Close view of doorway and arch and sculptural details in the west face of the outer courtyard of the Man Mandir Palace, Gwalior
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Man Mandir Palace in Gwalior, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Bourne and Shepherd in c.1883. Gwalior rose to prominence during the period of Tomar Rajput rule between 1398 and 1518, particularly during the reign of Raja Man Singh (r.1486-1517). The Man Mandir is a remarkable Hindu palace built by Man Singh inside the fort at Gwalior. The fort stands on a long, narrow, sheer-sided hill almost 100 m (300 feet) high. A long ramp on the eastern side leads up through six gates to the summit of the hill and the main entrance of the fort. The palace dominates the east flank of the fort with its impressive façade forming part of the curtain wall, regularly spaced by circular towers with domed pavilions. The walls of the southern facade are covered in blue, yellow and green tiles applied in friezes of geometric patterns, animals and trees. The interior of the palace comprises a series of apartments arranged around two inner courts. The ornately carved facades of the courts are decorated with carved brackets in the form of lotus petals, friezes on the walls of colourful tiles and projecting upper balconies. This is a close view of doorway and arch with sculptural details in the west face of the outer courtyard of the palace, carved with florid and geometric relief motifs. Two large circular lotus designs are carved on either side of the arch above the doorway.