Mandav, a historic site protected by the Archaeological Survey of India is located in Madhya Pradesh, India. The campus is surrounded by a wall of length 37 kms and is accessed by 12 gates in all. The campus has several monuments like palaces, 14th century Jain Temples and several gardens and lakes. The prominent structures of Mandav or Mandavgarh are:

1. Rani Roopmati Mahal

Rani Roopmati Mahal

A combination of Islamic and Hindu architecture, the palace of Rani Roopmati is a string of spaces-corridors to be precise, encased in arched doorways. The way up to the palace is a steep ramp which divides into a stairway on one side and continues as a ramp on the other.

The walkway upto the palace-a slope and the stairs on the left of the picture

As you reach the bottom of the palace, the bottom floor served as a stable for horses to house and feed them. the way up to the upper floor is a narrow and dark staircase. The floor above that was used as a barracks and space for soldiers to relax in.

Inside the stables, arches and narrow passages.

You can see up to a great distance if the weather allows and according to a guide, the palace was built just so the queen could watch the river Narmada flow at a distance.

The Palace-First floor and the Chatri on top

The Palace, at its top, has two chattris, an iconic element of  Hindu rajputana architecture with the arches which are Islamic.

The Chhatri at the terrace. One of two.

2. Jahaz Mahal

The fenestrations on the ground floor of the Jahaz Mahal are a series of pointed arches, an element of the Mughal architecture, and the first floor encapsulates the chhatris of Hindu architecture, combining the two styles beautifully.

Jahaz Mahal – Looks like a ship about to set sail
Arches inside the Jahaz Mahal.

As you enter the campus, the first thing that meets your eye is the ginormous stairway up to the top of the structure on the left and on the right of the walkway is the Kapoor Talao. 

The Kapur Talao-The lake which the Jahaz Mahal faces

Upon ascending up the stairs, on the left is a water body, a well. It is surrounded by high stone walls which keep the water and the palace cool.

The water storage-known as Baori at the side of the palace

As you climb up to the structure above, the pavilions on opposite ends with open spaces between them help frame the open areas and tie them in a string. 

The staircase to the first floor. towards the chhatris

At the far end of the first floor, you look down on the water harvesting system of the Jahaz Mahal, which had water channels leading rainwater to the chamber built at the ground floor.

The reservoir for water harvesting where the channels deposit rainwater
Water channels to guide rain water

3. Jami Masjid-The Friday Mosque

The Jami Masjid is one of the prominent structures of the Mandav campus. The friday mosque is a series of arches, built in sandstone, around a courtyard. It was Started by Hushang Shah and finished by Mahmud I in A.D. 1440.

The Jami Masjid
View of the dome.
The Pavilions
The Jali window
The pavilions

4.Hindola Mahal

The arches at hindola mahal

It was built by Hushang Shah, probably around A.D. 1425 as a Durbar hall. The walls are inordinately thick and slope like those of a castle. The structure has bulky and strong walls.They slope at an angle of about 77 degrees and give the palace an impression of a swing.

A sketch of the Hindola Mahal, by Ar. Onal Kothari, Indore.
Pictures 1-21 and 23- Ar. Suruchi Sharma
Picture 22 - By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Suruchi Sharma is an Architect and a Photographer; She strives to show through her pictures, the wonderment and beauty that everyday, seemingly mundane things possess. She believes that spaces are experiential, spaces speak and do deserve a sensory approach by its users, as she points out in her dissertation titled “Architecture for the senses ” capturing it through her photography and writings.

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