Asharfi Mahal Places to see in Mandu - MPTourism

Mandu - The interesting tale of Ashrafi Mahal!


As Madhya Pradesh boasts of several monuments reminding of erstwhile period, what wins the heart is the beautiful architecture adorned with each one of them. Not just this, but there are even interesting tales associated with these precious gems glorifying the history of Madhya Pradesh.

One such masterpiece is Ashrafi Mahal in Mandu which is believed to be constructed for a fact to reduce obesity in the queens! Read on to know what story Ashrafi Mahal has to tell.

The anecdote of how queens reduced weight!

According to one of the famous folklore, taking a concern towards increasing obesity among his queens, Ghiyasuddin Khilji came up with a superb idea! He thought of encouraging the queens to reduce their weight by asking them to climb the staircase of Ashrafi Mahal up and down regularly. In return he also decided to gift an ‘Ashrafi’ (gold coins) to the queens. The number of Ashrafi were based on the number of steps climbed by each queen every day. Hence this resulted in the name ‘Ashrafi Mahal’.   

The educational connect

The construction of Ashrafi Mahal can be traced to two distinct phases. It had begun during the early years of Mahmud Khilji’s reign, when a Madarsa was built in conjunction with the adjacent Jami Masjid.

From the remains it can be gathered that the Madarsa had been executed like the mosque as a spacious quadrangle enclosed on all four sides by cells for students. At the four corners of the quadrangle, enclosed on all four sides by cells for students. At the four corners of the quadrangle were towers, three of which are traceable even today.  

Some years later, the turret on the north eastern side was raised seven storeys high to commemorate Mahmud Khilji’s victory over Rana of Mewar. All that remains of this lofty tower, is the basement which is itself 9.8 m high.

Further, it seems to have occurred to the ruling powers that the courtyard could be filled up and be made into a grand plinth, measuring 8m. Mahmud Khilji’s tomb was constructed in the center of this plinth, which may have once been the most glorious structure in Mandu.

Interestingly, standing at the middle of Mahmud Khilji’s tomb, one notices that the halls of Hoshang Shah’s tomb, the Jami Masjid and of this building are so planned that the centers of all tree are in one straight line.

Hoshang Shah’s Tomb

You speak of Mandu and there’s no mention about the very beautiful Hoshang Shah’s Tomb, isn’t possible. Yet another biggest attraction in Mandu which catches a traveler’s attention is Hoshang Shah’s tomb, a structure entirely made of white marble.  What strikes the visitors is the tomb’s austerity and the massive celestial white dome. The architecture is characterized by clean surfaces and subdued decoration.

Related Articles


Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga

Shiva's sojourn by the  Narmada

Omkareshwar is the only jyotirlinga located by the banks of the holy Narmada. The course of the holy river at this place resembles the word ‘om’ in Sanskrit, lending the name to the island mentioned in the ancient scriptures of India. The city has 68 teerth (places of spiritual importance) and a group of 108 shivlingas making it an utterly important Shaiva site. River Kaveri confluences with Narmada here.