India

The Sagar Talao Group of Monuments, Mandu

2 years ago | Mini Agarwal
This post is part of a series called Mandu: The Land and its History
Dai ki Chhoti Bahan ka Mahal is a historic building on the banks of a lake on the interior of Mandu, the hilltop garrison. Construction started in the 15th century in Madyha Pradesh
Dai ki Chhoti Bahan ka Mahal is a historic building on the banks of a lake on the interior of Mandu, the hilltop garrison. Construction started in the 15th century in Madhya Pradesh © Jeremy Richards / Shutterstock

The Mosque of Malik Mughith
Dai ka Mahal
Dai ki Chhoti Behen ka Mahal

The Mosque of Malik Mughith

This group is located near the lake with the same name. The lake has a continuous water supply but paints an especially enchanting picture during the rainy season when it is filled to capacity. A number of monuments make up the Sagar Talao Group, namely Malik Mughith’s Mosque, neighboring Caravan Serai, Dai ki Chhoti Behen ka Mahal and Dai ka Mahal. The Madhya Pradesh Tourism lodge is nearby.
The mosque is regarded as the most important of this group of buildings. It is comprised of the usual central courtyard with its surrounding colonnades. An inscription above the doorway informs us that it was constructed by Mahmud Khalji’s father, Malik Mughith in 1432.
Ruins of Ancient Malik Mughith Mosque Mandu

Ruins of Ancient Malik Mughith Mosque Mandu © Shariqkhan / Dreamstime


The building is entered on the eastern side through a gateway at the end of a projecting porch. Numerous rooms are attached to this porch, apparently to accommodate pilgrims and staff members. Long ago sturdy pillars were topped by a dome which unfortunately succumbed to the erosion of time. The porch has a square floor plan, but this is cleverly changed into an octagonal top shape by the use of arches spanning the corners.
Adjoining this building and constructed at the exact same time, is an inn, called Caravan Sarai. Its open courtyard is encircled by halls used as accommodation. The halls have vaulted ceilings and storage rooms are found at the two ends.
The mosque stands out in the beautiful green fields Mandu

The mosque stands out in the beautiful green fields Mandu © Shariqkhan / Dreamstime


Dai ka Mahal

This building was never meant to be a palace or mahal but is the burial site of a wet nurse in the royal household. The tomb is situated on top of a large rectangular building with arched openings on the west side, as well as a round tower on both the north-east and south-east sides. Only the ruins of these towers remain today. Apparently the pillars supported beautiful pavilions on the same level as the tomb floor.
The actual tomb has a square structure with a large dome sitting on an octagonal base. The walls of the tomb have elegant pointed arched openings with miniature arches in rows on top. The octagonal elongated plinth on which the dome sits is especially noteworthy. It has an embellished parapet with tiny kiosks or guldastas all around the podium. This feature is commonly seen in Deccan architecture but rarely encountered in Mandu.
West of Dai ka Mahal the ruins of a mosque can still be seen. Its double hall with windows and vaulted ceilings show signs of Hindu influences.
Interior of Malik Mughith's tomb in Mandu

Interior of Malik Mughith’s tomb in Mandu © Clicksabhi / Shutterstock


Dai ki Chhoti Behen ka Mahal

Similar to the Dai ka Mahal, this sixteenth-century structure was also used as a tomb. Possibly it once served as the residence of the younger sister or chhoti behen, and after she died it served as her burial place. Its natural surroundings are quite pleasant and the vegetation especially lush after the rainy season. It lies south of the inn, Caravan Sarai. Looking south from the tomb, one can detect traces of the former planned garden including its own pavilion.
Scholars group this tomb into the third architectural phase in Mandu when the Islamic principles of construction were already well established among the locals.
Steps taking you the Malik Mughith's Mosque’s entrance in Mandu the garrison town, built in 1432 by Malik Mughith

Steps taking you the Malik Mughith’s Mosque’s entrance in Mandu the garrison town, built-in 1432 by Malik Mughith © JeremyRichards / Shutterstock


The tomb has an octagonal shape and has arched openings alternating with decorative arches in the walls. This lends a sense of overall symmetry to the structure. Interestingly, the outside walls are further divided into different sections by broad lines of projecting stonework. This type of masonry adornment is not common in Mandu buildings and is attributed to the craftsmanship of indigenous builders.
The dome was once decorated with a band of blue tiles, some of which are still intact. Delicate carvings adorn parts of the interior.
South from Sagar Talao lies Jali Mahal, the burial place of an unknown nobleman. It has a square floor plan with 3 arched openings in three of its walls. The south wall is decorated with intricate carved screens or jaalis.
An interior view of the beautiful pillars of the mosque of Malik Mughith Mandu

An interior view of the beautiful pillars of the mosque of Malik Mughith Mandu © saiko3p / Shutterstock


Steps taking you the Malik Mughith's Mosque’s entrance in Mandu the garrison town, built in 1432 by Malik Mughith

Steps taking you the Malik Mughith’s Mosque’s entrance in Mandu the garrison town, built-in 1432 by Malik Mughith © JeremyRichards / Shutterstock


Well-known as Dai Ki Choti Bahan Ka Mahal in Hindi or Wet Nurse's Little Sister's Palace Mandu

Well-known as Dai Ki Choti Bahan Ka Mahal in Hindi or Wet Nurse’s Little Sister’s Palace Mandu © Clicksabhi / Shutterstock


Well-known as Dai Ki Choti Bahan Ka Mahal in Hindi or Wet Nurse's Little Sister's Palace Mandu

Well-known as Dai Ki Choti Bahan Ka Mahal in Hindi or Wet Nurse’s Little Sister’s Palace Mandu © Clicksabhi / Shutterstock


Well-known as Dai Ki Choti Bahan Ka Mahal in Hindi or Wet Nurse's Little Sister's Palace Mandu

Well-known as Dai Ki Choti Bahan Ka Mahal in Hindi or Wet Nurse’s Little Sister’s Palace Mandu © Clicksabhi / Shutterstock


An image of Dai Ki Chhoti Bahen Ka Mahal in Mandu

An image of Dai Ki Chhoti Bahen Ka Mahal in Mandu © saiko3p / Shutterstock

 

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