Mandu Fort

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

For clan of this name see Mandu

Mandu (माण्डू مَنضُ) is a ruined historical city in Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh.


Origin of name

The name of city Mandu, in Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, is probably originated from combination of Mandas. The Manda Jats after the fall of their kingdom at Iran as result of wars that the first migration of the Jats took place and from the Manda Empire and from other parts of Central Asia they came to India. The historical Mandu Fort also seems to have been founded by Manda Jats. This point needs more research.


It is about 35 km. from Dhar.

Jat clans


In the 11th century, Mandu was the sub division of the Tarangagadh or Taranga kingdom. This fortress town is on a rocky outcrop about 100 km from Indore.

The earliest reference to Mandu is available in the Sanskrit inscription of 555 AD, which tells that Mandu was a fortified city even in 6th century BC. It gained prominence in 10th and 11th century under the Parmars (who called it Mandavgarh), from whom the control was snatched by Khiljis in 1305.

Mandav or Mandu's was earlier known by the name of "Shadiabad" meaning the city of happiness (Anand Nagari), the name was given by then ruler Allauddin Khilji. Mandu city is situated at an elevation of 633 metres (2079 feet) and extends for 13 km along the crest of the Vindhya Range, overlooking the plateau of Malwa to the north and the valley of the Narmada River to the south. These acted as natural defences and Mandu was originally the fort-capital of Parmara rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 11th century, it came under the sway of the Taranga kingdom.

In the 10th century Mandu was founded as a fortress retreat by Raja Bhoj. It was conquered by the Muslim rulers of Delhi in 1304. When, in 1401, the Mughals captured Delhi, the Afghan Dilawar Khan, governor of Malwa, set up his own little kingdom and the Ghuri dynasty was established. And thus began Mandu's golden age.

His son, Hoshang Shah, shifted the capital from Dhar to Mandu and raised it to its greatest splendour. Hoshang's son, Mohammed, the third and last ruler of Ghuri dynasty ruled for just one year He was poisoned by the militaristic Mohammed Khalji, who established the Khilji dynasty and went on to rule for the next 33 years. He was succeeded by his son, Ghiyas-ud-din in 1469 and ruled for the next 31 years. Ghiyas-ud-din was a pleasure seeker and devoted himself to women and song. He had a large harem and built the Jahaz Mahal for housing the women, numbering thousands, of his harem. Ghiyas-ud-din was poisoned, aged 80, by Nasir-ud-din, his own son.

In 1526, Mahmud II the sixth Khalji ruler made no resistance against the invading Bahadur Shah of Gujarat who conquered Mandu March 28, 1531. In 1530 Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor, succeeded Babur. Babur had established the Mughal dynasty. Humayun had two major rivals: Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and Sher Shah Suri. Humayun was engaged in a war with Sher Shah Suri when he learned of an imminent attack by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat who was being aided by the Portuguese. With an unusual swiftness Humayun attacked and defeated Bahadur Shah.

Thus in 1534 Mandu came under Humayun's rule. Humayun fancied Mandu so he relaxed here for a brief, peaceful interlude Humayun lost the kingdom to Mallu Khan, an officer of the Khalji dynasty. Ten more years of feuds and invasions followed and in the end Baz Bahadur emerge in the top spot. By this time Humayun had been defeated by Sher Shah Suri and had fled India. Sher Shah Suri died in 1545 and his son Islam Shah died in 1553. Islam Shah's 12 year old son Feroz Khan became the king but was killed by Adil Shah Suri within 3 days.

Hemu as Chief of Army

Adil Shah appointed Hemu, also known as Hemu Vikramaditya as his Chief of Army and Prime Minister. Hemu had a rapid rise during Sur regime. A grain supplier to Sher Shah Suri's army and then Chief of Intelligence or Daroga-i-Chowki (Superintendent of Post) under Islam Shah, he became the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Afghan Army (Sher Shah Suri's army) under the reign of Adil Shah Suri. Adil Shah Suri was an incompetent ruler and many rebellions occurred against his rule. Hemu was sent to quell these rebellions. During this period Hemu attacked Mandu also and Baz Bahadur ran away from Mandu. Hemu appointed his own Governor here.

During this period Humayun had returned to India and in 1555 was again the emperor. In 1556 Humayun died after falling while descending a staircase.

Hemu was in Bengal at the time and sensing an opportunity attacked Mughals. Soon Agra, Bihar, Eastern UP, Madhya Pradesh were all won and on 6 October 1556 he won Delhi, defeating Akbar's forces, and had his coronation at Purana Quila, the next day. Akbar defeated and killed Hemu in the second Battle of Panipat on November 7, 1556.

Adham Khan defeated Baz Bahadur

In 1561, Akbar's army led by Adham Khan and Pir Muhammad Khan attacked Malwa and defeated Baz Bahadur in the battle of Sarangpur on 29 March 1561. One of the reasons for Adham Khan's attack seems to be his love for Rani Roopmati. Rani Roopmati poisoned herself to death on hearing the news of fall of Mandu. Baz Bahadur fled to Khandesh. Akbar, soon recalled Adham Khan and made over command to Pir Muhammad. Pir Muhammad attacked Khandesh and proceeded up to Burhanpur but he was defeated by a coalition of three powers: Miran Mubarak Shah II of Khandesh, Tufal Khan of Berar and Baz Bahadur. Pir Muhammad died while retreating. The confederate army pursued the Mughals and drove them out of Malwa. Baz Bahadur regained his kingdom for a short period. In 1562, Akbar sent another army led by Abdullah Khan, the Uzbeg, which finally defeated Baz Bahadur. He fled to Chittor. Baz Bahadur remained a fugitive at a number of courts till he surrendered in November, 1570 to Akbar at Nagaur. He joined Akbar's service.[1]

Under Marathas

After Akbar added Mandu to the Mughal empire, it kept a considerable degree of independence, until taken by the Marathas in 1732 by Peshwa Baji Rao I. The capital of Malwa was then shifted back to Dhar by Marathas under Maharaja Pawar, and the slide in Mandu's fortunes that had begun with the absconding of Baz Bahadur became a plummet.

The battle of Mandu 1729

Sawai Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur got the Subadari of Malwa in October 1729. He was ordered to move against the Marathas. The Kachwahas showed a great courage in the war against Marathas. Jats took part in this war against Marathas under the leadership of Suraj Mal. At the end of 1729 the Marathas were defeated in this war and Mandu came under Jai Singh.

Rani Roopmati

Rani Roopmati - the love interest of Baaz Bahadur lived here and is said to have gazed at the Baz Bahadur's Palace - situated below and also at Narmada river, flowing through the Nimar plains far below, a river which the queen revered. The Pavilion is a major tourist attraction and offers many scenic views. Rani Roopmati was a Hada princess of Rajasthan who lived at Dharampuri. She is said to have been married early in childhood.

मंडपदुर्ग = मंडपपुर = मंडू

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[2] ने लेख किया है ...मंडपदुर्ग = मंडपपुर = Mandu (मंडू) (AS, p.684): मांडू, म.प्र., (p.685) माण्डू का प्राचीन नाम मण्डप दुर्ग या माण्डवगढ़ कहा जाता है। मंडप नाम [p.686]: से इस नगर का उल्लेख जैन ग्रंथ तीर्थमाला चैत्यवंदन में किया गया है-- 'कोडीनारक मंत्रि दाहड़ पुरे श्री मंडपे चार्बुदे'

जनश्रुति है कि यह स्थान रामायण तथा महाभारत के समय का है किन्तु इस नगर का नियमित इतिहास मध्य काल ही है। कन्नौज के प्रतिहारों नरेशों के समय में परमार वंशीय श्रीसरमन मालवा को राज्यपाल नियुक्त किया गया था। उस समय भी मांडपगढ़ काफ़ी शोभा सम्पन्न नगर था। प्रतिहारों के पतन के पश्चात् परमार स्वतंत्र हो गए और उनकी वंश परम्परा में मुंज, भोज आदि प्रसिद्ध नरेश हुए।

12वीं, 13वीं शतियों में शासन की डोर जैन मंत्रियों के हाथ में थी और मांडवगढ ऐश्वर्य की चरम सीमा तक पहुँचा हुआ था। कहा जाता है कि उस समय यहाँ की जनसंख्या सात लाख थी और हिन्दू मन्दिरों के अतिरिक्त 300 जैन मन्दिर भी यहाँ की शोभा बढ़ाते थे।

