Alamgeer Gate, [Mandu]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Alamgir Gate at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. The Alamgir Gate is one of a series of fortified gateways on the approach to the Delhi Gate, the main entrance to Mandu at its northern tip. It is an arched Islamic masonry structure crowned with spearhead battlements. Mandu is a historic ruined citadel and stands in a spectacular, naturally-defended position on a plateau of the Vindhya hills surrounded by a ravine. Its walls are 59.5 km (37 miles) long and were begun by Dilawar Khan Husain Ghuri (ruled 1401-5) and completed by Mahmud Shah I Khalji (ruled 1436-69). An ancient stronghold, Mandu first came to prominence under the Paramara dynasty (who ruled the province of Malwa with their capital at Dhar) at the end of the 10th century, and remained under Hindu rule until 1305 when it was conquered by the Sultans of Delhi. In 1401 Dilawar Khan broke away from Delhi and established an independent sultanate. Mandu's golden age came as the state capital of the Sultans of Malwa between 1405 and 1531. They renamed the fort ‘Shadiabad’ (City of Joy) and built palaces, mosques and tombs amid the gardens, lakes and woodland within its walls. Most of the remaining buildings date from this period. They constitute an important provincial style of Islamic architecture characterised by an elegant and powerful simplicity that is believed to have influenced later Mughal architecture at Agra and Delhi.