The town of Mandu in Madhya Pradesh is located at an altitude of 633 meters and overlooks the plateau of Malwa in the North and the Narmada valley in the south. It is rightly termed as the fort capital of the para mamas. The Vindhya range perches this town and runs for 13 km. The rich history of this beautiful town located in the central part of India near Indore has many ancient monuments and palaces that have stood the test of time. There are many things to do in Mandu as well, that will give you an experience to remember forever. So, if you are planning a visit in the near future, go through our list of some of the best things that you can indulge in while visiting this historical city.
7 Things To Do In Mandu
Let’s now go through the interesting things to be indulged in Mandu, Madhya Pradesh. All of them are unique and will give you a heartwarming vacation.
1. Jahaz Mahal: Get A Glance Of The Medieval History Of Mandu
The magnificent structure of the Jahaz Mahal occupies a huge area in the Mandu region of Madhya Pradesh. Built when sultan Hhiyas-ud-din Khilji was reigning Mandu, it is believed that this architecture was built in the second phase of the 15th century, to accommodate his 15,000 consorts. This wonderful structure captures the medieval times of Mandu. Situated amidst pond water, this beautiful edifice seems to be floating gently on the water. The structure and architecture of this Jahaz Mahal are awe-inspiring and wonderful. This palace is an amalgamation of Mughal, Afghan, Mesopotamian and Hindu architectural styles.
Reproducing the appearance of a huge ship, this structure was built with utmost precision inclusive of water supplying channels, finely reflecting the pond water that overlooks the palace. The balconies had been constructed in a way that intensifies sound which echoes through the entire corridors of Jahaz Mahal. Its intricately designed carvings, careful engineering patterns and flawless beauty coupled with the other tourist destinations in proximity like the Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Roopmati’s Pavilion, Hindola Mahal, Jama masjid, and Jain temple has made Mandu a significant historical spot in Madhya Pradesh. Spread over a narrow piece of land between the Kapur Talao and the Munj Talao, this palace has a height of 110 meters and is 15 meters in width. The main entrance is in the east. It is a rectangular structure having two floors and thick walls. There are 3 large halls on the ground floor, all connected by corridors and overlooks the Munj Talao.
Location: Jahaz Mahal internal road, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
Entry fee: INR 5 for Indians, INR 100 for foreigners and INR 25 extra for taking cameras inside.
Timing: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day
A tour to any place is incomplete without visiting the nearby attractions of that place. While doing a trip to Madhya Pradesh, tourist places in Mandu should not be missed. In addition to sightseeing, tourists also look forward to buying anything indigenous in that place. Shopping in Mandu is as interesting as in visiting the historical buildings. The malls retain the feel of ethnicity to the core. Urbanisation has not yet affected the livelihood of people residing in Mandu. Capturing the essence of old bazaars, Mandu has several local shops where you can buy anything of your choice. Starting from home decor to wall pieces, gift items, showpieces everything is available here. Tourists generally buy colourful fabrics and textiles.
The massive red stone mosque can be seen from this bazaar. All thanks to the dominating architectural structures built by Hoshang Shah. However, it was during Mohammad Khilji’s reign that this building was completed. This red stone mosque, despite being simple is considered to be one of the finest examples of Afghan architecture in India.
Location: In various places of Mandu
Entry fee: None
Suggested Read: Chanderi In Madhya Pradesh: A Detailed Guide To This Unique Town
3. Hindola Mahal: Get Awed By The Simplicity
The grandeur of the Hindola Mahal, which means swinging palace is evident from the luxurious building which used to be the royal court of Ghiyas-al-din sultan. This palace exhibits the Malwa – sultanate architecture precisely. The structure of the sculpture is innovative and its engineering technique attracts thousands of tourists every year. The Hindola Mahal was constructed with sandstones. It has intricately carved panels with facilities of cold and hot water connected with the underground rooms of the palace.
Presently, the Hindola Mahal has been reconstructed into a T shaped building that is used as an open-air theatre or audience gallery. The simplicity of this monument is what distinguishes it from the other ones. The Munj Talao surrounds the Hindola Mahal in the North and provides an amazing sight to visitors. It is an ideal place for history lovers. The outstanding scenic beauty and its exquisiteness is worth visiting.
Location: Surabardi, Madhya Pradesh
Entry fees: INR 5 for Indians, INR 100 for foreigners and INR 25 extra for taking cameras inside.
Timing: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
4. Jain Temple, Mandu: Feel The Divinity
Among all other architectural structures influenced by the Islamic methods, this Jain temple stands as an exception, totally different from all other structures. It is a present-day architectural building that boasts of gold, silver and marble statues of Jain Tirthankaras. Also, there is a picturesque Jain museum that is inspired by Shatrunjaya, the temple on the hilltop at Palitana in Gujarat.
The Jain temple at Mandu is the only non-Muslim piece of art and architecture amidst an array of mosques and palaces and dargahs which the city abounds in. The eyes of some of the idols have been adorned with shiny jade eyes. At the rear is the Jain museum that is an imitation of the Palitana temple. For all religion lovers, this place is an abode. Tourists are advised not to miss visiting this tranquil place while on a holiday trip to Madhya Pradesh.
