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Pictures of Afghan Architectural Ruins in Mandu India

Mandu India Afghan architecture detail India Mandu Afghan palace india

Mandu Afghan palace ruins. Left shows water passageway into rooftop swimming pool. Photos: Elena

Mandu is definitely in the middle of nowhere, in the sense of not being near anywhere one would ever be likely to be, while traveling in India! It is a popular place for Indians to visit during the monsoon season, when it's lovely and cool. Mandu occupies an entire hilltop that was once a fort. The only way to get here is by a long, 6 hour + tedious bus ride from the city of Indore. Or hire a driver and car from Indore.

Long before the Afghans overran India, Mandu was built by Hindu princes. Completion of the hilltop fort involved a century of moving large rocks from many miles away. When the Afghans conquered Mandu they rebuilt with the already existing buildings serving as their stone supply. Little that was Hindu architecture is left. Presently there are Afghan and Mogul ruins.

Mandu afghan palace rootop swimming pool. india
Swimming pool on the palace roof . Photo: Elena

The palace above is believed to have been for women. A swimming pool on the roof has unusual design details for the water inlet. There are also some fascinating steam rooms/ sauna buildings. Mandu is in ruins, it is very lovely to visit and there are some reasonably nice places to stay, especially lower end guest houses.

After the Afghans left the Moguls also rebuilt Mandu, once again, leaving a few of the Afghan buildings intact. There are some interesting examples of Mogul architecture in Mandu. One lovely and intricately carved (less ancient) Hindu marble temple is in town and is still in use.

Gypsy tribes live on the Mandu hilltop plateau. Photos below.

Gypsy family in Mandu Gypsy girl in Mandu India
Gypsies. Photo: Elena


" Each of Mandu's structures is an architectural gem; some are outstanding like the massive Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah's Tomb, which provided inspiration for the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries later.

Under Mughal rule Mandu was a pleasure resort, its lakes and palaces the scenes of splendid and extravagant festivities. And the glory of Mandu lives on, in its palaces and mosques, in legends and songs chronicled for posterity."

Jet Airways 'How to get to Mandu'


The Royal Enclave • Jahaz Mahal
" This 120 mt long "ship palace" built between the two artificial lakes, Munj Talao and Kapur Talao is an elegant two story palace. Probably it was built by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Khilji for his large harem. With its open pavilions, balconies overhanging the water and open terrace, Jahaz Mahal is an imaginative recreation in stone of a royal pleasure craft."

Madhya Pradesh Tourism about Mandu.