heart.
This great mosque was inspired by that of Damascus, with large courtyards and large entrances.
Hoshang Shah Mausoleum
This tomb is the first marble structure in India. This is one of the most refined tombs in Afghan architecture. This tomb served as a model for the builders of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Jahaz Mahal, palace-boat, is located between two artificial lakes and looks like a boat floating on water, hence its name.
Probably built by Hoshang Shah around 1425. This palace is part of the Mandu royal palace complex. It was probably used as a courtroom.
But there is more to Mandu than these magnificent palaces of the past which are now devoid of life. A walk in the village allows to make very beautiful encounters with the inhabitants. Whether they're catching land crabs, cooking a communal meal, or babysitting their cows or goats, the people of Mandu are extremely friendly. It is certain that they are not really used to seeing tourists, and that visitors from the end of the world who come to admire their ancient capital make them happy ...
What's the weather like in Mandu?
about the place, Mandu:
While Mandu is currently a small village, this has not always been the case.
Prosperous from the 6th century the city became really important during the 10 and 11th centuries under the dynasty of Paramaras. It has been a leading trading city and military garrison.
Mandu is the only city in India to have a large number of baobabs (except for the Mumbai zoo ...). There are several hundred.
It is believed to be the result of trade relations with Egypt during the 14th century, when the Caliph of Egypt and the Sultans of Mandu exchanged gifts. Mandu had offered talking parrots and in exchange, Egypt offered baobab seeds.
Spoken comments in the film:
Mândû is one of the only places in India where you can see baobabs. Baobab seeds were said to have been offered by the Caliphs of Egypt to the Sultans of Mândû during the 14th century in exchange for talking parrots.
Hati Mahal or Elephant Palace is an ancient palace which owes its name to the massive pillars supporting the dome.
The Hoshang Shah Mausoleum in Mandu is one of the monuments that inspired the builders of the Taj Mahal in Agra
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• Disclaimer: As traditional music is often subject to copyright (claimed by major music distribution groups), the musical illustration of this film "Mandu, ghost capital • Madhya Pradesh, India (EN)" does not use typical music of India but is borrowed from a collection of royalty-free music. Despite the painstaking care given to the musical choices in this film, some people may regret this choice, but it is the price to pay for not incurring unnecessary lawsuits. This decision was difficult to take, but it's the only viable solution, unfortunately. •