अलाउद्दीन ख़िलजी के माण्डू पर आक्रमण के पश्चात् यहाँ से हिन्दू राज्य सत्ता ने विदा ली। यह आक्रमण अलाउद्दीन के सेनापति आइरन-उलमुल्क ने किया था। इसने यहाँ पर क़त्ले-आम भी करवाया था। 1401 ई. में माण्डू (मंडू) दिल्ली के तुग़लकों के आधिपत्य से स्वतंत्र हो गया और मालवा के शासक दिलावर ख़ाँ ग़ोरी ने माण्डू के पठान शासकों की वंश परम्परा प्रारम्भ की। इन सुल्तानों ने माण्डू में जो सुन्दर भवन तथा प्रासाद बनवाए थे, उनके अवशेष माण्डू को आज भी आकर्षण का केन्द्र बनाए हुए हैं। दिलावर ख़ाँ का पुत्र होशंगशाह 1405 ई. में अपनी राजधानी धार से उठाकर माण्डू में ले आया। माण्डू के क़िले का निर्माता भी यही था। इस राज्य वंश के वैभव-विलास की चरम सीमा 15वीं शती के अन्त में ग़यासुद्दीन के शासन काल में दिखाई पड़ी। ग़यासुद्दीन ने विलासता का वह दौर शुरू किया जिसकी चर्चा तत्कालीन भारत में चारों ओर थी। कहा जाता है कि उसके हरम में 15 सहस्र सुन्दरियाँ थीं। 1531 ई. में गुजरात के सुल्तान बहादुरशाह ने माण्डू पर हमला किया और 1534 ई. में हुमायूँ ने यहाँ पर अपना आधिपत्य स्थापित किया। 1554 ई. में माण्डू बाज़बहादुर के शासनाधीन हुआ। किन्तु 1570 ई. में अकबर के सेनापति आदमखाँ और आसफ़ख़ाँ ने बाज़बहादुर को परास्त कर माण्डू पर अधिकार कर लिया। कहा जाता है कि बाज़बहादुर के इस युद्ध में मारे जाने पर उसकी प्रेयसी रूपमती ने विषपान करके अपने जीवन का अन्त कर लिया। माण्डू की लूट में आदमख़ाँ ने बहुत सी धनराशि अपने अधिकार में कर ली, और उसने अकबर के कार्यवाहक वज़ीर को छुरा घोंप दिया। जिससे क्रुद्ध होकर अकबर ने आदमख़ाँ को आगरा के क़िले की दीवार से दो बार नीचे फ़िकवाकर मरवा दिया। यह अकबर का कोका भाई (धात्री पुत्र) था।

बाज़बहादुर और रूपमती की प्रेमकथाएँ आज भी मालवा के लोकगीतों में गूंजती हैं। बाज़बहादुर [p.687]: संगीत प्रेमी भी था। कुछ लोगों का मत है कि जहाज़ महल और हिंडोला महल उसने ही बनवाए थे। माण्डू के सौंदर्य ने अकबर तथा जहाँगीर दोनों ही को आकृष्ट किया था। यहाँ के एक शिलालेख से सूचित होता है कि अकबर एक बार माण्डू आकर नीलकंठ नामक भवन में ठहरा था। जहाँगीर की आत्मकथा तुज़के जहाँगीर में वर्णन है कि जहाँगीर को माण्डू के प्राकृतिक दृश्यों से बड़ा प्रेम था और वह यहाँ प्रायः महीनों शिविर डाल कर ठहरा करता था। मुग़ल साम्राज्य के पतन के पश्चात् पेशवाओं का यहाँ कुछ दिनों तक अधिकार रहा और तत्पश्चात् यह स्थान इंदौर की मराठा रियासत में शामिल हो गया।

स्मारक: माण्डू के स्मारक, जहाज़ महल के अतिरिक्त ये भी हैं—दिलावर ख़ाँ की मस्जिद, नाहर झरोखा, हाथी पोल दरवाज़ा (मुग़ल कालीन), होशंगशाह तथा महमूद ख़िलज़ी के मक़बरे. रेवाकुंड बाज़बहादुर और रूपमती के महलों के पास स्थित हैं। यहाँ से रेवा या नर्मदा दिखलाई पड़ती है। कहा जाता है कि रूपमती प्रतिदिन अपने महल से नर्मदा का पवित्र दर्शन किया करती थी।

शिवाजी के राजकवि भूषण ने पौरचवंशीय नरेश अमरसिंह के पुत्र अनिरुद्धसिंह की प्रशंसा में कहे गए एक छन्द में[1] माण्डू को इनकी राजधानी बताया है-- 'सरद के घन की घटान सी घमंडती हैं मंडू तें उमंडती हैं मंडती महीतलें'

किसी-किसी प्रति में इस स्थान पर मंडू के बजाए मेंडू भी पाठ है। मेंडू को कुछ लोग उत्तर प्रदेश में स्थित मानते हैं क्योंकि पौरच राजपूत अलीगढ़ के परिवर्ती प्रदेश से सम्बद्ध थे। NOTABLE PERSON

Shri Gopal Singh Choudhari



  1. Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007) The Mughul Empire, Mumbai:Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, pp.112-3
  2. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.684