Echo Mahal, [Mandu]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Echo Mahal at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. This is a general view of a ruined domed Islamic building, one of many at Mandu, a historic ruined hillfort. An ancient stronghold, Mandu first came to prominence under the Paramara dynasty at the end of the 10th century, who rules the region of malwa in central India with their capital at Dhar. Malwa remained under Hindu rule until 1305 when it was conquered by the Sultans of Delhi. In 1401 the Afghan governor Dilawar Khan Ghuri established the Sultanate of Malwa independent of Delhi and founded the Ghurid dynasty. Mandu's golden age came as the capital of the Sultans of Malwa between 1405 and 1531. They transferred the capital from Dhar to Mandu, 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.