Interior of Jumma Musjid, [Mandu].
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of the Jami Masjid at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. Malwa is an ancient province in central India, attaining prominence first under the Rajput Paramaras, from the 9th to the 13th century, who were keen patrons of learning and literature, with their capital at Dhar. It came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate in 1305. In 1401 the Afghan governor Dilawar Khan Ghuri broke away from Delhi to establish the independent Sultanate of Malwa, which lasted till 1531. Hoshang Shah of the Ghurid Dynasty (ruled 1405-35) moved his capital from Dhar to Mandu when he became the second Sultan of Malwa. The Malwa sultans renamed the citadel Shadiabad or City of Joy and proceeded to embellish it with palaces, gardens and mosques. The architecture of Mandu is characteristically simple, bold and well proportioned, an amalgamation of influences from the neighbouring areas of northern India, Gujarat and the Deccan. Buildings were constructed from marble and richly coloured local stone of red, yellow and slate black, and adorned with inlaid stones and glazed tiles. Hoshang Shah, one of the most illustrious of Malwa's sultans, was a prolific builder and commenced the Jami Masjid although it was completed by his successor Mahmud I Khalji, another outstanding ruler and patron of knowledge, in c.1452. The imposing mosque is said to have been modelled on the Great Mosque at Damascus. The interior still has traces of exquisitely coloured tiles.