My second visit to the city of Mandu brought back fond memories and helped me rediscover the City of Joy.
What strikes you as you enter the town is the large number of monuments. I learn later that the town has over 3000 monuments. Mandu, interestingly has the epitaph as the ‘City of Joy’ as it was once bustling with a population of over 9 lakh that has now dwindled to about ten thousand.
All around the town are palaces, lakes, mosques and pavilions built between 1401 and 1529 by the Malwa dynasty. Start your exploration at the Jami Masjid, built in 1454 believed to have been inspired by the great mosque at Damascus. As you take the flight of stairs to reach inside, the amazing arches and pillars are bound to take your breath away. Adjacent to this is the first marble tomb of India, dedicated to Malwa’s most powerful Sultan, the Hoshang Shah’s Tomb that was built in 1440. In fact, it is said to have inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal when he visited this place in 1659. On the opposite side is the Ashrafi Mahal, that has the ruins of a seven storied Victory Tower built by Sultan Mahmud in 1443.
An annual Mandu Festival is organized by E Factor Pvt. Ltd. which has given the city a great push tourism wise too.
Read the full story that first appeared in The Free Press Journal dated April 25, 2021 here: