September 2, 2010

C'est Magnifique

~~~

Until I reached Mandu I did not know who Hoshang Shah was. Travel does introduce us to, inter alia, interesting historical figures that we would not have otherwise bothered to find out about, isn’t it?

At the first glance of Hoshang Shah’s Mausoleum in Mandu, the initial thought that crops up is: C'est Magnifique (It's Magnificent).

I do not know much neither about his life and achievements, nor about the circumstances of his death but having read a bit about him, now I know Hoshang Shah is remembered as a warrior with a sympathetic heart and dearly loved by his subjects. It was he who made Mandu one of the most impregnable forts of India. He ruled Malwa for 27 years.


Looking at the gleaming Mausoleum sheathed entirely in white marble, I also think of the Taj Mahal. The work on the Mausoleum was begun by Hoshang Shah himself, who died in 1435, and the work was completed by Mahmoud Khilji in AD 1440. It is probably one of India’s earliest marble structure based on Afghan architecture.

I am not surprised at the claim that Shah Jahan was so impressed by the Mausoleum that he sent a team of his architects to Mandu to study its design before commencing construction of the Taj Mahal. Certainly some inspiration may have been drawn from this Mausoleum. To the uninitiated, the Taj Mahal was completed in and around AD 1648.


I notice the quadrangle on which the Mausoleum is built, and am particularly drawn to its large white dome with smaller cupolas at the corners. The entrance is through a porch.


As expected at Mausoleums, I take off my footwear and step in quietly. The light filtering through its delicately beautiful lattice work gives the place an exquisite effect. The atmosphere is amazingly serene.


Much later, once out, I choose a spot in the calm surroundings at one of the porches supported by decorative colonnades in the western part of the Mausoleum.


The neat garden has many flowering plants. Many jasmine shrubs are in full bloom spreading fragrance around the austere place.


Dark clouds begin to roll across the blue sky, its edges folded in silver.


As the rain is about to pour down, I prepare to leave the Hoshang Shah’s Mausoleum to explore another monument in the vicinity. Glancing back one last time, I think: Death not only ends life; to some, it also bestows upon it a beautiful completeness.
~~~

Mandu can be reached by road from Indore via Dhar, and the nearest airport is in Indore (100 kms). The nearest railheads are Indore and Ratlam (120 km).

31 comments:

Trish said...

beautiful series of photos

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures! Such lovely skies and the perfect backdrop for the Mausoleum@! Excellent post for the day! Enjoy your weekend!

Sylvia

Regina said...

Truly majestic! and awesome captures!
Happy SWF.
Enjoy your weekend.

EG Wow said...

I feel awe looking at these photos. I cannot imagine how I would feel seeing it in person. YES, C'est magnifique!

Xavi said...

Superb captures Celine! Beautiful post for the day! And lovely skies for the perfect backdrop!
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Photo Cache said...

I suppose a year's worth of rounding all the temples and other historical structures and reliefs in India would never be enough. Another one worth penciling in one's itinerary.


www.ewok1993.wordpress.com

chubskulit said...

I love the second to the last shot, it's so majestic.

My Skywatch

Misalyn said...

Stunning series of shots! Thanks for sharing the tidbits of info and link. I particularly like image #6. It looks like a long passageway.

libererlesprit said...

bful shot planing 2 visit soon

Lesley said...

beautiful photos.
and I was thrilled to be taken on this tour with you.

Indrani said...

Lovely shots of the place. Yet to visit it. :(

Al said...

Incredible! There's so much history in these photos.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots. Looks like the place is maintained pretty well. This is definitely there in my wish list.

Mridula said...

I have started asking people around me if they have been to Mandu, from there it is one step more to visit myself, inspired by your posts.

BraCom (Bram) said...

Beautiful SkyWatch photos

Happy SWF! Have a nice weekend,

Regards, Bram

My SkyWatch on WordPress

Seen on Sky Watch Friday

Angela said...

Beautiful!!

Mike said...

Wonderful shots. Have a great weekend!

Robin said...

What an incredible structure. Gorgeous.

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My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

Lakshmi said...

I liked the last line..its so true when you say that..and what pics..when will I visit these places Celine ?

Spiderdama said...

Great series of photo and place!
Wish you a happy weekend.

Bellybytes said...

Amazing place Mandu. I remember being particularly haunted by its romantic story of Roopmati and Baazbahadur. Unlike the ruins of Moghul India these palaces have a delicate mystic feel. Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories

Halcyon said...

What a beautiful place. Very nice photos and story.

UTP said...

I think its amazing how much time effort and money was spent in those days... what a great age of time spent...where we have such great monuments to cherish... man has progressed from running around naked :)

Esther Garvi said...

Love the structures!

magiceye said...

wow amazing!!

shooting star said...

mandu - a place i want to visit, have heard about its magnificent monuments a lot and have seen some amazing pictures!!...
you have beautifully put forth this mausoleum !!

Max-e said...

I have been looking through your site and have really been enjoying the architecture. I did not realise how beautiful the Indian buildings are. I particularly like the columns and arches

Red Nomad OZ said...

Heard of the Taj Mahal (of course!) but never heard of this one! Fantastic!!

Happy travels!

Nisha said...

Photos as well as last line were the gems of this post.

farooqsoomro said...

Brilliant! makes me yearn for another trip to india

sandeep said...

a luvly structure and beautiful photos. thnx for sharing the info and pics. and yeah ... there is a resemblance to the taj mahal