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Bhagwania Gate, [Mandu]

Bhagwania Gate, [Mandu]

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1902

Shelfmark: Photo 430/32(59)

Item number: 4303259

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a ruined, overgrown gateway at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. The gateway in this view is possibly the Bhagwanpur Gate, the southern entrance to Mandu leading to the Rewa Kund complex of palaces. 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 fortified walls are 59.5 km (37 miles) long and were begun by Dilawar Khan Ghuri (ruled 1401-5) and completed by Mahmud Shah I Khalji (ruled 1436-69). The Bhagwanpur Gate is situated in the valley below the steep southern side of the hill. An ancient stronghold, Mandu first came to prominence under the Paramara dynasty, rulers of the province of Malwa in central India with their headquarters in 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, Malwa's Afghan governor, broke free of Delhi and established an independent Sultanate. Mandu's golden age came as the capital of the Sultans of Malwa between 1405 and 1531. They renamed the city ‘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.

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