Jehoz Mahal at Mandu
Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala (1844-1905)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Jahaz Mahal at Mandu in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in 1882. The Jahaz Mahal or Ship Palace is part of the Royal Enclave in northern Mandu and dates from the late 15th century. It is a long, narrow, two-storey arcaded range crowned with roof-top pavilions and kiosks, built between two artificial lakes, the Munj Talao and Kapur Sagar. It was so named because from a distance in this setting it resembles a ship. It was conceived as a pleasure palace and housed the harem of Ghiyath Shah Khalji, a Sultan of Malwa who ruled between 1469 and 1500. This is a general view of the palace, showing a flight of steps ascending to the roof terrace at the left and rubble in the foreground. The palace is one of several at Mandu, a historic ruined hill fortress which first came to prominence under the Paramara dynasty at the end of the 10th century. It was the state capital of the Sultans of Malwa between 1401 and 1531, who 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 consitute 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. The photograph is from an album containing architectural and landscape studies of various sites in Central India. The majority of the photographs were taken on tour with Sir Lepel Griffin (1838-1908), who served as Resident at Indore and Agent to the Governor-General of Central India between 1881 and 1888. Many are reproduced in autotype in his ‘Famous Monuments of Central India’ (London, 1886). The album was formerly in the collection of Sir William Lee-Warner (1846-1912), who served in the Indian Civil Service and was a Member of the Council of India between 1902 and 1912.