[Southern facade of the] Man Mandir Palace, [Gwalior]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the southern façade of the Man Mandir Palace at Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1882. The great hill fortress of Gwalior, strategically sited in central India, was a centre of power for centuries. Its ancient origins and tumultuous history can be traced back to the sixth century, since when it has been the contested possession of a succession of rulers including the Rajputs, Mughals, Marathas, and the British. It rose to prominence during the period of Tomara Rajput rule between 1398 and 1518, particularly during the reign of Raja Man Singh (1486-1517). The Man Mandir is one of six palaces within the fort. It was built by Man Singh and is considered to be one of the most remarkable early Hindu palaces in India. Its exterior façades are richly decorated with relief carving and brilliant blue, yellow and green glazed tiles inlaid in ornamental friezes of geometric patterns and animal designs, which gave the palace its alternative name of Chit Mandir or 'painted palace. In this close-up view of the southern façade, figures of elephants, tigers and ducks can be seen.