Man Mandir Palace, [Gwalior]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Man Mandir Palace at Gwalior, taken by an unknown photographer around 1882, and part of the Gladstone Collection. The magnificent palace erected at the end of the 15th century by the Rajput ruler Man Singh dominates the east flank of the fort of Gwalior. The citadel at Gwalior, perched on a long sandstone hill with steep escarpments rising 90 metres above the town, was the headquarters of a series of Hindu and Muslim rulers from the eighth century onwards. Its strategic position at the routes leading into the Deccan made it a centre of power and importance. The fort was taken by the Delhi sultans in the 13th century and recaptured by the Tomara Rajputs in 1398. Man Singh (ruled 1486-1516) was the most prominent of the Tomara rulers who were keen patrons of art, music and architecture. His palace, the Man Mandir, has two storeys above and two below the ground level in the eastern part along the cliff. The walls have cylindrical towers with domed pavilions and are decorated with ornamental friezes of birds and beasts enriched with bright turquoise, yellow and green tilework. The interior is a complex of apartments disposed around inner courts.