Location: Mandu, Mandav, Madhya Pradesh
Entry fee: None
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The adventure Island of Hanumantiya is the favourite spot for tourists who are eager to indulge in some water sports. Located along the Indira Sagar reservoir, Hanumantiya offers you to escape away from the hustle and bustle of city life into an aquatic paradise. An array of activities can be availed here, which includes speed boating, rafting, jet skiing over the serene and calm waters of the Indira Sagar dam.
Tourists get to enjoy breeze airs over the foaming waters as the tethered motorboats pass by you. Such beauty and magnificence have resulted in the commencement of the JAL Mahotsav festival being celebrated here. The rush of adrenaline is increased by the eye-soothing beauty of nature here. Hanuwantiya is hence an irresistible destination for travellers visiting Madhya Pradesh in search of adventure.
Location: Near Purni Village, Khandwa Hanumantiya, Mundi, Madhya Pradesh
Entry fee: None
Timings: 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM every day
6. Lohani Caves: Visit
These rocky cells were once the hideout of Shaiva yogis. However, the origin of these caves is not surely known by the residents of Mandu. These caves don’t have any carvings or inscriptions on them, hence, we cannot conclude the exact date of their origin. They are simply a group of finely cut rocks that look like underground cells said to have been inhabited since the pre-Muslim eras.
The excavations were conducted in the 11 and 12 centuries of the Shaivism tradition and are one of the amazing archaeological sites to behold. In this area, ruins of temples were also discovered during the excavation process along with sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses. Few of these ruins have been displayed at the Chappan Mahal museum.
Location: Nalchha Tehsil, Mandu, India
Entry Fee: None
Timings: Anytime during the day
The Malwa retreat is a well-maintained camping site in Mandu having gardens and lakes surrounding it. It is 1 km away from the village center that overlooks a long, deep ravine. The building has both AC and non-AC rooms that overlook the garden and share a common verandah. Each room has a personal balcony that overlooks the ravine.
The rooms of this retreat are clean and spacious equipped with TVs and bathrooms. There is an open-air kitchen. that enables you to enjoy your food being cooked. The quality of food and service is commendable. It is advisable to carry your tents to the Malwa retreat since what they provide you with is a concrete structure with tarpaulins thrown over them.
Location: main road near the Roopmati hotel, Mandu road, Madhya Pradesh
Entry fee: INR 270
Further Read: 4 Best Tourist Circuits In Madhya Pradesh In 2021
When planning a tour to Madhya Pradesh, do include Mandu in your list. It is a tiny town that was once ruled by Muslim emperors. It hosts some of the most magnificent tourist destinations of all times like mosques, monuments, palaces, caves, etc. Mandu has myriads of interesting places to be visited including forts, gateways, palaces, and temples. Mandu is a city full of breathtaking architectural buildings. One should never forget to take cameras to capture these exclusive edifices.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Mandu
How to reach Mandu?
Located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Mandu has good connectivity to all metro cities within the state. The closest airport is the Indore international airport, which is 99 km away. There are regular flights from Indore connecting Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, and Gwalior. If you wish to travel by train, Ratlam is the nearest rail station connecting Delhi to Mumbai. Also, this city is well connected by bus networks.
What is Mandu famous for?
Here is a list of palaces and monuments and mosques that make the historical city of Mandu famous. Jama Masjid, the Ashrafi Mahal, the tomb of Hoshang Shah, the Rani Roopmati Pavillion, Hathi pol, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Hindola Mahal, Jal Mahal, Champa Boli, Nahar Jharokha, Taveli Mahal, Dai ka Mahal, Chappan Mahal, echo point, Jali Mahal, Rewa Kund and Malik Mugtih Mosque.
When did Mandu gain prominence?
Mandu gained prominence during the 11 and 12th centuries under the para mamas. After that, it was ruled by Islam rulers extensively.
What type of weather does Mandu experience?
Being situated on the Malwa plateau, Mandu experiences a tropical type of climate. However, it looks the best during the monsoons, when surroundings appear fresh and greener. Summers are not the best time to visit this place since its humidity stays high, thus making it uncomfortable for visitors to visit places during the daytime. For nature lovers and photographers, Monsoon is the ideal time to visit Mandu.
What are the food habits of the people here?
The city of Mandu has one special dish for which it is widely known- the poha. As a whole, the region has vegetarian people in large numbers, but one can also find non-vegetarian delicacies in the Malwa resort and Malwa retreat.
How far Mandu is from Indore?
Mandu in Madhya Pradesh is about 97.4 km away from Indore. It takes approximately 1 hour and 59 minutes to reach Mandu from Indore.
Which is the nearest airport to Mandu?
Indore airport is the closest to Mandu located about 99 km away from this place.
Which are the closest cities to Mandu?
The closest cities to Mandu include Nalcha, Gujri, Bagri, Kakarda, Dhamnod, Kunj Rod, Nimbahera, and Manpur.