Magical Mandu
JAHAZ MAHALThe shipthat never sailed
Magical Mandu
22°21'20.6"N 75°23'35.2"E

Magical Mandu

  • Mandu History

    City existing since 6th century BC

  • Taj Mahal

    Shelters the monument that
    inspired the Taj Mahal

  • The Mandu Fort

    Houses India’s biggest fort –
    the Mandu fort

  • Mandu Love Story

    Witness to the legendary romance of
    Rani Roopmati and Baz Bahadur

  • Ancient Afghan Architecture

    Home to numerous ancient
    Afghan architectural marvels

Legendary love
Baz bahadur-Roopmati

Baz Bahadur & Rani Roopmati

Afghan Architecture
Beauty & Purpose

Afghan Architecture

Floating over it's own reflection, the Jahaz Mahal in Mandu looks like a ship that’s about to sail. However, for centuries this ship made of stone and mortar never did. Instead, it stood floating over the twin lakes, bearing a silent witness to Mandu's long, rich and varied history.

The city of Mandu is adorned with spell-binding Afghan architecture surrounded by baobab trees, native to Africa. The grand palaces are still alive with royal romance while the gateways (darwazas) speak of a history of imperial conquests. A walk through Mandu will leave you awe-struck, the way you used to be listening to stories from grandparents.

Discover something new

Where incredible facts, legends and stories come to life

Points of interest
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How to get here?

Reaching by Air

Reaching Mandu by Air

Mandu is situated in the Dhar district, which is just 98 kms from the nearest airport, Indore. Pre-paid taxis are available from the airport. The city is also well connected with major cities like Jabalpur, Gwalior, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Raipur.

Reaching by Rail

Reaching Mandu by Rail

The nearest railhead is at Ratlam, 124 km from Mandu. Ratlam station is an important junction on the Delhi-Mumbai rail route. It is situated 653 km from Mumbai Central, 731 km from Delhi, 176 km from Indore BG. Tourists can get down at the Ratlam station and avail bus/ taxi to reach the place.

Reaching by Road

Reaching Mandu by Road

Mandu is well connected by road to major cities in India. Indore, Dhar, Maheshwar and other towns and cities have frequent buses to Mandu.

Afghan architecture combines beauty and purpose with water conservation

Sultan and Maiden Love

Decorative stone curlicues that channel rain water into the hill-top pool in Jahaz Mahal

In Mandu, temperatures can often soar to 45 degrees in summer. That’s perhaps why the anonymous Afghan architect who built the Jahaz Mahal combined conservation of water and systems of rain water harvesting with the beauty and delicacy of Islamic architecture.

The 120 meter long Jahaz Mahal complex is studded with many water structures. The twin lakes of Kapur Talab and Munj Talab abutting the palace not only stored water but helped cool its surroundings. Together, these lakes also irrigated the lands surrounding the structure and charged the ground water table.

In addition, the many baolis or water wells in the premises helped store water for drinking while the beautifully constructed pools on the roof and ground floor of the palace offered the royalty a way to relax and cool during summer months. Incredibly, these pools were fed by rain water carried by swirling channels designed to look like intertwining vines.


The tragic love story of Rani Roopmati and Sultan Baz Bahadur

Decorative Stone in Jahaz Mahal

Legendary lovers Baz Bahadur and Roopmati

Sultan Baz Bahadur was the last independent ruler of Mandu. Once when he was on a hunting trip, he chanced upon a shepherdess frolicking and singing with her friends. Baz Bahadur who loved music was immediately smitten by the singer’s beauty and her melodious voice. He begged Roopmati to accompany him to his capital. Roopmati agreed to go to Mandu on the condition that she would live in a palace within sight of her beloved river Narmada. Thus was built the Rewa Kund at Mandu.

Tragically, the romance between the sultan and the shepherdess was doomed. The great Mughal Akbar decided to invade Mandu and sent Adham Khan to capture Mandu. Baz Bahadur who challenged him with his small army was no match for the great Mughal army. Mandu fell easily. Adham Khan cast his eye on the beautiful Rani Roopmati. Sensing her fate, Roopmati poisoned herself and avoided capture, thus ending this magical love story that inspired poetry and folklore.

Fact or fiction, the legend lives on!